To Be Dearly Loved
Recently we took a call to assist a cow downed in a bog. A mirky mire that had claimed her for at least a day. Claimed her and all of the strength that had run through her parasite-riddled and emaciated body.
Making this picture of helplessness even more heart-wrenching was the sight of her wee and hungry calf who refused to leave her side.
For an animal classed as a food-production animal, things rarely end well. And although we still do not know which way the tea leaves will fall on this one, we know this dear cow will be loved forever more.
And therein we found the inspiration for her name, Cher, which means dearly loved. Something which she was the instant the kind-heart Krysti from Rescue Rehabilitate and Release came upon her whilst attending a routine wildlife call-out.
Such a concern, too, for Cher’s well-being, was palpable the instant we drove through the gate to the paddock where she lay, for instead of the three or so Emergency Service volunteers we expected to see on hand to assist, there were at least a dozen.
Kind hearts who put their own hunger and comfort aside to assist an animal in need. This is indeed when we find the greatest of our humanity – when we help those in need. We cherish such moments when people from all walks of life and beliefs come together to make the world a better place for those less fortunate than themselves.
And so today, as we have worked tirelessly to get Cher back on those little black, not quite so muddy hooves of hers, we give thanks to the kind-hearted everywhere. Our team, aided by our tractor, bought through donor funds, has lifted dear Cher up multiple times during the day, massaging those limbs, whilst this stoic little lady is giving us reasons for hope. Eating grass and hay that is slowly fuelling life into those once-lifeless limbs, whilst her bub, whom we have named Cherish, is never too far from view.
At just over one year of age, what this hapless animal has been through is something no animal ever should. The irony of this, though, is that this tragic circumstance has secured a bright future for Cherish and could be the key to a long-lived and much-loved life for Cher.
So for now, we are fighting the good fight, because that is what one does when those we dearly love are in trouble.
Please stand with us.
Update 15th June 2023
Finding a word to describe yesterday, we land on “hopeful”. For it was with great hope fuelling our hearts that little Krysti was cut from the warmth of her mother’s womb and brought into the world.
And in relieving her dear mumma, the critically emaciated and once parasite-riddled Cher, of that final roadblock to her good health, we hoped beyond belief that our kindness and care had not come too late for both.
But alas, the word that consumes us today is “heartache”.
Despite her rough start into this world, little Krysti began to rally. Her temperature beginning to rise as a Bair Hugger blanket and all of our love assisted it to do so. Too weak to drink, colostrum was expertly delivered to its target, her wee tum, swirling around and kick-starting her immune system, while loving hands vigorously massaged her body and limp limbs, willing them into action.
But as yesterday was getting ready to hand over to today, little Krysti just did not have the wherewithal to do so. Shutting her eyes that one last time, a gentle heave and she peacefully passed away by her mumma’s side. The lone tear that rolled down Cher’s cheek caused ours to follow suit in bucket loads.
So near, yet so far.
There was an attentiveness to Cher’s eyes this morning that we had not seen before. She watched our every move, tracking our steps, stops and turns. It was as if she was, for the first time, asking for our attention. Although this was something she always had without asking us for it.
This time she was calling to us. And whilst at first we did not wish to listen to its message, for it was not what we wanted to hear, it was the one her broken body needed us to unselfishly heed.
And so, holding that love in our hearts, we helped Cher pass peacefully from this world.
Whilst not the fairy-tale ending we had hoped for, it is the one we must come to terms with as life calls us forward to carry on; we shall honour their lives and do so. Doing so whilst always carrying their memory in our hearts, because this is the place that animals truly belong.
Dear Cherish, a sweeter calf you would struggle to find, her wrinkly little nose always causing a little wrinkle in one’s heart, whilst still coming to terms with her new life, has made fast friends today with Happy Day and Some Days, our two rescued bobby calves. If only people could be as non-judgmental and welcoming as these two, wars would never know our kind.
Hold the love and leave a legacy others will speak of.
That Cher, Krysti and Cherish’s story speaks to the worst of humanity reminds us that our love speaks to the best of it. For in a world where there is so much anger and hate, along with cruelty and indifference for our animal friends, we must not add to that negative energy – for it becomes palpable.
Both you and the world will be better for it.
Please let that be the legacy of these beautiful animals, who deserved none of what was afforded to them. Let the unity of those who came together to make this rescue possible inspire you to reach out to others with your kindness. Let this be a beacon of hope that in a sometimes dark world it cannot extinguish kindness. For kindness does not just exist; it flourishes and brightens the lives of all it touches.
For it is because of Cher that a sweet little calf, who will forever stand in her image, and one who lost her mother, only to find one in Cher, was to be guided to sanctuary.
As strange as it seems, this IS a story of hope. That three animals somehow made it to sanctuary, that otherwise never would, only doing so because one kind heart refused to look the other way. And this has ensured their story was told, and that their lives were seen to matter. And although only one of these beautiful individuals has survived, the memory of all three, and the outpouring of love and kindness for them around the globe, is legendary and something we shall forever cherish.
After a night so long it almost forgot to end, we caught some sleep, grabbed a snack and headed on our well-worn track to the barn.
There was no doubt that Berlin’s world was crumbling the day he and his three buddies were surrendered into our care.
With a haunting sadness in their eyes, Gracelyn and Elvira entered our world. And we theirs, as they searched their newfound digs for somewhere to land their gaze.
Lost in a world far, far bigger than himself was little Bahama. But then kindness found him.
Little Kokomo may have been down on his luck the day he was born, finding himself way down in a pile of mirky mud.
Words could not convey our shock when we went to our carpark to collect the little lamb we would soon name Bermuda, who was surrendered into our care after having been found the day before.
More than likely destined for backyard slaughter, the young Cedric ran for his life. And did so for several days in the off-leash dog park to which he had retreated.
Friend or freezer? Without even meeting the colourful chap we have named Tom Cruise, we knew the only role he should ever fill was the first.
At just one day old, teeny tiny Trapper John was diminutive in size yet formidable in impact, and everybody was talking about him.