Tribute to a Jersey Cow

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When you help someone out you’ll often expect a gift in return. Sometimes a card, some nice flowers, or even a box of chocolates. But I was given the gift of a Jersey cow.
At just 8 years old my days were spent eat, sleeping and breathing cows. I’m pretty sure I had more cow-contact than human contact but surely that can’t be a bad way to live.
One evening whilst alone in our cow shed one of the girls, Charlotte, came into calf. Something wasn’t right. The owners lived in Sussex, there were heavy restrictions at the time due to Foot and Mouth, so we called the only person with such cow expertise, a lady called Sandy. She came, she calved, she conquered.

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It was soon decided that this gorgeous little fudge coloured heifer calf would too, be named Sandy.
(Don’t worry, she returned the favour later on and named one of her Limousins Alice).
Once Foot and Mouth had passed and movement restrictions were lifted, the herd moved on. I was heartbroken to see my childhood best friends gone but a letter I received alleviated some of that pain. At just 10 years I was now the proud owner of my very own Jersey cow.

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Growing up with Sandy was a pleasure. My friends loved nothing more than coming round to brush, ride or cuddle Sandy.
Call me biased but i think Jerseys are the most magical breed. With their thick black eyelashes, gorgeous coats and lovely black tails. As I’ve always been told, if you’re going to have livestock, get something pretty, you have to look at it everyday. The fact their thick, creamy, gold top milk is positively delectable is just another bonus.

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Now I don’t know about you but when I think of a Jersey cow I think of a loving, docile girl with a sweet, warm breath. Sandy did not receive this memo and at times she possessed the devil inside her. If she was feeling playful or a bit cheesed off you’d better hope you had a fence between you.

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Sandy has been consistently there for me throughout my entire teenage-hood and way over half of my life. When things got confusing, frustrating or stressful there was nothing better to do than go and lie down in the field with her and cuddle.
Today I cuddled Sandy for the very last time.

Watching her come into the world and then leave it 13 years later was heartbreaking.
With the personality and body of a cow over half her age the shock still hasn’t hit.
Now not many people would keep a cow as a pet, not many people would play football with their cow, not many people would understand how important a cow can be, and not many people would write a blog about it. But then not many have had a cow like my Sandy.

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I would like to express my sincere gratitude towards John at Westpoint Veterinary Group for being so efficient, kind and sensitive during Sandy’s last hours.

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5 thoughts on “Tribute to a Jersey Cow

  1. Bless your heart. I know how difficult it is to face this. I’ve tried several scenarios. I even thought it would be easier if they leave for slaughter at a younger age. But when they enter your life with such a wonderful personality… there’s just nothing that will make it any different. It usually has to be a really mean cow that gets out of here without leaving me feeling like my heart is being ripped from my chest Thirteen years is a long time for a wonderful relationship. And today… it’s a LOT less expensive to have a cow for a pet, rather than a dog. So, that’s another wonderful blessing you gained. I can’t promise you that you’ll ever be able to think about her without the dam breaking and the tears flooding. But I can promise you this. That special bond and all that love will never go away. Yet… even that’s not gonna help losing her stop sucking for a while, Hon. And 13 years deserves taking all the time you need for dealing with losing such a wonderful friend.

  2. My first Jersey cow is 12 years old, due to calve with her 10th calf this fall. I can’t imagine how you must feel about losing your cow, I dread thinking of that day when my Rose might be gone. Luckily, I have two of her daughters and a great-granddaughter to enjoy as well. Thanks for sharing your stories and photos. 🙂

  3. Fabulous post – I still remember my favourite cow dying of milk fever when I was 9. I cried and cried. Lovely to have had a pet cow for so many years.

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