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Della R.I.P.

May 30, 2010

Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura

I woke up this morning thinking this was the day that Della would turn the corner.  Hoping it would be the corner I was wishing for.  But it wasn’t.  This bird was soaring over the field, but today he lit on the barnyard gate brace instead of gliding off over the canyon.  I’ll spare you the details.  Della is resting under a favorite fir tree.  Good cow Della – 11 calves and countless gallons of milk and cream.  Thank you ❤

Sweet baby Jane.

76 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2010 9:54 pm

    So sorry for you! I hope Jane lives up to her mother’s hoofprints!

  2. jean permalink
    May 30, 2010 10:00 pm

    I’m so sorry. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  3. Emily Laing permalink
    May 30, 2010 10:13 pm

    What a precious gift she gave you before she left…

  4. May 30, 2010 10:17 pm

    Oh geez. So, so sad to read this news. My stomach fell when I read the title. I’m so glad that you got to experience such a great bond with such a great animal, and I thank you for sharing Della with all of us. I learned so much through your messages about her, and I sure will miss seeing posts about her. I’m so glad you have Jane to carry on Della’s legacy, and am looking forward to watching Jane grow up … she’s a beauty like her mama.

  5. May 30, 2010 10:22 pm

    I am so sorry. I feel for your pain at having to say goodbye. A good life and a clean death are the best any of us can hope for, your love and care of the lives in your steading shine through your writing to reach many.

  6. May 30, 2010 10:28 pm

    Oh, I’m sorry to hear that Della’s gone. 😦
    What a sweet little calf!
    Thanks for all the sharing you do in this blog.

  7. Coco permalink
    May 30, 2010 10:50 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  8. May 30, 2010 11:14 pm

    I’m so sad! I’m sorry for your loss of Della. Thank you for sharing her with us.
    I am looking forward to tales of Sweet Baby Jane…

  9. susan womersley permalink
    May 31, 2010 12:32 am

    I’m so sorry that you lost Della. I hope you and sweet baby Jane have as many wonderful years together.

  10. May 31, 2010 1:41 am

    I am so sorry. I can’t imagine, after that many years, how terrible this loss is for you and yours.

  11. May 31, 2010 2:02 am

    I was so hoping you’d have good news about Della today! I am so sorry! Let Sweet Jane know what a wonderful mother she had, and snuggle her on the head for me!

  12. Kay permalink
    May 31, 2010 2:08 am

    Oh my. This makes me cry. ((Hugs)) I know it has to hurt. She left you a beautiful gift in Jane.

  13. Nathan Strange permalink
    May 31, 2010 2:34 am

    Oh, I am so sorry…{{{hugs}}}

  14. May 31, 2010 2:35 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Della served your family well for many years – animals like that are special. I hope Jane grows up to be as good a cow as her Mama was. She is a beauty for sure 🙂

  15. May 31, 2010 2:56 am

    I am so sorry to hear this. My condolences to you, and best wishes to Jane.

  16. Mary Lee permalink
    May 31, 2010 2:59 am

    I am so sorry.

  17. May 31, 2010 3:00 am

    I’m so very sorry. My heart and soul ache for you right now. Sweet Baby Jane will be a beautiful reminder of Della. My thoughts and prayers will cover you today and the days ahead.

  18. Ali permalink
    May 31, 2010 3:09 am

    So sorry to hear this news. How generous of Della to give you Jane before she left — she is a beauty. Best wishes,

  19. May 31, 2010 3:25 am

    I’m so very sorry Nita. I know you loved Della deeply and gave her a beautiful life. Hopefully Jane will work out and be able to continue her mom’s line as your milk cow. I hope so, she’s a beautiful little gal.

  20. May 31, 2010 3:27 am

    I’m so sorry. I know the time has to come, but it never gets any easier, does it?

  21. May 31, 2010 3:32 am

    Della was well cared for and lived a good life. Sweet Baby Jane is just gorgeous and I am sure will be the same. Sorry for the loss though as I know how attached I get to my farm animals.

  22. May 31, 2010 4:12 am

    What sad news. I’ve enjoyed you sharing the life of Della with us over these years. We’ll miss her, too.

  23. May 31, 2010 4:24 am

    Oh gosh my heart sank when I read your title. Rest in Peace Della. You knew a wonderful life and now your daughter can do the same.

  24. May 31, 2010 4:32 am

    So very sorry, Nita. Thank you so much for sharing her with us in so many ways. Hugs to little Jane, and all of you. 😦

  25. May 31, 2010 4:52 am

    Sorry to hear of your loss. It was obvious from your posts that you had a special connection to Della. At times like this, “thank you, and goodbye,” is all you can say.

  26. Michelle permalink
    May 31, 2010 5:00 am

    I am so sorry. I was really hoping Della would get healthy again. Thank you for letting us know her story, and for continuing to share your world.

