The one baby she got to keep
The heart-breaking reality of dairy cows and how this brave mamma was awarded the best Valentine’s day gift she could have imagined.
Although her baby was not expected for another week, Clarabelle’s behaviour was rather odd. Our first clue was her late arrival for breakfast, as she could always be counted on to be waiting patiently at the gate. Our second hint was her quick glance behind now and then, but it was the sole engorged teat that sent our hearts racing and our feet pacing as we then knew this dear Jersey cow had something to hide.
With sleuth-like precision we scanned the open paddock, but it was some distance away in our enchanted forest that we found the answer. A tiny, several-days-old heifer calf blinked at the world in wide-eyed wonder as a nervous Clarabelle looked on.
Renowned animal behaviorist and cattle expert, Dr. Temple Grandin, stated that the fear memories of cattle can never be deleted. As an older dairy cow, Clarabelle would have many. Cows are, after all, mammals, and like just like humans, they will only produce milk for their offspring. In order to keep the milk flowing, dairy cows are impregnated and then, shortly after giving birth, their much-loved babies are taken away so their milk can be harvested for human consumption.
But the good news for Clarabelle was that no one would ever take her baby away. Having been rescued and brought to Edgar’s Mission while pregnant, this was the baby she could keep forever, or, as they say in the classics “til the cows come home”.
We christened her Valentine, in honour of the love between mother cows and their babies, and their strong, heart-warming family bond remains to this day.
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.