It was a bad time for Baby the cow. Not only had she been deprived of sight, but suddenly she had also lost her best friend. Yes, Lulu the pig had always comforted Baby with her constant presence, but then, without warning, she was gone. Through the darkness, though, something comforting brushed against Baby.
Don’t Forget Us Pet Us (DFUPU) is a very special place in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, with some equally special residents. Baby, for example, is a sight-impaired cow who until recently lived closely with a pig called Lulu. Such a pairing isn’t unusual on the DFUPU sanctuary, in fact.
Indeed, the rescue park is something of a haven for odd couples, all of which have had their own sad starts to life. The sanctuary, then, offers these often previously neglected or abused animals a second chance at life. And just like Baby and Lulu did, they often find comfort in each other.
Blind Baby was once bound for the slaughterhouse, so she obviously had a very short life expectancy. However, she was saved by the sanctuary and made a new life for herself as a resident. After rescuing Baby, though, the DFUPU wanted to ease her loneliness.
Finding a partner for Baby was a problem, initially. “I had tried to pair [her] up with other animals, and it just didn’t work,” Deborah Devlin, the sanctuary’s manager, told The Dodo in 2016. In the end, it was Lulu who proved herself to be the perfect partner for Baby.
Lulu the pig had experienced her own tricky start to life, in fact. She was born on a farm, but, shortly after, she was accidentally crushed by her own mommy. Lulu subsequently lost most of her ability to walk and was sent to the DFUPU sanctuary.
“She had been in a litter and she hadn’t been handled,” Devlin explained. “So those first couple of weeks she would squeal [at a touch], thinking you were going to hurt her. But she very quickly became trusting and loyal.”
Under the DFUPU’s tender loving care, though, Lulu eventually got back on her feet – figuratively and literally. The sanctuary workers also figured that she would make an excellent friend for Baby. “The pig was plenty sturdy,” Devlin said. “If the cow accidentally bumped into her, [Lulu] would be okay.”
The connection between the two was instant, and they became inseparable. Not only did Lulu become a companion for Baby, but she also became her light in the darkness. Yes, the cow’s best friend was her “seeing-eye pig,” and the two went everywhere together.
“[Baby] always knew where everything was, because of her,” Devlin told The Dodo. The animals also shared a common limitation in that neither of them were able to ever leave the farm. After all, Baby was too unsteady on her feet for a transport, and the vehicle was “no match” for Lulu.
The perfectly mismatched couple understandably touched hearts across the world when news about their pairing reached social media. Inevitably, though, the two had to part one day. And eight years after the pair met for the first time, Lulu passed away. So in April 2016 Baby was left in darkness once again.
The blind bovine was seemingly distraught at the loss of her friend and apparently went into mourning. “I always knew that when Lulu passed it would be hard for Baby,” Devlin confessed. No one, however, could have predicted quite how hard she would take it.
“If she wasn’t eating, she was crying for her pig — mooing and going in circles. She [couldn’t] walk far or else [she’d hit] something,” Devlin continued. Meanwhile, DFUPU was called in to help another cow who shared an origin not too dissimilar to Baby’s own.
The bovine in question was a fiery little calf who had proven herself to be a real moo-dini. Despite being bound for the dinner table, she refused to accept fate and made it past the fence on her farm. She then lived as a fugitive for several weeks.
It seemed that not even the chilling New England weather could douse the calf’s spirit, but she was eventually recaptured. Still, it wasn’t long before she masterminded a second escape attempt – this time, though, she was leading two other runaways to freedom. Alas, the second jailbreak ended in tragedy.
The calf’s fellow fugitives were struck by traffic and sadly didn’t survive the accident. The calf herself dodged the traffic – but couldn’t evade her captors any longer. However, she did end up evading dinner, thanks to a woman called Jean Briggs.
Briggs had followed the calf’s escape attempts, and, moved by her zest for life, she had bought the bovine’s freedom. “This rogue calf of Dartmouth… had run for her life,” DFUPU wrote on its Facebook page. “Jean was going to give her a chance to live it!”
Briggs sent the calf to the DFUPU sanctuary for that chance. “When the calf unloaded into her small pen, she was nervous and timid,” Wimp.com reported Devlin as saying. However, that didn’t last long. “She quickly saw Baby and she blasted that gate off its hinges,” she reportedly said.
“It was still secured on one side by a chain so she jumped the four-foot width of the gate and ran to Baby’s side,” said Devlin. “The bond was immediate, the love instant.” Suddenly, light had returned to Baby, and it would seem that she’d learned a thing or two from Lulu’s care.
“Even though Baby has never had a baby… she takes care of, protects and nurtures this little calf,” said Devlin. “All the things Lulu did for her. It is so incredible!” Lulu will always be missed, but she showed Baby that we can all get by with a little help from our friends.