If you have been with me for awhile, you’ve heard me talk  about Shooter. Shooter is a favorite cow. She was a member of our family. Candace was just a little tyke when she was born. That makes Shooter about 10 years old. A pretty good life for “cow years”. Anyway, about 2 weeks ago she decided she’s had enough…..it was time to flutter on up to cow heaven. It was a sad, sad day for our family. Earl Troyer got milk 071.jpg     Yep, this was our favorite. Nothing will ever replace “Shooter”. We never put tags in her ears………they were perfect and we didn’t want to mess them up. She was a “fine looking bovine”. The day we took this picture……Earl found her laying by these trees all by herself. We walked over there, gathered around her, and took our Christmas pictures with her. She didn’t move an inch. Moms phone pictures 2015 383.jpg     She was the “Queen” of the whole farm. We often found her off by herself somewhere…..away from all the stress and drama of the other bovines. The “herd” got on her nerves. She thought they were all a little over dramatic. If we saw the rest of the cows acting “skiddish” and pretending to go “crazy” over something, we always looked for Shooter. Was she alarmed about anything? Was she looking nervous? Did she smell anything funny? If she was cool, calm, and collected……we knew the “herd” was just trying to stir up trouble. She was our “go to” cow. 144.jpg     She always acted very annoyed when I started taking her picture. She just endured it for a few minutes, and then she looked away…….as if to say, that’s it, go away, I’ve had enough! ct phone pics 1959.jpg      She was a “ham”. We could pretty much do whatever we wanted to. She would just stand there, and drink up the attention. She loved it….even though she acted “perturbed” at times. Hahahact phone pics 1975.jpg     I don’t think she’s very impressed with our little stunt. I know exactly what’s going through her head……..get this crazy hat off of my head! What do you take me for….an idiot or something?! This is NOT funny!!058.jpg     This was one of the last pictures I took of Shooter. She had just delivered her calf early that morning. Everything seemed fine, but she had a very difficult delivery, and things were drastically wrong inside of her. We don’t know for certain what happened, but she had some kind of internal bleeding going on. One of those things that you can’t do anything about.071.jpg     This is her newborn calf….only a few hours old. The calf was born “breech”, which means that it came out backwards. Cows never have a calf on their own when the calf is breech. Earl and Michael had pulled it early that morning, and everything seemed fine. We still don’t know exactly what was wrong with the calf, but it went to “cow heaven” with Momma too. Being born “breech” is stressful. Earl Troyer got milk 078.jpg      Earl was with Shooter for her last few minutes on earth. He rubbed her head, scratched her ears, and told her not to worry….she doesn’t have to do anything…..just lay still and we’ll take care of her. She was cool, calm, and collected when she “fluttered to cow heaven”. Marshall took it hard…..he’s so tender hearted about pets. I was the one that broke the news to Candace. She was devastated…..it put the “sad” in her day. Earl and Michael didn’t show any tears….they’re real men….but inside they were crying too. I went to bed that night fighting back big tears……like I’m doing right now. Don’t think we’re crazy for shedding tears over a big ole cow. We saw “Shooter” every day, twice a day, year after year. It’s easy to become attached after spending so much time with them. Now don’t get me wrong…………..we have plenty of cows that I DO NOT become attached to. And I’m pretty sure they won’t make it to “cow heaven”, just sayin……….. So, there you have it…..the “Shooter” in our life. Oh yeah, her name originated from a shooting star. She was born late at night and right afterwards, Earl saw a shooting star flying through the sky. So now, when you see a shooting star……….it’s probably Shooter saying hello…………………………….Carol

P.S. Next summer I’m planting a flower garden in her honor. Some old favorites and some new favorites that I want to try. I want to buy a concrete cow and paint it with her markings for the centerpiece. I have big ideas! Hahaha