The Montana X-Files

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Far in the distance, the Mission Mountains snow peaked caps shine brightly in the sunshine and provide a stark contrast for the grisly scene that lays before us. Only a few yards away, lie the remains of a cow that has only recently perished. Not sensing anything out of the ordinary, I urge my horse to approach the scene to further investigate. We take two steps and my horse balks, as well as the other man and horse next to me. The other man however, doesn’t balk from fear as the horses did, but because he knows that something isn’t right. He has seen this exact same scene before, not a half mile away, and to the exact day one year ago. He knows that this death isn’t a natural one that is to be expected while tending to hundreds of cattle. This was something else entirely.

The first cow ‘mutilation’ that Lonnie experienced was on this same ranch and less than a mile away. On June 24th, 2012, he approached a cow that was healthy only days ago, but lay stiff and still and decomposing today. Time of death, June 20th, the summer solstice. Not sure what he was seeing at the time or why he felt uneasy, Lonnie took several pictures of the body and left the scene to continue with the days work. The next day, he returned with a Lake County Sheriffs Deputy to further examine the scene. Upon investigation, both men concluded that this cow had not died or been further harmed by what most would deem ‘natural causes’. Experts were called in to assess the situation and all walked away in disbelief or with shrugged shoulders. All said the same thing,

“I don’t know”

All they could say for certain was that they had never seen anything of the sort and that they believed there was a human culprit to be found.

The cow laid in a lush bed of grass that had been grazed short until within a few feet of her. Within this invisible boundary, it seemed as if no animal had dared to tread. The Lake County Sheriffs Department called its search and rescue trackers to determine how the culprits approached, operated, and left. The trackers spread out and scoured the property. They could not find any vehicle sign, footprints, point of entry, or any predator tracks on the surrounding property. They looked again. And again. Still nothing. Finally, they looked at each other and shrugged,

“I don’t know”

The cow laid on her right side with a large portion of hide missing from the left side of her ribs, several slits were cut in between each rib, and her reproductive organs had been removed. All of this would be attributable to the work of predators and scavengers had there been any blood on the ground around, but the ground was bone dry. The skin and organs had all been removed with a surgical precision and had been done without spilling a single drop of blood. To verify the findings, an autopsy was performed. A local vet confirmed what they believed and revealed further information.

The arcing cut that exposed the ribs was made with a knife. The heart was also missing and had been removed with staggering precision. She believed that someone had to have done that. The only opening large enough was at the base of the neck. No predator could have removed the heart through such a small opening without damaging the lungs and surrounding tissue. When asked who she believed did this or why, she shrugged,

“I don’t know”

The second cow that was found on this same ranch, was eerily similar to the first. Both bloodless, removed of organs, and untouched by anything around it. This cow had died the night before, the same night as the last. June 20th, the summer solstice. I had heard the story of the first cow several times and was always hesitant to believe. Not that I doubted the multiple sources who credited the story, just that things like this are too wild to really believe. I didn’t know what to think until I personally rode upon that animal scorching in the sun. Having lived my entire life in a ranching community, dead animals and the circumstances surrounding it are no stranger, it is merely a fact of life. After close inspection of this particular animal, I fully believed everything was not as it seemed in the Mission Valley.

Not a single person who viewed the scene could determine who had done this, how they had gotten there, or why. The cow seemed to have been dropped out of thin air after all of the work had been done without a single shred of evidence to be found. If you were to google this topic, thousands of reports can be found from locations all over the world. Many are easily attributable to predators or natural occurrences. Many are not so easily dismissed. There are a great many people that believe this is a great government conspiracy or that extra-terrestrial life is involved. Some believe that it is a combination of the two. What I saw that day didn’t suggest either of those explanations but that doesn’t mean I have a good answer for you. Ask me who or what is responsible for this and I’ll shrug and say,

“I don’t know”

Memes to the Rescue or: 7+ Cat Memes, Funny eCards and Epic Fails to Turn a Sh**ty Day Around.

Let’s face it…life is hard. Some days are great, some are just OK and some days are just plain awful. For whatever reason, there are days during our lives that are harder, more stressful, unbearably sad or completely maddening. But don’t despair, dear readers, for there is hope. We have within our grasp a powerful tool that, in the right hands, can obliterate even the most terrible mood. That tool … is the internet.

Forged in the fires of D.A.R.P.A., the internet is a mysterious land, teeming with the forces of good and evil. I have always believed in the mood-transforming powers of the internet, but cyberspace is vast and filled with countless villains who seem bent on making your bad mood even worse. I have always tried to fight these villains and harness the powers of internet for the forces of good.

In honor of that lofty goal, I’ve taken it upon myself to create one blog post to change those “meh” moments into “yay” moments. One blog post to turn to when the Facebook NewsFeed is bringing you down. One blog post that can shine a light when it seems all other lights have gone out.

Memes can take many forms, but I find that video tends to be the most powerful. So here are just a few funny or inspiring memes and videos culled from many corners of cyberspace collected into one post.

One post…to rule them all.

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Humans Are Pretty Great, After All!

It can be easy to get down on your fellow humans, especially if you spend time with them, but this video will definitely remind you that people can be pretty awesome too!

