Saturday, November 29, 2008

Annie Goes Home

Today was a big day in the short life of Annabelle Lee. After lots of chin scratches and advice about how to get along in the big old world (from Annie), she went to live with her new Mom, Pamela. Annie, as you remember, was the star of the video taken on July 18, in which she appeared seconds after her birth, and the calf who caused us such consternation when she refused to nurse from her mom.
The girls have been eating solid food for months now, and had been put up at night away from their moms. This past week, amid much bellowing and crying (ours, mostly), we separated them from their moms for good. So, they were fully weaned in preparation for this important step into adolescence. In the photos, Annie steps bravely into the trailer that will take her to her new home. Okay, maybe not too bravely, as step two took about 5 minutes, but she got there in the end.

There is nothing in the world more appealing than these tiny fawn-colored calves, and nothing more lovable than one raised with a bottle. It would be tempting to keep them all. But we know this isn’t feasible, and we also know that Annie’s loving personality will brighten the lives of her new family and everyone else who meets her.

On Monday, our newest canine resident, Cassie, went to visit the nice folks at Ridge Animal Hospital for some reproductive reorganization. As much as we love this little dog, we know that the shelters are overflowing with dogs just as sweet, and that bringing more of them into the world is just irresponsible. Thanks to Dr. Gates, Cassie sailed through her surgery and is now ready to enjoy a life free of heat cycles and aggravation.

And the winner of the contest to find Mr. Right is: “Son of Fat Louie” owned by Fonnie Thoman! Aside from the fact that we just love his name, this good-looking guy is everything we were looking for in a potential dad for our next calves. He is tiny (39 inches), refined, has a good temperament, and most important, is completely unrelated to Bessie and Rosebud. This last attribute isn’t as simple to find as you’d think, as the American Miniature Jersey Association Registry contains only about 700 members. So we have a call into the AI technician, some champagne chilling in the refrigerator and the complete collection of Barry Manilow ready to pop into the CD player.

We are hoping to introduce them (in a sort of clinical sense) in December. In the meantime, we will hang pictures of him in the girls' stalls and tell them stories about his feats of bravery and daring, while emphasizing that he is also very sensitive and a good listener.

Photo of Son of Fat Louie by Fonnie Thoman.