The New Year's Calf... - Elizabeth Langford

I'm Liz and God designed me to be an encourager, a dreamer, a story teller and most importantly, a Kingdom builder.

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The New Year’s Calf…


Knock knock. Who’s there?  It’s Prince. Prince Who? Prince the Calf and I need to get warm!

Confused? You won’t be in just a minute.

2011 has been an interesting year… and we’re only 5 days into it.  BJ, Lily and I spent the Christmas holidays in Northern California on my parent’s cattle ranch. It’s freezing cold outside.  Some days it snows. Every day BJ helps my mom feed the cattle, allowing my aunt a much deserved vacation from feeding. {My mom and my aunt do all of the winter feeding on the ranch.  They’re nickname is the “Pink Mocha Twins” and they can often be seen in a feed truck going through the drive through at Gold Rush Coffee in Yreka, California}.  This past Monday was the end of our two week Christmas vacation on the ranch.  Until… an 8 hour delay in the Rogue Valley airport prompted me to kiss my husband {and my in-laws that had come for New Years} goodbye and rebook Lily, our Jack Russell Terrier Katie and me for a flight on Friday morning.

The worse part about extending our trip by four days was not getting to spend all of our 7th wedding anniversary together. Monday marked 7 years since the “BIG DAY” for BJ and me. An airport with a whining dog and a screaming baby does not a romantic setting make.

The best part about extending our trip was getting to meet the “New Year’s Calf: Prince.”  While on the phone with the airline yesterday morning I got a call from my mom.  I couldn’t answer, so it went to voicemail.  The voicemail sounded something like this, “I found a cold, sick calf in a ditch this morning.  So I put it on the back porch between the kitchen and the family room in front of the heater.  Just wanted to give you a heads up.  Oh, and it smells really bad, it has scours.” {If you’re not a familiar with the term, scours is neonatal calf diarrhea. It’s incredibly dangerous for the calves because it causes such extreme dehydration. It’s also incredibly stinky}.

If you grew up in an urban situation this might really change the way you feel about me… but I’m a country kid and when you have the opportunity to save the life of an animal, you do what needs to be done.  Luckily for Prince, my mom is the Florence Nightingale of calves.  First Prince could only lay in front of the monitor heater.  He hardly moved for several hours.  Then I heard a noise from the other side of the door, a low “mooing” sound.  That was the first sign that Prince was on the mend.  An hour later he was able to lift up his head.  A couple of hours later we moved him out to the family room in front of a sliding glass door.  We wanted to slowly start acclimating him to colder temperature.  At about six o’clock while watching the Sugar Bowl, Prince stood up, all on his own.  About 15 minutes later he was settled down into a stable in the horse barn and spent the evening bedded down in straw.  This morning Prince was reunited with his very anxious mother and can now regale his fellow calves with stories of Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora the Explorer, and Lily dancing around and riding her Barbie quad in the house. {The red on Prince’s head is a marking that let’s us know that a calf has been “worked.”  It has received it’s vaccinations, it’s ear tag, etc..

Livestock in the house is not the norm… but yesterday wasn’t the first time.  It probably won’t be the last.  The satisfaction of seeing that calf make it back out to the field with the rest of the herd was well worth a day spent taking care of a stinky calf and all the clean up that came after it moved out.

Hoping you have had a wonderful 2011 so far.  I see Prince’s recovery as a great omen for a New Year full of health and growth.

{The picture to the right is Prince’s mom… Prince is underneath her getting ready to have some good fresh milk.}

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