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Holy Cow!

San Ignacio, Belize

I am almost 15 years older than my baby brother David.  Towering over me at 6’5” and weighing in at…well, A LOT, he’s hardly a baby any more. As far as my siblings go, I’m the oldest, then, a year younger than me, came my brother Dub, then came Della (Midlife Melody) who is 11 years younger, and finally David was born.  Same family, same parents, they just spread us out.  


I once read somewhere that the oldest child makes the rules, the middle kids are the reason for the rules, and the rules don’t apply for the baby of the family.  It was certainly the case with David (we call him Pooh).  In fact, had he been born first, the rest of us would probably not be here. As hard as my poor parents, grandparents and Dub, Della and I tried to control him, David, in his early years, was a holy terror.  

Here’s what I mean.  

When he was 2 he loved to parade naked through the house whenever a new guy picked me up for a date.   At 3, Mama asked me to take him to the dentist where he threw a fit, kicked over trays and sent poor Dr. Anderton’s glasses sailing across the room.  At age 4, when he was finally allowed to go to “big church,” during the prayers, while everyone had their eyes closed, he spit loogies over the balcony rail to shower unsuspecting congregation members below with his own version of “holy water.” He was definitely a brat, but was so dang cute that you couldn’t help but giggle at his antics. 

Today he’s the father of three boys and according to his wife, Jeanne, he’s being paid back for his boisterous, unruly past.  Of course, as Auntie Anel, I find his children absolutely adorable and clever.  But, as big sister Anel, I can’t help but snicker, “Paybacks are tough!”

Despite his delinquent start, David has become an eminent physical therapist with a PhD. Dr. “Pooh” teaches at a medical school in Texas and travels all over the world consulting and presenting seminars about his specialty, workplace ergonomics, specifically workers at dairies. My baby brother is a COW man, and evidently is “udderly” brilliant at it! (Go figure.)

So you may be wondering, what on earth does David’s saga have to do with things here in Belize. Here’s what.

Before coming here, I thought that Belize was basically one big jungle. I thought we’d see exotic jungle animals everywhere, like monkeystoucans, and maybe even crocodiles. To date, just about every day we HEAR the howler monkeys growl, the toucans croak (they sound a lot like a donkeys braying) and one day John heard a huge PLOP at the river that could have been a crocodile. But we’ve never actually SEEN any of these remarkable critters.

What we have seen is…COWS!  Lots and lots of COWS!

Because of the lush terrain and expert Mennonite ranchers, Belize is known for both beef and dairy production. And, the cows here are not ordinary cows.  Oh, no. Remember, I’m from Texas, I know what ordinary cows look like.  The cows here are huge, healthy, not artificially fattened, and appear to be very, very happy!

So, to better understand David’s expertise, I did a little research into what makes happy cows and came up with the following aMOOsing, MOOving little-known-facts about our bovine friends. For example, did you know that…

  • Cows can hear high and low frequencies better than humans.
  • Cows are very social.  They love to be a part of a herd and will make friends and bond with certain fellow herd members, as well as, avoid others.

  • It’s impossible for a cow to puke.
  • An average dairy cow produces 70 pounds or 8 gallons of milk per day!
  • Rarely will you see cows eating alone.  In fact, rarely will you see cows ever alone.  They never squabble with each other, preferring to live in harMOOny with their fellow herd mates.

    We could all learn this lesson from our bovine friends.

Well, after learning all this I’ll certainly be smarter on the cow categories of Jeopardy. Likewise, I understand a bit better the important work my baby bro does. According to economic statistics, one dairy cow can create up to four jobs in the local community. 

Wow! Holy Cow! Who would have “thunk” that from an impish, rambunctious munchkin could emerge an accomplished dairy guru? 

I think about my baby brother every time we drive by a herd of cattle. Like I mentioned, cows are everywhere here in Belize, so David is on my mind a lot. To me, there will always be a little boy inside the expert dairy cow dude Dr. “Pooh” has become. I’m the proud big sis of one freakin’ awesome man, and I don’t mind bragging about it!

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