Last Monday, on Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Kelly's dad was out feeding hay. He came to the house and asked Kelly to come help him with something. The next thing I know, there is a baby calf in my basement in front of the wood stove. The mama had given birth and cleaned him off as best she could, but he couldn't stand. By the time Kelly got out there, he was stuck half frozen to the ground. He got him inside, called for the kids, and they all went to work.
Kelly and the kids grabbed all the towels they could get their hands on and began to rub, rub, rub. The poor little guy was very cold. We didn't take his body temperature, but it was frighteningly low.
Caleb really thought body heat would be best! He laid on top of the calf and just gave him lots of love. Then Kelly had to explain to him that he could be making it harder for the calf to breathe, so he laid down beside him instead.
He didn't eat for hours. When they finally got him to drink some milk replacer from the bottle, the kids were over the moon! They decided to name him Martin, since he was born on the Preacher's birthday.
We kept him in the house for three days. The kids got to play with him, love on him, feed him. They were glad when Kelly propped him up and he stood for a few brief stints. Kelly and Pops decided we could move him to the barn. Pops said he'd take care of the morning feed, but Chloe would be in charge of the afternoon and evening bottles. She was very excited.
Things went well for a couple days. But Martin never got up and stood on his own. Sunday night, Kelly prepared the kids. Martin had developed pneumonia, and he didn't expect the calf to make it overnight. They were sad, but stoic. This morning, Kelly found him. He didn't make it. Chloe was devastated. We have lost animals before. They know that's part of country life. But this is the first time it's been so personal. To take care of an animal and then lose him simply broke their hearts, especially Chloe. They do understand the sadness of the circle of life. But they are also learning to take the joy in it while they can. Because all life is precious. And we are truly blessed.