Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hornless Holy

GI Joe and I had last Monday off as it was the last day of the kids' spring break and we had taken a little trip to Minneapolis for the weekend. I'll tell you stories about that another time. We got home from MN on Sunday night but Monday we had very important business to do. The business of dehorning Holy Cow. Well, not US technically, but the vet. It was long overdue and the vet had time to do it at 10:30 on Monday morning. We opted to take Holy to the vet rather than the vet coming to us because as tame as Holy is we didn't think loading him would be a problem, and why not save the vet's farm visit fee? After all, I had just spent 9 hours at the Mall of America on Saturday so I was all about the saving money on boring stuff (ie: vet visit), you understand.

Even though it was the last day of sleeping in Spring Break freedom, Blade had requested that we wake him up so he could help GI Joe load Holy into the horse trailer. He thinks he's a livestock loading expert since he successfully helped in the loading of Hormel, when she went to her new home and all . I know, you're probably surprised I didn't just buckle Holy into the backseat of the Princess Mobile but he's kind of a big boy these days, so the horse trailer it was. GI Joe and Blade drove the truck pulling the horse trailer out into the pasture and up the hill where Holy was hanging out and of course Holy went bounding over to greet them. And bound he does, I really must get video of this someday, it's absurd. Holy wasn't alone and pretty soon, a llama, 2 horses, and 2 donkeys were all up in GI Joe and Blade's business making it rather difficult to focus on getting Holy in the horse trailer. Holy himself was no problem once he spotted the sweet feed GI Joe had in the bucket for him. His love for sweet feed rivals mine for Reese's Eggs.  He followed GI Joe right on into the trailer but so did the llama. The llama who did not need to go to the vet. Have I mentioned that Boise the llama is like an obnoxiously affectionate cat? Because he is. My wish for a llama as affectionate and loveable as Wally/Conway has been granted x 20. When GI Joe is working in the barnyard whether building something, repairing something, or whatever, someone has to be out there with him to PLAY with the llama. Because if the llama is not sufficiently distracted and getting love from someone else he has his head on GI Joe's shoulder and is nudging him repeatedly trying to get him to pay attention to him. It makes fence mending and building rather difficult, so I'm told. Loading Holy was no different and Boise wasn't thrilled with the prospect of Holy getting to go somewhere and be with the humans and he didn't.  Somehow GI Joe and Blade finally managed to get the llama OUT of the trailer and the cow IN.  As for me, I was exhausted just watching all this from the deck while drinking my morning coffee. 

So we took Holy to the vet, the same vet whom we took our very sick llama to.  He's a great guy and I think he realizes that we aren't his typical farmer customers.  If he didn't know that before he certainly figured it out on this particular day.  As we were unloading Holy, which let's be honest was simply a matter of opening the trailer door and saying "Come here Holy" the vet asked GI Joe, "So what's his story?  Are you raising him to butcher or what?"  To which GI Joe said, "Oh no, it's her pet, " and nodded his head in my direction.  The vet looked at me and then looked at my 800+ pound "pet" and said, " as in FOREVER?!?"  GI Joe just nodded as if to say, "I KNOW but you try telling her cows are only for eating." 
The vet led Holy into a pen and told us he'd have him ready for us in about 15 minutes if we had any errands to run.  When we got back after spending our 15 free minutes at the farm store in town, the vet greeted us, laughing, and said, "Well, that is the TAMEST steer I've ever dealt with.  He just followed me around and kept trying to kiss me.  Sure beats him trying to trample me or eat me like most of them do."
Then he showed us the new and improved Holy and told us that the dehorning went as smooth and easy as it possibly could in large part to the overly tame steer who just stood there and let the doc do whatever he wanted to do to his horns.  Then he told us Holy's stats....851 POUNDS, 49 1/2" long, 98% percentile.  OK just kidding on the length and percentile, but you guys?   I have an 851 pound PET, my life is complete and my dreams have come true. 
Then the vet asked me if I wanted to keep the trophies.  It took me a second to figure out what he was talking about.  I thought maybe he was giving me a trophy for raising the most awesome cow ever or the coveted Tamest Steer Award but alas he was talking about the actual horns.  I said yes, and he handed me a bag with Holy's horns in them.  I'm either going to put  them on the mantle, above our front door,  or above our driveway like they do on real cattle ranches in Texas, because you know, we have ONE cow and live in Iowa so it's basically the same.  So what if those are usually horns from Texas longhorns and these horns are about 1/10 the size, I dare to be different.  :) 
We paid the vet, (who knew it's only $20 to have your cow dehorned?!?) and then we took Holy home and let him out in the pasture.  I'm pretty sure he was kinda ticked at me because he wouldn't even come near me once he got out.  In fact, he kinda looked at me like, "First you take my bullhood and now you take my horns?!?  Unforgivable." 
He's since forgotten about it and we're back to our state of bovine bliss. 
Here he is before.....

He's sexy and he knows it.  

And after....

So for a mere $20 we got a new mantle/door/driveway decoration, bruised thighs, scrape protection on the barn, and unlimited, justified use of the line "Ahahahaha Holy's not horny anymore!"  MONEY. WELL. SPENT. 


  1. your after picture didn't post....but good for you for raising such a wonderfully tame cow. I would have loved to see the vet's response to Holy just following him around ;)

  2. Thanks Mary! I reposted the after picture. As you can see he's a pretty terrifying beast...or not. :)