Calf Poses As Dog To Survive Hurrican Harvey

author photo or placeholder By: Riley Brown | Last updated: Sep 27, 2023

Many people have a one-dimensional view of cows, seeing them as the black-and-white creatures from whom we get dairy and meat products. They munch on grass all day and make a “moo” sound. However, one cow is changing the perception of cows as barnyard animals.

Source: Tammy Canton/Facebook

A calf was born after Hurricane Harvey passed through the Houston area. Everything was in ruins. However, she improvised a novel strategy to avoid death.

The Devastation Of Hurricane Harvey

Many people in Belize, Louisiana, Nicaragua, Texas, and other regions in the United States and other countries were utterly wiped out by Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017. Tammy Canton and her hubby, who live in a low-lying area of Texas, were put in a difficult position due to the flooding of nearby streets and rural pastures.

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There were thousands of people in Canton’s situation, and she and her spouse were only one of them. However, it was not just the hurricane that brought them a new set of challenges.

The Cantons Act As A Refuge House

Two more families and eight more canines found refuge with the Cantons. Consider the chaos that would ensue if this were happening in your home right now. The family had just a small house in Fulshear, Texas.

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All of a sudden, Tammy’s partner had an idea that would make life more challenging for everyone and require more room–specifically because he had noticed something. One never knows what will turn up in a storm, so brace yourself for this unexpected development.

Their Shelter Gains A New Member

What is the very last that you would anticipate happening if faced with the aftermath of a hurricane? After the hurricane had passed, one of the cows suddenly went into labor and gave birth to a healthy calf.

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“My husband noticed she [the calf] was standing in water not nursing from her mom,” Tammy said.  In most cases, the mother cow will continue to care for the calf after it has been born; however, if the calf is not breastfeeding from the mother, this raises urgent problems. Something might be wrong.

The Calf Was Soaked In Water

“The water was extremely cold,” Tammy observed, “and the pasture was holding quite a bit of water.” The poor tiny calf was completely drenched in water. Just picture what it would be like for a dog to be out in the rain, only ten times worse.

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Tammy further mentioned that the calf appeared to be “weak and shivering from the cold rain.” The pair needed to take action immediately. They could not allow their new pet to perish in the freezing weather.

In A Hurry

It is common knowledge and a well-established scientific fact that young animals cannot live for very long on their own, particularly in harsh environmental conditions. This calf obviously couldn’t go without help for very long. The timing was of the essence.

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Tammy was aware of the situation’s urgency and prepared to respond accordingly. They resolved to take on the role of heroes once more for the benefit of the calf, despite the fact that the house was already jam-packed with humans and dogs.

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Help Is Coming!

Tammy and her mister had such pure hearts that they walked through the muddy meadow to reach the little cow. Only someone courageous could go out in the wet, chilly weather.

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Upon reaching the calf, Tammy discovered her sorry state of health. She was so frail that she shook so badly in the cold that she could not keep her balance. Tammy felt helpless, saying, “She seemed too far gone for me to help her.” 

Where would Tammy and the calf go from here?

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Harveigh, The Calf

The new baby calf was to be known as Harveigh, as chosen by the family. Her immune system was likely to be weak due to the fact that she was a newborn and the weather outside was unforgiving. It would also be difficult for her if her mother couldn’t assist her.

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For this reason, the vet recommended that Tammy confine Harveigh to the house until she felt better. Tammy realized Harveigh required some personal space and positioned her in the laundry area.

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The Path To Recuperation

After being rescued, little Harveigh had to wait a few weeks before things began to look up for the baby cow. Eventually, she was able to get back on her feet. During this time, she was recouping on a dog mattress and getting her nutrition through hand-fed formulas.

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Tammy and her family were keeping their fingers crossed that Harveigh would be able to return to the pasture once she had fully recovered. During her healing time, Harveigh made some new, incredible friends who helped her tremendously.

