Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Animal Stories from

FROM The Gentle Barn
May 2019

When I first met Lucy, saving her from a slaughterhouse, to me, she looked like a magical creature, smelled like a teddy bear, and felt like an angel in my arms.

Cow Lucy
Lucy (left) with Ferdinand (right) and a friend in the background

Lucy was rescued with two other cows from a very wealthy man who had many exotic animals as pets. When he sadly lost everything in the stock market crash in 2007, all his animals were sold. But the cows were going to go to slaughter. His staff thought that unfair and called us to give them a forever home. The first time I met Lucy I could not believe how small and adorable she was, instantly falling in love with her pink nose, fuzzy ears, and long eyelashes. To me, she looked like a magical creature, smelled like a teddy bear, and felt like an angel in my arms. As she followed behind me onto the trailer with so much innocence, I vowed right there and then to take the absolute best care of her and love her with my whole heart.

Lucy was more of a showpiece at her former home, so she flourished with the daily attention at The Gentle Barn. She loved affection and could not get enough pats from us. She loved posing for pictures, holding still for hugs, and giving her energy to all who needed it. Lucy was always gentle, kind, thoughtful, and loving. She was careful with the smallest child, and often was surrounded by fans as they brushed, pet, and leaned into her. She often brought people to tears, opening their hearts, making them feel wanted, and leaving them with a smile. She helped thousands go vegan! She soon became very important to me, whenever I was having a hard day I would get a hug from Lucy and she would make everything better. My favorite part of every day was in the evening when I would give bedtime cookies to the cows. All the others pushing and shoving to be first, and get more, but Lucy would sit quietly, humbly, and patiently asking softly with her panda eyes. I always brought cookies to her and made sure she had as many as she wanted. She deserved them all! She always said thank you and showed so much appreciation.

Lucy was so giving that when we saved an orphaned and lonely calf from slaughter needing a friend, we thought of Lucy right away. She fell in love with him at first sight, and groomed him, played with him, and protected him. Lucy loved Ferdinand so much that she produced milk for him and officially adopted him as her own. We could not believe it! It was the most miraculous thing we’ve ever seen! Before adopting Ferdinand, Lucy was slowly aging and becoming slow and quiet. The minute Lucy met Ferdinand she was aglow with purpose. Her face shined, there was a spring in her step, and she was Literally beaming. Lucy nursed Ferdinand three times a day. She would stand still as long as he needed with a blissful look on her face. She gave him a bath every night until he was sopping wet all over. And each night she put him to bed with kisses. During the day Lucy patiently played with him, head bonking and exploring the yard with him. She always let him eat and enjoy cookies before she did. And she showed him how to love people to eventually become an ambassador. Lucy raised Ferdinand and helped him become a big, happy, healthy boy.

By the time Lucy adopted Ferdinand she was in her late teens and had already developed mobility issues. For over a year we did everything we could to keep Lucy mobile, comfortable, and strong. We gave her rich hay and grain to keep weight on her, acupuncture and massage therapy to keep her walking, Sun Chlorella to boost her immune system, and CBD for comfort. For a year Lucy healed Ferdinand's heart, raised him, and introduced him to the other cows. Last weekend, without warning, Lucy could not stand up. Jay and I, all our staff, and our veterinarians worked hard for twelve hours to get her to walk. After trying everything we could, the veterinarian ran out of options. When Lucy started demonstrating neurological issues and seizures, our vet helped Lucy out of her body so she wouldn’t suffer. I held Lucy’s face in my arms, I told her over and over again how much we all loved her, and I thanked her profusely for loving Ferdinand. Her generosity, self-sacrifice, and nurturing surpassed anything I've ever seen!

When Lucy could not stand up, the other cows watched intently while we tried to help her. When we ran out of options and waited for the vet to come, they formed a circle around her, taking turns being with her throughout the night. An hour before the vet arrived to help her out of her body, all the cows simultaneously exited the barn, leaving Lucy alone with Ferdinand to say their last goodbyes. I followed the other cows out, letting them have their own space. Ferdinand lay down facing Lucy and they stared into each other’s eyes for a full hour, saying everything they had to say. When our vet arrived Ferdinand understood and left his mom with one final kiss goodbye and joined the others in the yard.

And just the way Lucy loved and gave to Ferdinand, the other cows took over when she transitioned. Our matriarch, Karma, and the daddy of the cows, Forgiveness, have not left Ferdinand's side. Faith has been licking and grooming him ever since. Ferdinand’s family has been supporting him as he eats, sleeps, grieves, mourns, and recovers. Their love for each other, their capacity to understand so deeply, their ability to let go so gracefully, their dedication for each other takes my breath away and inspires me to be a better human. We have so much to learn from them!

Lucy left an enormous legacy behind, and she will forever live on in Ferdinand, her family, and all of us who’s hearts she healed, opened, and loved so much! Thank you for knowing her and for loving her with me. We will miss her and heal from this together!

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