Yesterday was one of the hardest days we've had on the farm as our beloved steer, Hey, passed on about 11:30 a.m.
He had been in slowly declining health for the past couple of years, suffering the effects of old age. We estimated him to be about eighteen and he has lived with us for over fifteen years. So it does help a little bit that he had such a long life and he was so well loved. I am also grateful that it was not a long, debilitating illness that took him but more likely a heart attack or some other quick event.
I wish I had taken some pictures of him on this past Saturday as that was the day Donna and I gave him his spring bath. We spent a couple of hours with him, shampooing him, brushing him, and drying him off with a big fuzzy towel. All the while we talked to him, told him how handsome he was, and made sure he knew how grateful we were to have him in our life. Yeah, we really did talk that way about a cow. He was a very special member of our family.
Here's a 2006 photo of Hey preparing to devour a waffle. He loved baked goods: bagels, bread, cake, you name it. Curiously, neither of the other cows ever cared for them. Just Hey.
Here is the earliest known photo I could find last night of Hey. He was between two and three years old when we adopted him to save him from the slaughterhouse. That is Donna giving him a kiss. We kissed him on the head nearly every single day of his life.
We can't thank our friends Marty and Lorie enough for being here with us yesterday and making the arrangements to get Hey buried in a sunny spot on the property. We talked about the trade-off we all make when we decide to have a pet. They will leave us too early and it will hurt badly but in return we get a few years of love and joy from having them in our lives. The love we give and get from our furry friends is indeed a blessing.
I'll close with my favorite picture that we have of Hey, from about 2000 or so I think. Even with all our other pets around, his presence will be missed for a very long time. Goodbye, sweet boy.