The circle of life
We had to put our old milk cow, Ruby, down today. She was 15, a grand old age for a milk cow, and after that long, they become a pet of sorts even if they don't want to come close (to be caught, lol). Their personality just becomes part of the character of the whole farm. She was our longest living pet, beating out our almost perfect elkhound of 13 years.
She had the most crooked nose ever. Haha
She loved life and looked hilarious when she ran because she was happy or excited in her younger days.
She would run you over for chop. You had better expect to move fast. She loved her goodies!
She loved getting brushed in the barn. She would fall asleep when getting milked.
She had a very fast, accurate aim & fire to the side kick...but only if her teats were sore or someone else was milking and my husband was able to be seen too. If he ducked around a wall, she was fine. Otherwise, she stood well.
She gave copious amounts of cream laden milk from 3 teats. 😋 She was an awesome producer.
She was the queen of the pasture for years. Nobody in the pasture ruled over her until the horse came, even then, she didn't want to concede, but that was two queens fighting for power and she met her stubborn match. Challenges were met with gusto.
She tried to steal calves from the others and was persistent, even if she was dry and without a calf. She loved calves and would protect them as if they were her own. She was ultra maternal.
I once said, "BOO" to her for fun and we both jumped a lot...her from me and me from her. Haha She didn't forget that for a couple years. She wouldn't come close to me for that long.
We noticed that she was slowing down this past week, and we were wondering about her ability to stay warm as she had a thick coat, but appeared to be losing weight/not putting on fat, as an old animal will. Fat would be necessary to carry on into winter.
This morning, when the kids went out, they noticed that she had slipped in an odd place (no ice, but most likely tripped on a dead tree) & had gotten her head & legs trapped by the previously fallen dead trees.
By the time they found her, she had started to bloat from not being able to move properly and otherwise was moving her head very little and her ears to listen a little. We have had dogs start to eat dying animals in the past, but she was still untouched. When I saw her, I knew we couldn't save her. The signs were all there.
The kids sawed some of the trees and removed offending pieces. They put straw under her head to try to help her be more comfortable while they waited for their dad to come put her down. (Proud of them!) They were caring for our old gal, doing what they could.
So, I am not sad. We aren't sad. She lived a good life. She will feed our dog and cats for a bit, giving life to them, then we will dispose of the remainder of her carcass. The older kids were learning from her as they cut some meat away. She is still giving joy as they learned some new skills.
I wanted to share this as a tribute to our cow that lived a long and happy life. Thanks, Ruby with the crooked nose! ❤ You were loved and we won't forget you!
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