Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

This calf is special, and that's no bull


Courtesy Photo

Cowboy stops to visit with a local on one of his nightly walks.

Cowboy isn't just your average calf. From the very beginning, he was destined for great things.

"I was cow sitting for a friend of mine while he went on vacation," said Cowboy's owner Kurt Brower of Kimball, Neb. "During this time there was a calf that had been abandoned by his mother, who also was being picked on by other cattle in the herd. He was just born in January, so he needed to be bottle fed to survive, so I started spending quite a bit of time getting to know him."

It didn't take long for members of Brower's family to take to the calf.

Brower added, "My daughter Hadley, who is a special needs child tends to really like animals and I thought she might like to help bottle feed Cowboy. Hadley seemed to enjoy helping Cowboy get his bottle and was so happy while doing this. It was then that I decided that Cowboy could be something for Hadley to talk to people about, thus helping her speech and sensory issues. That is how Cowboy became a part of our family."

Cowboy is not your ordinary cow.....no...not at all. Cowboy likes to swim at the lake with his family, can climb stairs, play at the park, as well as meet and greet many new admirers. Many people around town have shown their support when seeing Cowboy out on his frequent walks, and even people driving by, will stop to see Cowboy and pet his neck (which he really likes). Besides having his neck scratched, Cowboy enjoys when the children at the pool come out at break time to sit on him. But then, the children also will go across the street and fetch some apples from the tree by the school to reward Cowboy for being so patient and kind to them.

Cowboy seems to reach across the vast span of disabilities and to all age groups. He has a calm demeanor and lets the children and adults sit on his back, as long as they scratch his neck. The one thing Cowboy does not like is when someone stands in front of his face. He will make sure to let you know this is not OK by using his head to butt you out of the way as a gentle reminder.

Hadley was able to show Cowboy at the Kimball/Banner County Fair this year in the bottle feed calf division. The family chose this division for Hadley to show Cowboy in since this division does not require the owner to sell the calf.

"All the kids as well as adults love to be around Cowboy," Kurt continued. "Even when Cowboy is at the lake swimming, our dog will get up on his back to swim with him. Once a little boy in a wheelchair was at the lake, and he just loved feeding Cowboy some apples. This makes him so happy."

When asked how Cowboy has changed Hadley's life, Kurt is proud to say, "Hadley now has something that is exclusively hers. She can't be in sports and other things, but she now has Cowboy as her sport. Hadley likes to be get out more since Cowboy has come along. She smiles and shares more about Cowboy when visiting with people."

Cowboy is just not your normal, everyday cow. He has turned out to be a wonderful therapy cow for so many different people, from many different walks of life.


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