Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhumi Part 2

Bhumi’s excursion yesterday went very smoothly. A lot more smoothly then I was even praying for. It was very easy to sneak Bhumi out of the herd before they noticed. When Valerie arrived I had Bhumi tied up at the end of the lane by the barn happy eating a bale of second cutting hay. Valerie is the very nice lady who hauled us and Jaya to Columbus, Ohio for his surgery. This time Valerie brought her youngest son, who is a very nice boy.

All we had to do was hook up the trailer to her one ton pick-up truck and then load Bhumi. Luckly, I remembered how to do the hook up correctly. At first Bhumi did not want to get into the trailer, but she did want to finish that bale of second cutting. So, she finally got in and we were off to see the vet out in St. Clairsville at Mr. Young’s farm. Once we started driving she settled down and watched the countryside go by. It only took us about an hour to reach St. Clairsville which is a lot better then 3 ½ to 4 hours to Columbus where we had to take Jaya for his operation.

Dr. Moore was waiting for us at the turn off to the farm and he led the way to the barn. By this point, Bhumi wanted out and she came out very easily. Now the tricky part was getting her into the stockade. The opening for the chute was very narrow and at a weird angle so Dr. Moore opened up the side of the chute for her. I walked in first and Bhumi followed me right in. At the end I had to walk out, angle her head and horns, and not let her body out. Dr. Moore then closed the hydraulics of the chute so that only part of her neck with her head and horns were though and the rest of her body was in the chute. This would make it harder for her to move and easier to operate on her eye. The first thing the Vet did was to give her a general pain killer. He then took off her halter and lead rope and put his on Bhumi, and then he tied that to the side of the stockade so it will be somewhat easier to keep her head steady. She felt the general anesthesia very fast; you could tell she was going into la la land. He then shaved around her eye. The cancer she had was very fast growing and had grown a lot since he saw her 2 ½ weeks before. It was growing on her eyelid, in the eyelid, in the corner of her eye and behind the eye.

Bhumi was sedated nicely so Dr. Moore started doing the shots in a circle around her eye and all of us were feeling woozy. I was standing on one side of her out of the vet’s path and Valerie was standing on the other side of her. We were both talking to her and trying to keep her calm and steady. Chaitanya Bhagavat was standing by the control panel for the hydraulics. He job was to throw the switch and release the hydraulics in case she went down on her knees. If she went down with the hydraulics closed, she could badly injure herself. We were really lucky she did not go down and the operation only took 45 minutes from beginning to end.

After he was finished sewing up her eye, Dr. Moore told me I could untie her and take his halter off. I put ours back on and we walked her out of the stockade and back to the trailer for the ride home. Bhumi was moving very slowly as if she had a hangover. It was easier to load her into the trailer this time. She immediately had a couple of mouthfuls of hay. I settled up with the vet, it cost a little more then the original quote due to the advancement of the cancer. He had to take more of the eye area out then planned. Then we headed home.
Bhumi was moving around most of the way home. You could feel it in the truck when she was moving. Valerie and I would look at each other and say there she goes again. Once we got home she was fighting to get out of the trailer. I had to calm her down somewhat so that I could untie her. No way was I just going to unhook her halter and let her out in that mood after her having surgery. Once that was done she literally jumped out of the trailer and started walking really fast up the lane and past the big barn. All of the cows were really excited and happy to see her. They started mooing and walking parallel to us. We put her in half of the geriatric barn that was reserved for her. This way, she is separate but still with the herd. We did not want any of the cows to accidentally bump her eye area.

Bhumi immediately went to the gate that looks out into the silo pad area and into the big barn. She was not happy at all and very upset. Then a really sweet thing happened. Jaya came over and touched her nose. It was like they were communicating and she immediately calmed and settled down. They stayed like that for about 5 minutes. Now what really makes this sweet is that they normally have nothing to do with one another. They don’t hang out with each other at all, she has a higher standing in the herd then he does. Throughout the day either Jaya would be standing right next to her at the gate or other cows would be standing next to her or touch noses with her. It really touch’s your heart to see how much they care and are concerned about one another’s well being and state of mind and health.

