This little lady needed our help urgently. We were phoned direct by the farmer for help, and to go and see her. This shows our message is getting out there! She has suffered an unknown traumatic event which has caused paralysis in a rear leg. The farmer wanted her to get better and have a life where she was cared for. He does not have the time to give to her and at this point in her life it is unclear if she will stand and, therefore, may not be a profitable enterprise. He did not want to put her to her death, and was very pleased to relinquish her to our Sanctuary.
It is vitally important that we can help this little one, most obviously to save her life; but also to encourage the farming community here to contact us for help, to welcome us into their farms and hear our message about treating animals as sentient individuals. To understand we are knowledgeable and not city dwelling idealists with no idea of logistics, hands-on toil and animal husbandry, which is sadly how most of the farming community regard all vegans.
Little Luna arrived safely. While we were transporting her I could feel the weight of her in my back, pulling at the tow hitch. Her presence was a physical feeling, not just an emotional one. I wondered whether all those that take animals for slaughter can feel the weight of the beautiful lives pulling behind – a reminder of who they are taking and where? I found this sensation strangely overwhelming, made more poignant when we passed the slaughterhouse, which would have been her destination. As we passed, several trucks full of her kind were visible, with the ‘fresh flesh’ lorries loading at the other end. My heart was profoundly heavy, knowing she too could smell the stench in the air. We knew she would be scared, unsure and feeling vulnerable as it was her first trip away from the home she had known and her mum. Her first time on the road. We drove slowly, circumventing every pot hole, worrying around every bend so she was as comfortable as possible. We cared; I cried at the lost lives, the unnecessary suffering of other families, their losses and their grief.
As soon as we arrived home she was unloaded by carrying her into a deep fresh bed. Despite our best efforts she had started to cry. Not imagined tears, not the whimsical flights of fancy that those who eat cows believe we make up. Salty tears that dripped down her beautiful, ginger cheeks. I dried her face and washed her down, getting a feeling for what she had endured. We then took it in turns as a family to stay with her through the day and the night, waiting for the vet to arrive. Gwynnevere read to her for most of the afternoon. Through the night Alba and Morrigan snuggled up in the sweet straw with her. In the morning she was more at ease and calling to us if we walked by the barn, without saying hello.
As the days went by little Luna began to improve. In rehabilitating anyone who has suffered a catastrophic event, every small positive landmark is a victory to be celebrated in the long journey. After a few days, all the necrotic tissue that had been festering on this baby’s previously untreated pressures sores sloughed away! Using my tried-and-tested Miranda's Marvellous Moist Medicinal Unguent, tested on anyone that stands still, the alarming and considerably large sores are now all freshly bleeding, which for anyone not in the know is an extremely good thing! Her tail is no longer raw with maggots living inside the flesh, but has dried out and scabbed over.
In the scheme of her long road ahead, this is just a tiny shuffle forward, but it is forward! We have no idea on her prognosis at this stage, we have no idea if she will be able to weight bear, but we do know she is now comfortable and her skin is healing. She is eating and drinking well. She is kind and loving and accepts our administrations of care with a head rub and a sniff to our faces. Our beautiful little girl that needs us for all her needs, trusts in us to do the right thing. No different to the little human girl that admiringly gazes into her eyes. Two different species, both with the same trust and need to be cared for with kindness.
Our naming fundraiser on Facebook, revealed ‘Luna’ to be the calf’s name. Thank you to everyone that took part. This helped us to buy the straps needed to lift her and are now ordered. It also has bought some sweet straw for her bedding, enough for her through the months of October and November.
Our regret is that we were not able to intervene sooner and, thus, stand a better chance in helping her to walk. That we can't tell her mum, whom still loves her and misses her that we will do right by her and that she is cared for and safe.
If you would like to sponsor this little lady monthly, please get in touch, her needs will be considerable.