I mourned a cow today.
His name was Dudley.
Dudley passed away after having a ruptured ulcer in his stomach. At the time he was recovering from surgery on his leg. He lived at The Gentle Barn in Knoxville, TN, a wonderful rescue organization
Let’s make this clear — I never met Dudley. I’ve followed his story online for a few years now, and I’ve kept up to date on the good that The Gentle Barn does. They rescued Dudley when he was a young steer, nursed him back to health, and got him a prosthetic hoof. The staff have provided this gentle being with unlimited love and kindness and a better life.
Founders Ellie Laks and Jay Weirner initially started a barn in California, then Tennessee, and now one is being established in Missouri. The Gentle Barn rescues abused and neglected animals and gives them a home. They then open that home to others with the purpose of teaching children, including kids who have had rough lives themselves.
When I first found out about Dudley’s death, I sobbed at my desk. Some folks might think it a little odd to cry over a cow that was a stranger, but it wasn’t just that. The world lost a living being. He had been through so much, and the barn had given him a second chance. His story had now ended.
If only more beings (humans and animals) were shown such compassion, our world would be a better place. We’re all just eking out a living on Earth. I was prepared to write more about sadness, grief, and the cathartic feeling that we can gain from those emotions, but for now let’s just reflect on this:
A little love and happiness can make the darkest moments bearable and the brightest moments even more special. Extend that compassion to everything in your life.
Rest in peace sweet Dudley.
To learn more about Dudley, visit:
To learn more about The Gentle Barn, visit:
*Images found via gentlebarn.org.