Being there for a mama cow

I don’t know what was wrong with the cow. I went to the prairie to take sunset pictures and she was in the pond. I thought she was stuck because her baby was calling but she wasn’t moving. Finally she started to move out of the pond and I could see she was badly injured.

I knew I couldn’t go in the pond…alligators, water moccasins, etc. I waited until she was out of the pond to try and assist in any way I could to help her get to her baby. Lots of verbal encouragement and coaxing. As soon as she made it to her baby I went for help. I have no idea how I made it there, my leg was already totally shot from getting to the cow. Anyway, I drove to my friend’s house who knows the owners of the cows on the prairie to send out the vet. I drove back fast to the cow. I wanted to wait with her but well..my legs…my left leg in particular is very much in bad shape. I try to convince myself that it can do anything and I can overcome. The truth is it is challenged!!! I knew I couldn’t go back in the fence. I had taken video to show my friend what she looked like. I mean there are hundreds of cows out there and I wanted her to know. I was just glad she made it to her baby. And later realized that an injured cow would not be hard to spot! Ugh, what one does in a panic.

I went back to the cow and I talked to her. I said, ” If you want me to stay you need to come to the fence because I can’t walk that far again.” She came over to the fence. I sat down in the mud. I didn’t want her to suffer alone. My intention was to sit there until the vet came. I told her how there was an entire herd to look after her baby. I told her that she was not alone and I would be there with her and that I knew what suffering and pushing through for your child felt like. Her baby cried a few times for her to come over but seemed to know that it was time for her mama and I to just sit together. So we did. I told her that I had no idea what would happen but that we’d both be ok. She knew I had to go and tried to make it back to her baby. Her baby was afraid. I guess all babies know when their mothers are hurting just like we know when are babies are hurting.

I sat with her for an hour. It was pitch black dark and every bug had stung me and bitten me and I started becoming worried about the croaking of the alligators so I told her I had to go but that I would make sure she was taken care of. I texted my friend again to make sure she’d be ok. The cow seemed to know that I had reached my human person limit. I think I was far beyond the limit but didn’t know it at the time. I crawled up the hill and was stuck and scratched by everything. I don’t do hills. I can only walk on flat surfaces or use my motorized wheelchair or scooter…apparently unless there is an injured cow. Adrenaline.

After being a hospice chaplain for 8 or so years I have now decided I do much better with people than I do with animals. I sobbed to that cow. Sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I so wanted her to be ok. I so wanted her to go back to her herd. She had a herd. It wasn’t just her and her baby! But right then it was. It’s how I feel so much of the time it is just me and my baby and I am injured and it is just so hard. Where is my herd!!! So I cried to the cow. She was silent but I know she was glad I was there. I know this because this cow and all the cows run from the fence whenever anyone approaches. She didn’t. She came to me and she could barely walk. She looked into my eyes the entire time.

I hope she is saved.

Either way, every life does matter to me. Even a cow. Especially a mother cow and her baby. Thank heavens I went to look at the sunset which I immediately stopped as I was siting with her. I figured out how to video on my phone. The file may be too large to upload on to here. Please let me know if it works. I can barely move my leg so I will be recovering for lets just say a long while so if you want to message me and let me know if it works I would appreciate it.

Here is the video of her making it to her baby. This is what mothers do!!! Well…not mine…but what good mother’s do.

11 thoughts on “Being there for a mama cow

  1. Oh gosh poor baby…mama cow I mean. Poor baby cow too because it’s probably scary to have an injured mama. It grips my heart how you are with these animals. And they seem to know you are there because you care. Oh and yes, the video works. It’s heart breaking to see her limp like that. Hopefully it’s just something stuck in her hoof. Poor girl.

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  2. We live next free range cattle. When I first moved here I witnessed a cow funeral. The cows had a funeral for a cow that had died and I was just blown away. I wrote about it online asking what I saw before I had a blog. I figured no one responded. About a year later, I googled cow grief and there was my query and pages of responses. They varied from a cow herder in Africa who attested to the intelligence and emotional nature of cattle, to people who watched their horses grieve, their ducks grieve, and on and on. I was dumbfounded. There was only one person I remember, who ran a livestock butchering business. who expounded on how dangerous it was to apply sentience to livestock because then it would be harder to butcher them.

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    • I am so glad you shared that with me. It must have been so surprising to find you had all of those responses a year later!
      I have heard elephants do this but I didn’t know other animals did.
      My dog did. When one died he mourned her for a year. I thought he’d never be ok again but he finally was.
      I cannot imagine being a butcher. I’ve always hoped they did what they did with compassion and nosuffering but I don’t even want to know. My heart is too fragile for things like that and always has been.
      My family used to be relentless at thanksgiving an at any dinner together that if i just ate a hamburger I’d be fine. Cattle and even pigs I have always felt had a heart and well I’ve never eaten them.
      I’m still waiting word on the cow.
      I’m glad I waited with her and sat with her.
      I don’t think anyone should be in pain alone not even a cow.
      Thank you for sharing this information with me though. It is comforting

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  3. Bethany
    You are so good ! Who takes care of a cow like that / Is the prairie far from your house ? Maybe you can go back and check if its not too far.
    Do you think an alligator bit her ? Are there alligators on the prairie ? Do you see them often ?
    OMG !
    Susie

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    • It is about 1 mile away but there are hundreds of acres. She was near the fence. There are many ponds out there and with the rain there are areas next to the road through it that have water in them. There are alligators and snakes out there but not on the dry land that I saw although a neighbor said an alligator was sunning in the road one afternoon. We saw one when we were driving through the prairie years ago.
      We still aren’t sure what happened. I had many people on it today. Still waiting to hear word on her. I was barely able to move this morning from doing that. My leg isn’t well with the muscle disease. I looked for her this afternoon but couldn’t see her and there was no more walking for me today.
      Trust me, i was up most of the night crying over her. I can only pray she is at peace wherever she is. I called as many as I could!

      Liked by 1 person

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