**Warning** If you’re hoping for an uplifting post I would skip this one until later.
Life and death.
It’s reality, right? Especially on a farm.
Sometimes that reality is a lot harder to deal with than I would like.
Here on the farm we are lucky to have many healthy and happy calves born every year.
It’s not the norm, but sometimes cows lose their pregnancy early, just as a human mother may have a miscarriage. Still births also happen on occasion, no matter how carefully we monitor the mother cows.
It’s sad to witness a cow futility trying to coax her baby to stand when there just isn’t life or breath in the little body.
I do think some of these unfortunate situations are nature’s way of dealing with a calf that wasn’t healthy. Maybe there were developmental problems, and the calf couldn’t have survived or had a healthy life.
And sometimes a calf is born very much alive, but they simply are not healthy.
A little heifer born this winter started out okay, but she was wobbly on her feet. This is normal for a few days, but instead of getting better, she got worse.
Even at a few days old it became evident that her joints and limbs were definitely not normal.
We had the vet look at her, and we followed multiple treatments to try and keep her comfortable while bringing healing to her troubled joints.
In the human world, this baby would be the type that you find in the neonatal ICU. There would probably be lots of research done on her specific condition, and specialists would know how to help her.
Maybe she would ultimately be in a wheelchair, but she could still have a chance at life.
Unfortunately, they don’t make wheelchairs for cows. People and animals are different, and when an animal is having serious difficulty walking, the prognosis is bleak.
The decision to put an animal down feels like a catch 22. You hate to “give up” on her, but it’s not fair or right to let an animal struggle when you know there is little chance of recovery.
After we’d done what we could with treatments and TLC, it was time to say goodbye.
Tonight there will be one less calf to feed.
I’ll give thanks for the healthy and vigorous ones, and I’ll feel somber respect for the one who isn’t there.
Things aren’t much perkier on the running front.
I still feel exhausted, more sore than normal, and mildly ill.
Monday… I overslept a lot. So much for getting right back on track.
Tuesday I ran something over 4 miles, easy, and I actually felt pretty good by the end.
Today will probably be another rest day unless I can sneak in a rare evening run.
Either Thursday or Friday I really want to do some speed work on the treadmill, and then the weekend looks gorgeous for outdoor miles.
I’m seeing forecasts in the 50s, so I definitely plan to try for a Saturday and Sunday run if I feel ship-shape.