We rescued a calf from a dairy farm in Massachusetts in August 2020, and I kept in touch with the farm with the hopes that they would surrender his mother to us. I asked for months, but the farm was unable to determine who his mother was, so I began asking if they would consider surrendering any other dairy cow to us. I didn’t have high hopes, as it is very rare for farmers to surrender their cows, as they are worth money to them. In December 2020, I received a phone call from the farm! They let me know that they had a cow who wasn’t producing enough milk (Luna), and instead of sending her to slaughter, they wanted us to take her. In addition, she had just had a female calf (Violet), who they wanted us to take as well. It is incredibly rare for females to make it out of the industry alive, and even moreso, mother and daughter. We instantly said yes, and Luna and Violet arrived at our sanctuary 2 weeks later. We bought them a brand new large run-in shed that they shared in a private pasture to help them settle into their new life of freedom. They cuddled together in their new home for days on end and explored the pasture together. We could tell in Luna‘s eyes how relieved she was to be free with her baby.
A few weeks after arrival, Violet began showing signs of a severe respiratory illness, and we rushed her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with advanced pleuropneumonia. She was given a guarded prognosis. It was devastating, and not the way that their story of freedom was supposed to end. While she was gone, for 24 hours a day, Luna bellowed frantically for her. She didn’t sleep or eat for at least 3 days. We showered her with love to try and ease her pain. She loves snacks, so we fed her carrots and apples, we brushed her, and we even FaceTimed with Violet’s doctors so she could see Violet. We told Luna every single day that Violet was coming home, even when Violet’s health was at its worst. After a month in the hospital, Violet was released. We think Luna had a feeling that she was coming home because the day before she came home, Luna didn’t stop bellowing and happily zooming around her pasture. When Violet came home, Luna sprinted across the field as soon as she saw our car and bellowed at her. Luna didn’t stop licking Violet for at least 10 minutes, she was so incredibly happy to see her again. They picked up right where they left off, as if no time had passed and have been attached at the hip ever since.
Luna is a loving, protective, strong mother. She doesn’t let Violet out of her site, even for a second. She loves treats and often has the cow zoomies around the pasture. She also loves being brushed. We have been calling her the mother of calves, because she has taken on the role of the protector to not only Violet, but our other calves as well!