It is with a heavy heart that I am writing you to tell you I had to put little sweet Lucky down. As you know, she was suffering with a mysterious leg problem for quite a long time now – almost a year. She did fairly well during the warm summer months, but was now hardly able to walk. She was balancing and hobbling around the pasture. At times I'd have to bring her hay and she would eat lying down.
(sad footage - of Lucky eating-some may not want to watch)
After a family discussion, we did decide to butcher. Wasting her meat seemed disrespectful and we have come to terms with the fact that if these animals are not used for food they will become extinct leaving only factory farm cows.
I held off as long as I could, but at one point I thought Lucky could no longer get up. She did, but barely. We were expecting a big snowstorm so I got Gnatalie out of the pasture and tried to get Petite. But when the butcher came, Petite just wouldn't leave her side - no matter what I did.
I had them take Lucky away in a trailer - so Petite wouldn't have to go through anymore. Gnatalie mooed a mournful moo. It was hard on all of us, but I was terrified ice, coyotes or cougar would take her in the middle of the night and it would be far worse.
I know I never settled up with you regarding her - as she was the-add-on - and I feel miserable that this has been the way it went. I feel I have let you and her down. I just want you to know she was loved and snuggled.
She weighed less than 300 lbs. I don't know if this is normal or not - as I've never had to do anything like this before. Would you like her meat in exchange? Or is the money better?
Let me know what you're thinking –
I am so sorry for you! It is so hard to do, even when you know it is the right thing. I have had to face this exact decision, and have done so mourning all the way. Even when it is butchering time around here, no one goes without me feeling sad for days afterward. You gave her a good end to her short life by caring so much, so I know looking back on this, it will be the small comfort we find. I was happy you elected to keep the family together, and consider that you have done more than your part in this sad situation. You do not owe me anything, and the meat is yours to do with what you wish.
Thank you for caring. Many people would not see what a toll caring so much takes on a person, but I believe that that very same thing is what also brings us our greatest joy. The fact that you can even love a headstrong red heifer to the point of catering to her every need when she can't get up makes you a very special person she was lucky to know.
I am bawling as I write this, because every one of my babies leaves a picture in my mind of moments spent, funny things witnessed, and character traits that had to be learned in order to train them easier. She was a sweet, stubborn girl that will be missed.
Take care, and please stay in touch!
I am crying too at your kindness, generosity and understanding. Lucky was the sweet one - as opposed to that troublesome but oh-so-lovable Gnatalie. I have tried to console Petite and believe she is now very connected to Gnatalie.
I so appreciate our chats. Your words to me early in the summer helped through this. I can't tell you how many times I could hear your words of support and encouragement. It was wonderful just to talk with someone who understood the dilemma, the sadness and my hope she would recover. I will always wonder if there was something else I could have done. Penicillin perhaps? However, I do know that when the time came there was no other option. If she had been a dog - I wouldn't have let it go on as long as I did- and that was my final way of deciding. She deserved peace.
Rest assured she had a glorious warm summer and was able to keep up grazing and snuggling with her mom.
When things went from bad to worse, Petite would lick her face trying healing her and comforting her. I would stand watching them at the edge of the pasture, simply amazed at the love between them. Of course, there were other times when Gnatalie and Petite would push her when it came to food and I would worry she would fall down and not be able to get up. At the end she just didn't move around at all.
Thank you again; I am privileged to know you,
p.s. I have enclosed a picture of healthy Lucky for you.