INCOMING!!!  Brace yourself for a Bonnie kiss!


I love her.  I lover her gooey kisses.  I love the way she shows off her kicking and bucking skills, making sure that I’m watching.

And I love the way she took another newborn calf under her wing – or cloven hoof if you’re one of those freaks that demand I be species specific.

Meet Choppa

Our "special" boy

Choppa’s beginnings were of a particularly gruesome sort.  He was found by the farmer firmly stuck in the cow’s birth canal.  With the calf believed to be dead and in a breached position, the farmer followed procedure by beginning the removal of his hind limb (I’ll save you the specifics of this particular medical procedure for dystocia). It took the threat of limb removal for the calf to inform the farmer that he was, in fact, very much alive and not at all interested in what she had in mind with that bone saw.

Choppa’s unfortunate luck did not end there.  As a bull calf born to a dairy cow, he’s what’s known as a bobby calf.  And bobby calves have no purpose in a dairy farm production.  Even though he survived a difficult birth and near dismemberment, he was doomed to be sent to the works (freezer works, abattoir, slaughterhouse – who knew there were so many names for it).

*Sidenote – that guilty pleasure fast food burger you just ate from a large chain American joint?  Yeah, you just ate a little bit of bobby calf along with culled old dairy cows.  No judgement here, just stating the facts.  Culled dairy girls and newborn male dairy calves make up 80% of New Zealand’s processed frozen meat exports.  And those exports are contracted to McDonald’s and Burger King.  Not a piece of sunshiny news but still, you should know what you’re eating.

Anyway, back to Choppa.  The farmer had a vet come out to help her with this troublesome little calf and the vet happily took the calf off her hands.  Now named Choppa, he’s growing and thriving at the Massey large animal hospital and will be raised as a pet.

His arrival was a huge relief to all of us who work at the hospital.  As much as we love our little Bonnie, she needed a buddy of her own species to romp around and play with.  And with Choppa sharing her stall, she now had someone to watch her bucking skills.

But Choppa…..we suspect he may have been deprived of oxygen for just a teensy bit too long.  He’s a bit, uh, dopey.

Yep, dopey's the right word for this guy

The last I saw of my beautiful Bonnie, she was showing Choppa the ropes.

I just got word from the hospital that my Bonnie has gone home with her adoptive owners to be raised as a pet.  As much as I’ve wanted her to leave the hospital so she could run, play and do all the things that calves get to do, my heart hurt.

This isn’t the first time.  Ernie, or Sir Awesomesauce as we all came to know him, left many broken hearts when he went home.  Even Penny the mean-ass pig left us feeling down when she left.

I often wondered about my Suspicious Sheep (you remember her from a previous post, she never had a name).  Always giving me the stinkeye, I grew very fond of her.  And then one day she was simply gone with no information as to where she went.  I worried about her.  She’s a campus sheep which means she may very well end up as one of our specimens in anatomy lab.  Then one day my worst nightmare came true, I walked into lab with a table filled with individual sheep limbs for us to dissect.  Every limb I saw, I kept thinking “Is this my girl!?  Is this why I can’t find her?”

A few weeks later I was in the hay barn wrestling with an unwieldy stack of hay.  I had a funny feeling I was being watched.  So I turned around and let out a shriek of joy.

Is it? Is that my Suspicious Sheep?

It IS my Suspicious Sheep! And now she has a mini Suspicious Sheep to keep her company

I head back into the hospital tomorrow.  I wonder who I’ll fall in love with next?