Creatures of Dusty Blu

I work with a horseman, Dusty Blu Cooksey, at the college where I teach in Abilene, Texas.  Today he told me of animals besides his horses that envelop his life on his ranch northwest of Abilene.

First, Blu has dogs and horses, even a dog that cannot hear, but watches for hand commands and other para-linguistic signs from Blu.  His horses compete in shows all over the Southwest, and early in his horse career, Blu had two world champion quarter horses.  That was in the 1980s.

Nowadays, the creatures of Dusty Blu include an armadillo, coyote, raccoon and cats.

The armadillo was brought up to the stables by his dogs several years ago.  It was a baby armadillo and the little guy was carried gently in the mouth of his Blue Heeler, placed upon the ground in front of Blu and his workers, as if, “Here’s a little guy that needs help.  Take care of him.”  They put him in a stall since he was small and let him grow and eat dog chow.  After the armadillo grew to a juvenile, Blu let him or her out, but the armadillo stayed about the corrals, never venturing far, and tunneled into alfalfa haystacks to sleep during the day and roam at night.  The dogs consider him one of them and let the armadillo browse and eat with them at supper time.

The dogs brought a baby coyote to the stables, like the armadillo, and laid him down gently.  The dogs seem to know rescue quite well.  Blu fed the coyote pup and neutered him when he grew of age.  Wiley is the coyote’s name and he attends the ranch, never venturing far from his home he knew as a pup.  The dogs consider him one of them and let Wiley alone.  At times, he howls, but not out of loneliness.

A raccoon habits the place and washes his food in pools of water.  The creatures of Dusty Blu seem content.  Within the past few days, Blu tells me that an unusual cat, calico and tabby combined with two different-colored eyes, meandered into the mix.  A kit of small size, Blu will take him to the vet for neutering and care.  Nurture surrounds the kit and the void disappears.  When Blu told me today of these things, I laughed at the complex of animals with him and how his horses tolerate the menagerie.

Deep down, past laughter, I looked at Blu as he walked away to teach.  He’s a tall man and dresses western all of the time.  I saw wings and his hat was rimmed in gold.


Filed under Dogs, Dusty Blu, Horses, Life in Balance

23 responses to “Creatures of Dusty Blu

  1. Kittie Howard

    How these animals help each other is one of nature’s beautiful treasures. How Blu enables this help is one of mankind’s treasures.

    I saw wings and his hat was rimmed in gold.

    The above is the most descriptive sentence you’ve written, Jack. So simple, so exquisite. I would like to add, though, that for the work you do the same could be said of you.

    A couple of the young ‘uns I follow have begun to group together blog posts into e-books. Sales are good! I wish you would consider doing the same because what you’ve accomplished on your ranch has great appeal.

    • Kittie: I’m glad your writing is having success and admire your work. For the moment, I’m overloaded with projects, but when I retire, I’ll seriously look at e-books. Thank you for your compliment. I’ve more to tell you about the horses here on Flying Hat. No really bad news.

    • Kittie: That sentence I studied over before I let it go. It is, of course, representative of his behavior towards animals. He has a gift. I want to write more about it, but I have to get his permission. There are some big surprises about him and his upbringing in Lincoln Country, New Mexico.

  2. Hearing of this fella and the life around him he gently encourages makes a person glad, for sure!

  3. A fine way to honor this man and his equally fine animal friends. Animals Know…. Your own are another good example.

    Very nice post.

  4. I meant to tell you, I really like the new, pared down look of your page. There’s a grace about it….

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  6. Hello Jack!
    I love that story with all those various animjals. Couldn’t help giggling when I imagined that colourful flock – but it is fantastic how clever animals are.
    This last sentence about “wings and a hat rimmed in gold” is so, so beautiful. I can see this man walking along the field in the sunset…. Thank you Jack.
    Grethe ´)

  7. Angels are everywhere, aren’t they?

  8. Hi Jack,
    I love this story! And I so loved your comment. Jimmie

  9. Erin R

    Wow, what an amazing and sweet story! Thank you for sharing it Dr. Matthews.

  10. Erin R.

    And Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  11. Often I think of situations like this as a little bit of heaven on earth. What a wonderful story.

  12. I just found and read your article here. I appreciate your writing about Blu Cooksey. His gift is not just with animals, as I am sure you are aware. He has a strength and awareness that is often missing from people’s lives, as well. I am very glad to learn that he is teaching philosophy.

    If you are still monitoring this site (as I notice the entry’s dates), could you please forward him my contact information?

    It would be most appreciated.

    Thank you.

  13. Cathy

    I just Google, my Professor of Ethics to see if he had any more classes I could take, and this popped up. Oh Guess what! It’s him. I must say, I have thoroughly enjoyed his class and have heard of some of his stories of his land and his horses. I have also enjoyed his colorful stories of students and stuff that really bugs him, lol. I really hope to take another of his classes. What a great story to share and I can even hear him telling it. I almost lost my husband during this semester of school and he gave a hug and said to let him know if he could do something when I explained my absence of three class periods. Dr. Cooksey’s compassion for other’s showed greatly! Thankfully he made it and is healthy today. I don’t know if you will ever read this Dr. Cooksey, but you’re a great inspiration to those you teach. Because of you I’m striving to show that compassion in my major of social work. Thanks for this wonderful story!

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