Epic Fails

I have most definitely tripped and fallen in front of large groups of people while checking out my reflection while passing a window.  In the spirit of commiseration, here is a collection of totally epic fails that remind us that we are, in fact, all human.

Cute Puppies

I don’t think cute puppies need much explaining, but in case you need a little bit of inspiration, there is something incredibly rejuvenating about watching little fuzzy balls of cuteness try to figure out a door.

Funny Cat Videos (of course)

I’m pretty sure the internet was invented to facilitate the sharing of cat videos…

eCards

I need to see a funny eCard on a daily – sometimes hourly – basis.  Here are a few of my favorites.

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Spread the Love

I hope this post gave you some respite from any doldrums you may have been experiencing in your life.  Feel free to share this link with anyone, and on any social media platform, you think it may do some good!

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Post by Chris Jambor, a senior at University of Montana’s School of Business Administration.

Pick your Puppy – How to Decide What Kind of Dog is Best for You!

Dogs are truly man’s best friend, so it’s not surprising that many people find themselves wanting to add a puppy into their life. However, while having a dog can be great, one has to realize that the perfect dog for you, is the perfect dog for YOU. It’s okay to be a little selfish, this is a big decision and you want to make sure that you will be happy too. So before you run out to your nearest shelter or breeder, here are a few things you might want to consider about your prospective canine pal before adding another member to your family:

Attitude

A dog is one of the longest commitments you can make, so it’s important to consider the kind of pet you will want to have in your home for 10 to 15 years. Every dog’s attitude is unique, but different breeds are known for certain desirable temperaments. If you are picking out a dog, first of all, think about what you want. How do you want to spend time with your dog? Cuddling? Running? Do you want your dog to be silly and enthusiastic or shy and reserved? You want to make sure that you will be happy and that the dog is well suited for your lifestyle.

Size

Everyone knows puppies are cute and tiny, but even the smallest puppy can grow into a giant dog. Think about your home and how much space will you have. Do you live in a studio apartment? Then maybe a Newfoundland isn’t the best bet! Consider the space you have in your home to make sure that your happy little puppy can grow into a happy big dog (or a happy little dog, if that’s what you decide).

Age

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If you are thinking about adopting your dog from an animal shelter, you’ll definitely want to at least consider adopting an older dog. While raising a puppy can be very rewarding and fun, it is also a huge commitment. Think about the time you can put into raising this dog; do you want to deal with potty-training? If the answer is no, then a grown-up pup might be your best option.

Activity Level

No matter what kind of dog you are going to get, they will need daily exercise. Again, think about yourself, do you want a dog that wants more than one, long walk a day? Or do you want a dog that loves to play fetch? Or do you want a dog that is able to tire itself out in your backyard? Your dog’s happiness will partially depend on their activity level, so you’ll want to make sure that you are able to fulfill those needs.

Gender

While there aren’t too many differences between male and female dogs, especially when they are neutered or spayed, this is still something you should think about. Even if picking the gender is only your first step to the perfect name, this dog is your baby and you want to make sure that you are happy with your dog choice and you can provide your pup with the best possible life.

Health

All dogs will end up incurring some veterinarian bills, regardless of the breed. However, it is important to know that some dog breeds are more susceptible to diseases and problems later in life than others. Look through this list, put together by MainStreet.com, to see if any of your desired breeds could end up costing you a fortune at the vet.

Overwhelmed? No need to worry! While it is great to consider all of these traits, most dog owners will tell you that they “just knew” when they found their perfect dog. Now that you have been thinking about these different traits, you might be curious about what dog breeds fit your specific needs! Take this free online quiz to find out what kind of puppy you should pick!

Samuel Brown is a senior studying Marketing at the University of Montana. He plans to graduate in May 2016.

Benson the French Bulldog

Meet Benson, the little meatball of love. These are a few action shots of Benson’s first year. Here’s to many more.

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Reporting for duty 

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Nap time

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Straight outta Compton 

 

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Skateboarding lessons

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Deep in thought

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Air Bud 

 

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A Definitive Ranking of the Most Photogenic Pugs on Instagram

A new wave of celebrities are crashing in on Instagram, and these celebrities aren’t the type to Photoshop their pictures or try to make sure their beach bods are in perfect shape for you. They are taking over your Instagram feeds (and social media in general) with a fierce confidence. Who am I talking about exactly? P-U-G-S. That’s right, pugs. Here is a ranking of the top 5 pugs on Instagram who are prettier than you. And let’s be honest, you love it.

5. Pugalicious Vinny

Not only is he sexy and he knows it, but he can rock a bow tie better than any guy you know.

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Pugalicious Vinny
@pugalicious_vinny

 

4. Nutello the Pug

He is #swole, he can rock any mustache, AND he is into romance.

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@nutellothepug

 

3. Homer Pugalicious

He says it all with his eyes.

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@homerpugalicious
@homerpugalicious

 

2. Doug the Pug

He is sassier than you. He is wittier than you. And he can rock his PJs better than you.

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@itsdougthepug
@itsdougthepug

 

1. Ref the Pug

He understands how hard life can be when you are THIS beautiful. He still manages to work it for the camera though.

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@refthepug
@refthepug