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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Meet Lazarus

Lazzie was born on time, just a little smallish. She was quite "unique" (read ugly)  looking.

For one thing, she didn't have the sleek fur a Jersey normally has but instead she looked like that favorite teddy bear that's been through the spin cycle in the wash a myriad of times!

In addition to her many "cowlicks" she was possessed of a massive under bite  which she proudly displayed  throwing her head high in the air when anyone walked by so they could be impressed with her charms.

At about one week of life she got scours (an upset tummy) which is common between day 7 - 9 of a baby calfs life. Only she got worse instead of better. I moved her to a spot beside the door of the office and erected a plastic tent over her pen with a space heater to keep her warm. She was lethargic and disinterested in everything, including eating. I medicated her and when she wouldn't eat I tube fed her. When she was past the very worst she would  drink her bottle but only an ounce at a time. So I rigged up a bottle feeder to hang in her pen so she could have her milk as she saw fit. This was all happening during the coldest part of our year, deep into January and early February. Every night I would go back around 11 and refill her bottle with warm milk with added electrolytes. I would make sure she had plenty of fresh hay to sleep in and that her space heater was blowing very warm air. Then I would cover her over like a blue bubble and think "she probably wont make it through the night..."

Every morning I would go back and pull off her tent and there she would be, laying there looking half alive but her bottle would be EMPTY. Sometime in the middle of the night she would get up and drink her bottle. All day long she would lay there listless barely able to be coaxed in to eating, I added vitamin B shots to her regimen of medicine, probiotics,  and zinc. Each night I would leave a warm bottle and think, tonight is probably the last night I will see her.....

Each morning there she was....not acting normal but alive, AND her bottle was always empty. It got the the point that even the morning milkers that come at dawn would carefully pick up the tent and look under, thinking this would be the sad day but NO!

There had to be a way to get her interested in life so each day I started letting her out of her pen to walk around freely amongst the other calves while I was there to keep an eye on her. She would stagger around and walk as much sideways as forward and then with no warning she would collapse on the ground. A few minutes later she would rise....stagger around and collapse. At first I would run to help her up but when I realized she could get up when she was ready I quit interfering. It was very alarming to visitors and delivery guys who would be here at the time. They would see this little ragga muffin calf staggering around and then fall  down and would ask if there was something wrong. I heard

"Hey lady, is that calf OK?" many times during that period.

 Each night back she would go in to her toasty warm pen and I started leaving two bottles and each night I would hope for the best and each morning the milkers would greet me with "she rose from the dead again one more time"

Honestly she became the focal point of our morning salutations. Instead of "Good Morning"  it was

"She made it!"

Gradually she started to eat during the day. During her times out of her pen she quit falling down and started to walk more forward than sideways. Her strange tremors that she had slowly disappeared. It was time to give her a name.

I was surprised to see that the name Lazarus is of female origin when I googled it (yes I did) so really what else could her name be?

Only very special calves get 2 ear tags. Most just get one. It was very touching to arrive at work and find Laz with her identity tag in one ear and her vanity tag in the other which said:

So little miss Lazzie Pizazzy is doing so well she has graduated from her individual pen into a group lot where she lives with her homies and runs and plays in the sunshine.


  1. Your tender care and vigilence helped, but she has determination.

  2. oh this is just so wonderful...i pinned it

  3. Thanks Teresa,

    you are exactly right. She has determination written all over her doesnt she?

  4. Thank you Martyanne!

    I appreciate you!