About three years ago while browsing Facebook, minding my own business, I came across an ad for a “bottle-fed calf.” It was disturbing for me to consider the doe-eyed baby was being sold as household merchandise along with rusty golf clubs and outdated appliances, but it was more disturbing to consider his fate. The sellers were asking three hundred dollars. I offered them six hundred if they’d bring him to us.

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My wife and I knew nothing about cows, but that didn’t matter. We were already home to several rescued horses, dogs and cats and would dedicate our one vacant barn stall to the little Jersey steer.

When dealing with animals, we operate under the principle that however you treat them, they will treat you in return. They will rise to your level of expectation. We had already seen this with “feral” cats that now flop on their backs for a belly rub whenever we walk past.

We’ve treated Bobo like a puppy since he arrived, much to the dismay of the veterinarian’s and “cow people” we’ve met along the way. “You’ll need a stock for him,” our vet advised. We were cautious, but unswayed. As a result, he acts like an overgrown dog, looking to play and get his hair brushed and his belly scratched. We let him wander the barn at night when we tuck everyone in and dole out nighttime treats. “Bobo, it’s bedtime” is all I need to say for him to turn around and go back to his bedroom.

We never dreamt our lives would one day be changed by a cow, but we’re thankful every day that we happened to be in the right place at the right time. Bobo McCowlister is no longer a bottle-fed calf, but is always looking to make new friends on Facebook.

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Bottle Fed Calf Bobo

Bobo meets mom

… And dad

New bedroom

Bobo settling in

A year and a half old

Losing baby teeth

That Jersey attitude

I’ll drive

Almost bigger than mom

That’s the spot

Snow storming

With the gang