It’s 7:30 on a rainy Friday night. My phone rings. A cow is having difficulties calving, and I am on call for the school’s ride-along program. Immediately, I head out of the store I was in and hop in the car. After speeding down the highway, I arrive at the school and I am sitting in the truck, waiting for the others to arrive before heading out. Within a few minutes, everyone was accounted for and we were en route to the farm.
Upon arrival, we followed the farmer to the cow’s location. The rain kept coming down, it was nearly impossible to see anything ahead, and I could feel my boots sinking into the mud below. The cow was held in a makeshift wooden chute. The vet reached into the cow, and then the fourth-years soon thereafter, to feel for any abnormalities and to figure out how the calf was positioned.
Reaching into the bucket that we had brought along, the fourth-years removed a pair of chains. The chains were fastened onto each of the calf’s front legs and the students began to pull. With a few strong pulls and thrusts from the cow, the calf was expelled from the dam, and it plopped into the muddy earth. No movement, no breathing, and no signs of life. The calf was dead, and the vet had to inform the farmer that the cow most likely wouldn’t breed back again based on what he felt during his palpation. Having completed the job, we helped the farmer move the calf, and then trudged on back to the truck.
While most people would be miserable on this rainy night, I was as excited as could be. Even though I only got to hold a flashlight, emergency moments like these are what I live for. It was a sign of everything I have been working toward and everything that will come.