Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'll Miss You.............

Oliver
February 8th 2008 - February 17th 2009
Those of you who have been following my journey know all about Oliver.
Oliver was my first hand raised calf, and quickly stole my heart.
To know me a few years ago, you know how I LOATHED cows. LOL I had a few bad experiences with them when I was younger, and I just grew to hate them.
Then - I met Oliver who totally changed how I thought about cows.
Oliver was a twin, who was orphaned by his mother. We spent 2 full days looking for where his momma had left him, in the biggest snow of the year. Huge fat fluffy flakes of snow were falling all around, and the silence of the snow fall was so breathtaking. Tramping around in the woods those two days with the snow and silence was just an awesome two days! No matter the cold, being in the middle of nature with no cars, concrete, sidewalks, or homes was calming. I dont think Norm would have wasted those two days to look for a calf if it hadn't been for me nagging him like I did.
Norm was ready to give up on finding the little calf.....but I wasnt happy with that answer either. Yes I was very scared of cows then, and wasnt attached to any of them (even though some had been given names!) I still couldnt let the little calf die. It had been 3 days now since we had seen him with his mother...time was running out.
At the last minute we heard a little muffled bawl of a calf! Finally! We got him home and warmed up and he was tube fed the first time, quite happy to have some warm milk in his tummy. Oliver was named after the movie Oliver Twist, who was an orphan too. Ollie took to the bottle quickly and his love for us was apparent from day one. We often got him out for long periods of the day and play all around the yard, with him following, jumping and making messes! I can't imagine what people must have thought as they drove by to see me and the kids running around the yard with a little calf following us everywhere just as if he was a dog! Yes we had several neighbors pull up to see this sight on more than one occasion, and a few near misses as people would strain their necks to see what in tarnations we were doing, and quickly have to swerve to get their car back on the road again!
He stole every ones heart, especially mine!
There wont be many like him, usually cows are aloof, but not Oliver. He loved every rub and scratch he could get and often made you love on him by rubbing his head all over you or putting his cold nose into your hand for a ear scratch! Tuesday morning came, already with me in a grave mood from the day before.
and then, we found Oliver, almost a year to the day that I first met him.
He somehow had gotten his back downhill and couldnt get up. Oliver was gone, dying sometime in the night.
Oliver was one in a lifetime.
Norm had just agreed a week before that I could keep him to use to teach Doug how to show calves, or just to keep as a pet. He knows how much I loved that little guy. Even though he was getting much bigger and a year old, Those dark brown eyes were the same as they were the day I first held his head in my hands.
My emotions were raw all day. I couldnt keep from crying, as I am now while I'm typing this and thinking about the week. Oliver taught me and my kids so much about cows, hand raising a bottle fed calf, the ins and the outs, and all the joy of a little calf who has adopted you as his momma. Oliver was special he can never be replaced. I'm so thankful that we got the opportunity to love and learn from him like we did. He has taught us all invaluable lessons over the last year of his life.
And with tears again tonight....I say goodbye to my Oliver.

You'll be missed by us all.....

13 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry! How sad. He was a beauty and I can see why you loved him.

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  2. Oh...alreadynin blurry saddened mood.OH! That is sooo sad to me and he was such a surprise wonderful calf! He seemed to appreciate the chance of life and was willing to get to know humans in a different way, just as you had decided to know him too.
    missing him too...for and with you!
    KK

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  3. Oh no. Rae I am so sorry you lost Oliver. I know just how much you did love him and after all you had done to keep him going he was doing so well. If I could I'd send you the Terrorist not that she would ever replace Oliver but I know where you're coming from.

    Hugs and love and stay strong
    Love Liz

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  4. I'm so sorry. He was so beautiful.

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  5. Oh Rae, I'm so sorry for your loss. He was special. Hugs to you all.

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  6. Man thats so sad. I can see why you guys loved him so much too. You write one heck of a story Rachel. I always love reading your stories, maybe you should write a book?? think about it! I am so glad to see you back on here! I missed you and Mari a bunch too! I was kinda worried about you all. Welcome back!

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  7. Oh no. I've been sad all week reading and experiencing several losses, animal and human alike. And they affect us no different. They are all such heartbreaking experiences.

    Oliver had a gentleness about him. I could even see it in his eyes...and within your own eyes as you smiled so happily when you were with him. It's plain to see that Oliver was given to you to get you past your fears and previous opinions of cows, and to touch your life in such a beautiful, life changing way.

    Cherish that time you had with him. But remember our loved ones are always with us. Don't be surprised if you feel Oliver's lovely spirit in places least expected.

    I'm so sorry, my friend.

    ~Lisa
    (((HUGS)))

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  8. awww poor little Oliver, poor you guys, I hate losing a pet. Beautiful photos :-)

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  9. I'm so sorry to hear about Oliver. This is very sad! He must have been a delight to have around.

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  10. So very sorry to read this, my first visit to your lovely blog. I know how difficult it can be, we breed sheep and it's nearly lambing season when I'm sure our fair share of orphans will be looking for us to keep them alive.

    Glad I've found you.
    CJ xx

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  11. Sorry to hear about your loss Rachel. Sounds like Oliver was very loved. Thanks for sharing your stories of life on the farm with us.

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  12. Gee guys I'm overwhelmed with your kind words and thoughts - I'd love to give each of you a big hug of gratitude! Thanks SO much!
    Rae

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Thanks for visiting the farm! We love comments and hope to hear from you! ~ Rachel, Norm, Kiddos, and all our furry friends!