David’s Dog was a Surrogate Mom to the Poor Calf

When I was growing up in rural south Alabama, I witnessed one of the most loving acts of kindness in Valentino, David’s pet dog. “Tino” was a black lab dog…probably a mix of some sort. He was truly a very good, loving pet.

Tino usually went with Dad to check the cattle. Dad had to do this pretty much every day. He had to count them to ensure that they were all safe and where they were supposed to be. That is, not on the train tracks! Dad was careful to watch the expectant mothers and the ones who had babies. See, sometimes a cow would desert her young for no apparent reason. Cattle farmers see it happen all the time.

One day we went with Dad to check the cattle, and we found a little, tan calf who had been deserted. Poor little thing! Here’s the kicker: Tino went over to that calf and started licking it all over, like he was its mom! He licked it clean of its afterbirth (yucky!) and kept licking it. Then he lay down by that poor little calf and would not leave its side. In fact, when it was time for us to go home from the pasture, Tino would not leave that calf! This was unusual because Tino always, always came back home with us.

I can’t remember what happened to the calf, or when Tino finally decided it was okay to surrender his surrogate duties, but I’ll never forget it! I’m posting two pictures, below. One is of Tino with his foster calf, and the other is Tino jumping up and saying, “Woof!”

Congratulations to entrants of the cow challenge! I had four submissions. Mom, David, me, and a nice lady named Linda Meadows! Since I can’t count myself or my family, I declare Ms. Meadows the winner! See answers, below:

Linda: Jersey, Holstein, Black Angus, Long Horn

Dave: Brahma, Holstein, Hereford

Mom: Angus, Hereford, Polled Hereford, Brangus, Brahman, Holstein, Charlea (sp? French), Ashshire (sp?).

Me: Bramah, Charlay(sp??), Black Angus, Red Angus, Jersey, Hereford, Semintol

Auburn University website: Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Pinzgauer, Chiania, Brahman, Charalois (it sounds like “Char-Lay”… neither Mom nor I knew how to spell it!), Gelbvieh, Simmental, Beefmaster, Polled Hereford, Brangus, Santa Gertudis, Salers, Shorthorn, and Maine-Anjou

Auburn probably lists the most common breeds around the state. I went to Oklahoma State’s website, and there is a whole alphabetized list—I guess from around the world. Who knew! 🙂

Hope you all enjoy this heavenly sunshine today!

Tino_Calf    Tino_Calf2

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