There’s really no reason for this story….just remembered it…and thought Y’all might like it!
“Hey, could I ask you for a favor?” The question all good, kind-hearted folks hate to hear. Yet it can also cause a leap in the heart rate when it involves a critter. Almost every time I’ve gotten a phone call with this as the first question…it involved a critter! Sassy was no different. She came to me as a reject from an inexperienced cow. If you’ve had any young animal have their first babies, you know how this happens….they just act as though they really don’t know what to do. Usually it’s just instinctual, but then occasionally, you get one that is just, for lack of a better term, confused.
As I stood under the shade tree with a warm bottle of milk in hand, I had my doubts that even the critter whisperers could help her. She was tiny, and puny, and she simply didn’t want to eat. I knew if she were gonna make it…she was going to need a bit more than an artificial nipple. I coaxed and patted and pleaded, but she simply wouldn’t take the bottle. She lay their weak and limp, looking like the grim reaper was pushing her towards heaven. Although, otherwise, she seemed healthy, she just didn’t seem to have the will to live. I’m not sure I would either, if my momma had rejected me at birth.
Like so many other babies taken into our lives, into the kitchen she went. I always thought that my kitchen had healing powers. Much like being taken to the barn when one was in trouble, at our house, you went to the kitchen for healing.
Just like so many others, Sassy was fine. Everyday she needed nursing every four hours. After being rescued in the kitchen, she thought that’s where she was supposed to nurse. There she was at the full view glass door in the back of my kitchen. At bottle time, I would open the door, in she would march. She would come nudge me from behind as I fixed her bottle. As I fed her, I would slowly walk her back out the door. She would be content to be out with the dogs, until time for the next bottle, and back she’d be, butting the door.
Sassy grew well, even long after the bottles were sanitized and put away for the next “favor” that called for my kitchen. Every chance she got, she would come to the back door. Peering in and bawling, she would expect me to drop all my projects, and come listen to her. She never stopped thinking of me as her mother, and she finally grew so large that when she would butt me, it would knock me down. She would romp and play with the dogs like they were her siblings. Sassy was seen frequently, by the neighbors, running after passing cars, right behind our dog at the time, Daisy. You’ll here about Daisy some day…she was the best! Sassy had one of those cute little personalities that no one could resist. She really did believe she was a dog. Greeting visitors, at the window of their car doors, she treated them, just like any good guard dog would, sucking any finger that came within two feet of her big wet face!
Before she got so big, one day she was butting the back door, expecting that “MOM” would come feed her. I nervously looked at my husband knowing full well, I had made a HUGE mistake taking this baby to the kitchen. I asked “What do I do when she weighs 1500 lbs and she wants to come in?” He just smiled and said “Open the door!”