Thursday, April 19, 2007

Annie Investigates -- The Cow Who Thought She was a Dog

Welcome to the first installment of Annie Investigates – a series of entries by my puppy Annie. As a puppy, she is curious about everything. To help focus her investigative instinct, I’ve given her the assignment to look into strange stories and tell us whether they are true or not.

Annie’s first assignment -- verify whether or not a cow from Manti, Utah really thought she was a dog.

Annie’s Report

Rumors, like gossip, spread like wildfire. By the time I heard the story about the cow who thought she was a dog, it came through my boss, who heard it from her husband, who heard it from his neighbor who claims that the said cow belonged to his aunt and uncle. As Manti, Utah is a bit far for a puppy to roam, I decided to start with the neighbor. See what he could recall about his aunt and uncle’s strange cow.

I found Mr. C to be very cooperative during my interview. Turns out that he actually met the cow in question. Later in the cow’s life Mr. C’s family purchased her and converted her from a dog-cow to a milk-cow. But that’s the end of this story. Using Mr. C as my eye witness, let’s start at the beginning.

Dan and Susan ran a small farm in Manti, Utah. Their milk cow gave birth to a female Holstein calf which they named Taffy. Because their farm was small and isolated, Taffy was given more freedom then most calves. In fact, Dan and Susan’s German Shepherd, Sadie, adopted Taffy as her own offspring. Details are sketchy, but it would seem that Taffy the cow imprinted on Sadie the dog, and thus began her life’s adventure.

For starters, Sadie the dog slept on the front porch. Naturally, Taffy did as Sadie did and took up occupancy on the front porch. A small calf sleeping on the front porch with the dog is no big deal, but a full grown Holstein sleeping on the front porch with the dog is, well . . . a really BIG deal! Using the front door soon became a hassle, but Dan and Susan’s family slept soundly at night knowing they were protected by one German Shepherd and one very large Holstein.

Mowing the lawn soon became all but impossible. No one, it seems, wanted to pick up the dog doodle and cow pies before mowing, and mowing over them was strictly out of the question!

Mr. C says that the most disturbing habit Taffy picked up from Sadie was chasing cars. As Mr. C told me about this, his eyes gleamed with mischief. “Well,” he said, “my aunt and uncle lived a ways out of town. Some people who drove past were probably lost, and you can imagine their surprise to look in their rearview mirror and see not only a large German Shepherd, but an even larger black and white cow chasing after them too. That’s when they really hit the gas!”

Apparently Taffy’s lifestyle as a dog became a bit much for her family. They eventually decided that she needed to revert back to her genetics and spend her days as a milk cow. Knowing her attachment to Sadie, however, they thought it best to sell her and separate her from her adopted mother. (You can cry a little if it will help you feel better.)

In the end, Mr. C’s family bought Taffy. Unlike their other cows, Taffy had to be kept in very secure confines. It seems she’d picked up the dog habit of swimming, so fences that stopped at the edge of a pond couldn’t keep her in. And like a dog, she sometimes tried to go under the bottom strand on barbed wire fences. Only the very best enclosures would do.

I know this tale seems hard to believe, but I’m calling it like I see it. Everything hangs on Mr. C’s testimony, and as a dog I consider myself a pretty good judge of character. I say he’s telling the truth.

There really was a cow from Manti, Utah who thought she was a dog. Case Closed.

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