  27. May 31, 2010 5:03 am

    Oh, I’m so sorry. A great milk cow is such a gift to have lost. I hope baby Jane is doing well.

  28. May 31, 2010 5:10 am

    Aww, I’m sorry 😦

  29. AKA Angrywhiteman permalink
    May 31, 2010 5:12 am

    Please accept my condolences, trusted friends are tough to lose.

  30. Marilyn permalink
    May 31, 2010 5:12 am

    I cried when I read this post. There was something captivating about Della. I always felt peaceful when I looked at her pics. She always looked contented. She had a good life. I’m so sorry for your loss and thankful that you have sweet baby Jane.

  31. May 31, 2010 5:20 am

    sorry to hear about your loss

  32. May 31, 2010 5:25 am

    So sorry for your loss

  33. May 31, 2010 5:36 am

    So sorry to learn of the loss of your extraordinary Della.

  34. May 31, 2010 5:39 am

    I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you. And Jane.

  35. localnourishment permalink
    May 31, 2010 5:46 am

    I’m so sorry. Della and you were so blessed to have each other.

  36. May 31, 2010 6:06 am

    I’m sorry. What a wonderful life she led. And what a wonderful gift she left you.

  37. May 31, 2010 6:17 am

    oh sooo sad. Hugs to your family.

  38. fie permalink
    May 31, 2010 6:30 am

    I’m sorry for your loss. She will be missed!

  39. May 31, 2010 7:03 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. So very sorry. I was just looking back through your blog last night and came across the picture of her laying down in the grove of trees – such a beautiful picture. Thank you for sharing her with us on this blog. I’ll be thinking of you. Jane’s lovely.

  40. May 31, 2010 7:04 am

    Ugg. I know that these things happen and you’re okay with facing them but I’m very sorry for your loss all the same. I’ll miss hearing about her!

  41. May 31, 2010 7:10 am

    Sorry to hear about Della.
    Death is never easy. A new calf and knowing you did your best are perhaps a bit of a consolation…

  42. May 31, 2010 7:14 am

    Those turkey vultures always know. We NEVER see them here, unless there is something big and dead somewhere close. I am fairly new to your blog, but have read a lot of the older posts.
    Thankyou for giving Della a great life, it is always hard to lose a well loved animal.
    Jane is a cutie, I hope she grows up to fill Della’s shoes, I mean hooves.

  43. May 31, 2010 7:16 am

    Oh, Nita. I am so sorry. I have learned so much through you from her. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  44. Marcia/WY permalink
    May 31, 2010 7:50 am

    Darn it…I so hoped it would go the other way. So sorry Nita.

  45. Tami permalink
    May 31, 2010 8:06 am

    That sucks. Hope you are hanging in there…losing a friend on who’s flank you’ve rested your head for years must be very hard. May she rest in peace.

  46. omelay permalink
    May 31, 2010 8:17 am

    SO sorry. ❤

  47. May 31, 2010 8:29 am

    I am so sorry for your loss…

    Hopefully Della imparted more than just life to Jane when she left this world.


  48. May 31, 2010 8:47 am

    Oh damn, I’m very sorry to hear this. Take the time you need.

  49. Lucy permalink
    May 31, 2010 9:17 am

    I’m so sorry. Jane really is a gift, isn’t she? Looks like you have a good start with her. Hoping this loss doesn’t set her back.

  50. Emily permalink
    May 31, 2010 9:49 am

    My heart sank at the title. My thoughts go out to you and your family. I lost a doe last year and it was heartbreaking. She left behind two young kids, one a beautiful doeling who looks just like moma. I have a bond with this doeling that I haven’t had with any of my other goats. Jane is precious, love the name! I will miss Della, she was a beautiful healthy older lady, and I’ve enjoyed your sharing her with us, the good and the bad.

  51. May 31, 2010 9:49 am

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you find comfort in her baby Jane.

  52. Linda Zoldoske permalink
    May 31, 2010 10:05 am

    I am so sorry.

  53. May 31, 2010 10:51 am

    Thank you for sharing Della’s life and passing with everyone.
    Your experiences with Della and raising a family milk cow have helped countless people make great decisions.
    I bought my first milk cow last year, after wanting one for years, but not before reading the great advise from “Is a family cow for you?” .I then knew I was up for the commitment.
    I hope my Ginger (Jersey) brings me as many blessed years as Della has for you.
    My heart goes out to you and sweet baby Jane.

  54. May 31, 2010 11:06 am

    So sorry, checked back to hear an update. It’s always sad to lose a loving animal.

  55. Rita permalink
    May 31, 2010 11:28 am

    I’m so very sorry. This hurts and she’s not even mine.

  56. May 31, 2010 11:28 am

    I’m so very sorry about Della, but I’m glad that she left you a beautiful baby to care for. That has to give you some consolation, I hope….