Today Bhumi is doing well, eating hay, drinking water, and resting. I tried to give her pain killers but so far she does not want any. I will try again later today when I check on her again.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bhumi part 1

Bhumi, Christmas Day 2007

Since the vet came up to see Radharani, I have been trying to coordinate getting the operation done for Bhumi. I finally got it worked out with the vet and Valerie, the lady who hauled us for Jaya’s surgery. The operation is set for December 26, 2007. For the last week I have been trying to anticipate any possible problems and their solutions that may arise. Also, I have to make sure I have everything ready when Valerie gets here tomorrow morning to pick us up. Dr. Moore has arranged that we are going to use another farm’s barn and stockade in St. Clairsville, Ohio which is about 45 minutes to an hour away. He decided on that place because he felt that the stockade is going to be big enough for Bhumi and her horns. She is very proud of her horns and does not like for them to be messed with or touched.

Before tomorrow morning I need to finish getting the inside of our cow trailer ready for Bhumi and divide up the inside of the geriatric barn so she can have one half of it. Right now Gita is in there with Asha, Shyama, and Dwadasi. Once the surgery is done we do not want Bhuni’s eye area to get accidentally knocked by any of the other cows. So Bhumi will be getting the smaller side of the geriatric barn all to her self for a couple of months. We are lucky it is winter time as there are no flies.

I am praying I will remember how to hitch up the trailer. In the past, I have helped Dad do it. This excursion is going to be hard since Dad is working in the mall this Christmas season out in California. But it has to be done and it has to be done now. The cancer growth is really growing fast in poor Bhumi’s eye so I am just going to have to suck it up and deal with it. I get sick at the sight of blood and for half of Jaya’s surgery I had my head between my knees. I am not going to have the luxury of being able to do that this time. Most likely I will have to be the one to keep Bhumi’s head under control so I am going to be right up there in the middle of the whole surgery. So everyone out there in cyber-world, please pray for Bhumi and I that we both come out of this in good condition.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Radharani has passed on

Radharani with her head on pillow. Gita, Shyama and Asha watching over her. Thursday evening.

I am sorry to announce the passing of Radharani. She passed away Friday evening between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Radharani was between the ages of 23-25 years. When she was passing and ill she was listing to Srila Prabhupada singing 24/7. I am truly going to miss her. Whenever I would enter the barn or pastures she was in, Radharani would try to pick my pockets or nibble on my clothing. She loved any and all treats she could get from anyone. Radharani was a really sweet, gentle loving cow.

One thing that really touched me in her passing was how Gita interacted with her. When ever Gita would sit down he would sit down right in front of her in her line of sight. He was a calming influence on her. He was like a meditating sage/old man giving comfort to an old friend during their illness. Asha and Shyama were also very good to Radharani. They would sit next to her or very close by. When I went to check her for the last time I knew that she had passed just by how Gita was acting. He had this look on his face saying “Radharani is no longer with us; she has gone on to a higher place”. She was not moving at all, usually when I would go to check on her I would be talking to her so her ears and eyes would move to hear and see me. I went over to her just to make sure that she had passed. I petted and stroked her like I usually do and there was no response at all. She was not as warm as she usually was. I knew for sure she was no longer with us. So I went over to Gita who was sitting right in front of her and petted him and thanked him for taking such good care of her. After I went out and closed the gates I called Mom and told her that Radharani had passed and if she could please let her adopter know of her passing.

