When you lose someone you love, it can be devastating. Humans aren’t alone in their ability to feel loss, animals can feel it too. Overcome with grief, it can be tough to keep going, especially alone. So it always helps to have a friend by your side.
Huckleberry the cow was brought into the world just two days before his mother passed.
According to his owner, Rachel Beasley of Virginia, his mom likely died from eating too many acorns.
“I am comforted by the fact that she didn’t suffer long and her death gave my sweet boy a chance for a very long life,” she told The Dodo.
Shortly after Huckleberry’s mother passed away, Beasley lost one of her favorite animals.
Grace the sheep had been experiencing severe arthritis and was struggling with the cold winter weather. She lived until she was 16, about half a decade longer than a sheep’s average life expectancy. Beasley described Grace as “one of the great loves of my life.”
“Grace loved attention and would come running to me anytime I was in the field. I could tell you Grace stories all day, but trust me when I say she was incredibly special,” she continued.
Beasley shares her 38-acre property with a variety of rescue animals, including several pigs, chickens, cats, dogs, and sheep. She is a vegetarian who one day plans to open an animal sanctuary. Yet her property is also shared with her father, who raises animals not as pets but as livestock.
“He’s had them since long before I was born. But they have lots of pasture and are well cared for, unlike many others,” Beasley said of her father’s animals. “He doesn’t understand, but he mostly respects me.”
Huckleberry originally belonged to Beasley’s father. Once he was orphaned, Beasley knew she had to take him in as one of her own.
Beasley took care of Huckleberry, giving him food, milk, and scratches. It helped to fill the Grace-sized hole in her heart.
“I bottle-fed Huckleberry twice a day, much longer than necessary,” she said. “I honestly still miss bottle-feeding him. I don’t have any human kids but it was such a special time with myself and Huckleberry. My favorite memories are calling him and having him come running to me for his bottle.”
Huckleberry turned 1 year old on November 26. This date held a lot of meaning for Beasley, so she decided that a celebration was in order. Beasley and Huckleberry wore matching party hats (which she had previously used for her dog’s birthday) for the occasion and shared some tasty food.
She tried scouring the internet for a cow-friendly birthday cake recipe, but was unable to find anything, so she settled for regular bovine treats.
Huckleberry was very appreciative, but that’s nothing new. Huckleberry loves everything Beasley does for him.
“It was emotional for me remembering him coming to me and reflecting on the last year,” Beasley said. “I so needed that precious boy. He enjoys every day of his life.”