  57. May 31, 2010 11:30 am

    So next time, would you do the same thing after she lost her calf, or would you do something different?

  58. May 31, 2010 12:43 pm

    you have my deepest sympathies. that’s really tough news to hear; i was hoping for a turn around. sweet baby jane has some big hooves to fill! and what a beautiful precious baby she is.

  59. Lynn permalink
    May 31, 2010 1:32 pm

    So sorry for the loss of your sweet Della.

  60. Sincerely, Emily permalink
    May 31, 2010 1:37 pm

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Emily

  61. May 31, 2010 3:08 pm

    I’m so sorry, that’s just sad. I’ll be thinking about you.

  62. May 31, 2010 3:52 pm

    Ahh, real life is hard sometimes. RIP Della, I learnt so much from the posts about you.

  63. May 31, 2010 5:43 pm

    Well this news just sucks 😦 ! I was hoping she’d turn the corner for you too Nita.

  64. Mitty permalink
    May 31, 2010 7:14 pm

    I am so sorry. I know she was special to you. What a beautiful gift she gave you in Jane before she died.

  65. May 31, 2010 7:30 pm

    i am so sorry. this must feel devastating. i am glad though that right through to the end she was Yours and you were Hers—- she made sure to leave you jane before leaving you. she knows that you will raise jane the way that she wants jane raised. she can leave knowing that her baby will be raised accordingly and appropriately. the mere fact that she held on long enough to deliver this gift speaks for itself.

    she left you an incredible gift. think about it.

    you have done incredible work here MOH – you have taught a lot of us how it really should be done. and you have made Della proud.

    i am a big empathizer but i know that i am only feeling 1/4 of your loss and pain. and i am so sorry.

  66. May 31, 2010 9:09 pm


    Della was a cow. A cow. Livestock.

    And a part of a cherished lifetime of labor.

    No matter that we knew her time would come, sometime, it hurts.

    We take on livestock, a cow, with a responsibility and promise to value that animal, to nurture, provide for, and protect that bit of life, for as long as is responsible in meeting our needs for family, community – and those acres and animals we call “ours” for a time. We cannot help but feel sorrow for missing a friend, nor can we avoid a helpless feeling, for being unable to provide whatever it might have taken to “turn this corner”.

    A cow, any livestock, that is “down” is a special kind of trial, emotional and moral. With her passing , Della’s distress is over. Now all that is left is to respect the lessons we learned with her, to cherish the other presences in our lives, and to reassure ourselves that whatever we might have done better, we will do next time. Even if that is simply to watch and wait.

    Della was a cow. A cow. Livestock. And a part of a cherished lifetime.

    Blessed be.

  67. June 1, 2010 5:29 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss!!!!

  68. June 1, 2010 8:52 am

    As someone that just dug one of those big holes (or rather made Mike do it) you have my deepest sympathies. Even when they’re not really pets we can mourn them just the same.

    And I hear you on the steak for dinner. We ate chicken the night we had butchered our broilers. It was the last of last year’s roosters and damn was he tasty. 😀

  69. Tracey permalink
    June 1, 2010 1:24 pm

    So sorry to hear about Della. I think it has been very brave the way you have so honestly shared this aspect of your farming life.
    FWIW think *all* your posts have so much to teach those of us who don’t farm but care about the health of the planet and where our food comes from.

  70. June 1, 2010 8:35 pm

    We’ll all miss her, not in the same way as you, but just sayin’…

    And thank you for sharing her extraordinary life with us.

  71. June 2, 2010 12:37 pm

    I am so sorry for you! I wondered all weekend how things were going with Della. It is so horribly hard to lose a friend and she was just that a very good friend.


  72. Dawn permalink
    June 2, 2010 9:39 pm

    So sorry to hear about Della’s passing. I loved reading about your love for her. Jane’s heart on her forehead is Della’s parting message to you.

  73. June 3, 2010 7:31 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. You honored her by the life and love you gave her. I can not imagine how difficult loosing Della was, but I am gratful you have her little baby Jane. I know Della will live on through Jane.

    Thank you for sharing Della’s life with us.

    Be at peace.

  74. June 4, 2010 7:28 am

    My heart absolutely sank when I read this post. I am so very sorry for you loss. It’s so sad to lose an animal and a very special part of your family. I felt like I also knew Della through all you’ve shared here. God’s Peace, Melissa

  75. June 4, 2010 12:01 pm

    So Sorry for your loss. I know how much Della meant to you. Hugs, Kim

  76. hilary permalink
    June 16, 2015 7:17 am

    I understand where you are coming from. It’s 2015 and I am reading this and coming to know you, your family, your homestead. I grieve for Della. I am glad she is at rest under the fir tree. Blessings.

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