Radharani was with the group that walked up from Gosh’s and decided to come live with us instead of returning to the big barn.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Radharani is passing

I have been very emotionally upset and drained for the last week so I have been unable to write anything. I would get ready to write and start losing control of my emotions. As it is I am tearing up right now. Radharani is passing and Bhumi needs an operation. Radhrani is one of my favorites, whenever she would see me she would come over and see what kind of treats or goodies I had for her. Bhumi has the same cancer in her eye as Jaya did. But that is another whole blog. Radharani is very inspiring to me on how she is preparing to pass. People could say, “Oh she is just a dumb animal,” but she is very aware of what is happening. She is very calm and meditative right now. Others would say you are doing too much, you are prolonging her pain and suffering, you should just put her down. (I have heard this from devotees when other cows have been passing. I have never heard it from my vet; he always tries to find ways to help me manage their pain. I always think that the devotee is not that realized at all and is missing the whole point. I always want to ask the devotees who say that to me, “How would you like to be treated when you are dying?” The time it takes for a soul to pass, no matter what body they are in, gives that soul a chance to burn off their bad karma and prepare for passing into another world. It is painful for us to watch them but how are we to understand the communication between them and God?

Gita, Shyama and Asha are holding a vigil for her right now and every night Gita sleeps right next to her. I have done everything I could to minimize her pain and make her as comfortable as possible.

Here is the correspondences Mom and I have been having with Radharani’s adopter, Vaninatha dasa.

December 5th:

Dear Vaninatha,

Hare Krishna!

I believe Lalshmi wrote you a note that Radharani's lump on her leg had gotten larger and her shoulder and leg seemed somewhat swollen. She was also having difficulty keeping up with the herd. At that point, we put her in the geriatric barn so she could easily get her food and water. We called the vet, but he only today answered our call and will come tomorrow afternoon. Since she was put in the geriatric barn, the swelling went down and she was getting around well, but just yesterday Lakshmi found her on her side unable to get up. She was lying on the side which has the leg with the lump. We thought that she could not use the leg well enough to push up. We managed to get her to sit up and she was doing fine. Then this morning Lakshmi again found Radharani down on her side unable to get up. She was shivering (it has been very cold here in the 20s and 30s). Lakshmi managed with help of two other devotees to get Radharani up and they covered her with blankets. Later in the day she was found down again. She was then braced by putting hay bales by her side to support her. A few hours ago, Lakshmi found Radharani with her head down and weak. She was still sitting up because she was braced by the hay bales.

We feel there must be something else going on in her body besides the lump on her leg which the vet had previously said was most likely a calcium deposit.. Lakshmi is feeling it is a possibility that she may leave her body in the night as she seemed very weak. We gave her Jamuna water and we have Prabhupada chanting on continuous play in the geriatric barn. Gita, Shyama, and Asha are in the barn with her.

We wanted you to know this latest development as we know you are a loving and concerned adopter. We will let you know how her health progresses.

Your servant,

December 8, 2007 :

Dear Vaninatha Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

The vet came and said Radharani had a stroke. He feels that at her age this may be just too much for her. A year ago the vet analyzed that she was anywhere from 23-25 years old in cow years. That would be 115+ in human years. Either she will have another stroke or she will get better and get up. He gave us some medicine to give her, but although we are giving it to her it does not seem like she is getter stronger. Gita has been watching over her along with Shyama and Asha. They are all sitting around her and a tape of Prabhupada singing is playing.

We will keep you updated.

Your servant,

From: Richard M. Boyden \(Vaninatha dasa brahmachary\)
To: Lakshmi devi Dove
Sent: 12/8/2007 5:50:34 PM
Subject: Radharani............

Dear Lakshmi, All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my respects. It sounds like Radharani, the cow, is getting old and will have a hard time making it through the winter. That is not a problem. She has given her life for helping Krishna's devotees spread the word about Srila Prabhupada's mission, so she knows fully well that she is on the way to Goloka Vrindavana. She is happy and we should all be happy also. The most we can do at this point is to keep her comfortable and content. That is what CFC does, apparently. Even if they feel there is no hope, they keep trying something so the cow feels loved and comfortable. I think that is important--that the cows always feel content.
My best wishes to all.
Yours sincerely,
Vaninatha dasa (Richard Boyden)

December 10:

At this point she is very weak and we don't really know how she manages to breath. She is completely lying down with her head on a pillow and for the last few days she is not eating or drinking. Srila Prabhupada is continuously singing on the CD which we can hear from our houses which are on both sides of the barn.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi