Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We have some sad news to tell you. Nanda passed away Sunday evening the 15th of February 2009. He was fourteen years old. The picture attached was taken in the afternoon of February 15th. As you can see he appears well. What we understand happened is that he lost his balance, due to his ongoing leg and back problems, fell and then could not get up. Such a huge ox, 7 feet at his shoulder, can not last long in a lying position due to much stress on the internal organs.

I had checked the barn in the late afternoon of the 15th, and everyone was fine. We have concluded it happened in the night as we found him the following morning lying in the barn; his soul had already left his body. The other cows seemed calm, like they had already accepted the fact that he was gone.

We are thankful he went quickly as with his ailments he could have lingered a long time because he was healthy otherwise. During last summer, he fell once and could not get up. It was during the day and on pasture. We tried to flip him, pull him, etc. but he could not move. We then went for help and when we arrived later we could not find him. He was found happily pasturing under the nearby trees. That time he was able to get up.

Since he was 3 years old he has had leg and back problems. Throughout those years we have tried different treatments and medicines like homeopathy and acupuncture. These did seem to help and therefore give him a quality life and a longer life. He was able to pasture and mingle with his herd mates till his last hours.

Jaya and Nanda were an ox team. They were named after Jayananda, a very inspiring and pure disciple of Srila Prabhupada! Both Jaya and Nanda have been gentle and gentlemanly despite their huge size (half Simmental). It was a pleasure to be around Nanda as he was never rowdy and aggressive. We will be greatly miss him due to his brahminical nature.

He had the priviledge to be adopted by the same adopter for 4 years and another adopter for 2 years. All glories to Nanda!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February Update

February 11, 2009

Dear Friends,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for your support. Herein is the February update letter.

I (Chayadevi) have been replacing Balabhadra and Lakshmi in the everyday care of the cows in the barn. Ray has been coming almost every day to help me and he has been a tremendous help especially with the heavier tasks. I have finally learned how to pitch hay more efficiently than ever before :).

Now we are having some warm weather, but we had a full month of very cold weather, sometimes -8. There was also lots of ice and snow. I wanted to get you all pictures of this weather but it was a challenge just to get the tasks done in the freezing temperatures.

The water system broke down in the geriatric barn on one of the very cold days. Tejo, our devotee plumber, came and worked on it in the freezing cold for hours. He was very determined to make sure the cows would have water. He achieved a temporary fix that will have to be dealt with when the temperatures are consistently warm.

Everyone is happy with plenty to eat and a warm sunny winter day after freezing temperatures.

It is quite amazing how the cows do not seem to feel the cold, even the Brahmans. They have all grown their thick furry coats. As long as they have plenty to eat and drink, they do fine. Of course, nothing compares to grazing on green pastures. I have noticed that in the very cold weather they eat and drink more. Due to the presently warm weather, they are now in the barnyard enjoying the sun and warmth. Since the lower barnyard was covered with snow and ice, they did not venture beyond the immediate barn area for a month. I do expect that we will get cold weather again before the official winter season is over, but the warmth is a nice reprieve for everyone.

Winter temperatures in the barnyard.

Balaram receiving some love from Madhava on a warm sunny winter day

Health Update
As receivers of the previous updates, you know that Balabhadra had a heart attack and a leg and knee problem that prevented him from walking for over a month. Our recent visit to the heart doctor gave us some information. He has coronary artery disease. One of the main arteries on one side of his heart is blocked. It is very thin in one area and then shortly after is completely blocked. Because the other arteries are in very good condition and the other side of his heart in good condition, he has done very well for so long without incident. Now he is on a cocktail of heart drugs that he seems to be tolerating well and keeps his high blood pressure down.

Due to his acupuncture treatments, he is now walking for short periods of time and short distances. There is still a degree of pain. We have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on February 18. Due to the help of Dr. Piyush Gupta, we have gotten an MRI of his hips and knee and this appointment. Now we have quite a collection of MRIs and X-rays to show the surgeon, since up until now we have been sent for tests but not been given a diagnosis. We will have more to tell you after this appointment.

You also know that our daughter Lakshmi broke her wrist and is now wearing hardware on her wrist and arm. She is the one that usually takes care of the database, monthly letters, gifts, etc. The bones are healing very well and the pain has decreased greatly. A few days ago, the stitches came out. She is now holding down her meals as before the pain medicine made her nauseous. She has the use of only her left hand. Maybe in 3 to 6 weeks the hardware will come off and then she will be in a splint, still with restricted movement. Her pregnancy is progressing nicely and according to her OBGYN her baby is in good health despite all the trauma.

Our Services to You
We want to thank all of you for all the letters of concern and encouragement. We know this time will pass, as everything does, but it sure is helpful to hear encouraging words from all of you. Please be patient with our services to you, monthly update letters, gifts, etc. I have been putting most of my energies into taking care of the cows and now I hope to see to some of the paper work since lakshmi and Balabhadra are feeling a little bit better. As you may have guessed I have never had the inclination or physical capabilities for this part of the service and at 63, I thank Krishna that I have been able to do it. It is actually fun, I just wish I was a bit younger :).

Praying that this letter finds you well,

Coming back from serving the cows at the barn

Your Servant,
(Irene M. Dove)
ISCOWP Co-Managing Director