Life Advice



Ask Amy: Cowboy needs to wrangle human predators

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I’m an old cowboy. My wife is from the country, but not from a ranching background.

She and her children are well educated but they lack any kind of practical ranching common sense (their advanced degrees are more of a hindrance on the ranch).

They seem to think that their business, law and medical degrees make them superior. Yet every time they visit, their ignorance is proven, over and over again. Even though I have asked them multiple times not to bring their own dogs to the ranch, they still do. They have killed chickens and injured other livestock.

They don’t close gates. They bring their dogs in the house.

They take the grandkids out to the corrals and let them give “treats” to the horses.

After 10 years, I’m at the end of my rope. My wife doesn’t like conflict, especially with her kids and grandkids. She makes really good money and thinks she can just pay the vet bills or repair bills or replace an animal.


She doesn’t understand that I’ve spent a lifetime building my herds and I’m not going to introduce any old animal into my herds as a replacement — I’m going to have to breed a replacement.

I’m at my wits end. I don’t want to ban people from the ranch.

Short of divorce, any advice would be appreciated.

— An Old Cowboy


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