As we approached we noticed a small calf lying near the cow’s head, sort of whimpering. Then we noticed the calf had an umbilicus attached. Apparently it had crawled to its mother’s mouth to have it chewed off, only to find its mother asleep. After examining the mother, we determined she passed away. We quickly discerned that we should tie off the cord and get the baby ready for transport. It was obviously still new and needed parental help. After assuring ourselves the mother had indeed passed we adopted the calf and carried it home, much like a human baby.
It evidently needed attention and nursing. We had no cows at the farm and we determined that store bought milk would not suffice. A neighbor who raised cows gave us a supply of milk. He had no interest in taking our cow as he did not have the time to attend to it the way we were able. We started feeding our adopted calf from a bottle. We all took turns being mother. Rather quickly our calf showed signs of survival. It was still small, the size of our dogs. It also took to playing with them. Soon it enjoyed robust health and growth. By the time he got bigger than our dogs, we figured out it was a he. We had brought home a baby bull. Except by now he thought of himself as canine.
He would come in and out of the house like the rest of the pack and chased around the yard just like he was a dog. Soon we came to the realization this dog had hoofs. So when he jumped up on person or furniture, the results were different than a dog playing. We found we had raised a bull with the mind of a young puppy. His saving grace was he did not have teeth. Our utmost concern was how could we turn this beast back into a bull. We had no appropriate teachers. He was also getting to the size that dog training techniques would not be effective. We so much wanted to keep him, but his rapid growth was making us think differently. It took some time, but we found the farm from whence he came. After convincing the owner we were not cattle thieves, he became willing to take back his rustled calf who had been raised as a dog. Years later we even found out he fathered calves and none of them barked.