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Dog Love For Harveigh

Despite what most people think, pit bulls are pretty happy and outgoing dogs. One evening, Sealy, the home pit bull, lathered Harveigh with some saliva, and the calf’s mood immediately brightened as a result.

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“All of the dogs seemed to love her right away,” Tammy remarked. No one could have predicted that this would be the beginning of something truly extraordinary and unanticipated to come later on. What do you believe might have transpired between Harveigh and the other family members in the coming time?

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Making New Friends

Instantaneously, some truly wonderful relationships began to develop in front of everybody’s eyes. Exactly like in a fable, but we aren’t grumbling about it at all! Harveigh began to recover from the experience that she had been through in the past, and she rapidly came to adore her new surroundings.

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Harveigh quickly began modeling her conduct after that of her newfound companions. She quickly integrated herself into the pack by playing with the canines during the day and nighttime. Who could have predicted this would happen?

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A Friend Among The Animals

The encouraging news is that they felt the same toward each other. It had all the potential to be a great Disney film. Is it possible for a pit bull to form a strong attachment with a newborn cow?

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Source: Tammy Canton/Facebook

Tammy stated on her Facebook that Sealy enjoyed playing with Harveigh by cleaning up and protecting her. “These two have such a special bond.” She wrote. The only word that adequately captures the nature of this connection is “special.” We do not doubt that Tammy was savoring every moment.

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Harveigh Needs New Accommodation

It’s common knowledge that a household cannot safely house a cow. Harveigh quickly reached a weight of 400 pounds, making it difficult for the couple to continue keeping her as a pet, forcing them to create a new decision on what to do with her.

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The size of Harveigh’s body increased to the point where she no longer fit in the washing room. As a direct consequence of this, she needed a new place to go. So now, what will Tammy and her hubby do with Harveigh?

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Problem With Harveigh

Only one thing can happen to an animal if it has become accustomed to living inside for an extended period of time. The animal in question will become accustomed to the comforts and dislike being forced to go back outside. This is what took place with Harveigh.

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Source: Tammy Canton/Facebook

She eventually refused to graze in the meadow with the remaining six cows. She would always return to the house after visiting the barn with Tammy and her husband, mooing.

What other options do they have to help her?

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A “Cow Condo” For Harveigh

The couple wanted to do anything they could for Harveigh. They devised a plan to help Harveigh without causing her happiness to suffer. The end product was something they referred to as the “cow condo,” which they erected.

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Source: Tammy Canton/Facebook

They transformed the backyard shed into a cozy home for her to live in. Oh, for “mooing” out loud, she even had her private space heater in there! She was making the most of her situation in this residence–a cross between a barn and a house.

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Not the Place She Wanted

They did everything possible to ensure that Harveigh felt at home in her new digs, but she still hated it. On her first evening there, she opted to spend the night outside the door leading into the main house.

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They were perplexed as to why she did not wish to continue living in her cow condo. In the end, Harveigh chose to spend as little time as possible in her own home and instead focused her time playing with the pitbull and other family members. She was never meant to live in isolation.

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Turn of Events

As time went on, Harveigh began to mature and get even larger, as is typical for cows. Unfortunately, because of her increased size, those close to her were at risk. This made her new stature something of a burden.

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Harveigh could no longer freely interact with the other humans and animals as she did when she was a newborn. If the dogs horse-played with her, she might easily hurt them just by virtue of her size. Nobody likes to see a canine in pain.

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Not A Regular Cow

As you have progressed through the narrative, you have discovered that Harveigh did not have the conventional childhood that a cow would have had. Consequently, Tammy was forced to take matters seriously and make an effort to revert Harveigh into a typical cow.

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She had experimented with various approaches to make her a regular cow. Still, one thing that she did consistently was to accompany her on short trips to the barn. Unfortunately, those trips’ outcomes weren’t very positive, meaning Tammy’s attempts were practically futile.

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Harveigh’s Transformation

“We are slowly introducing her,” Tammy expressed. “It’s so hard not to go and just get her out. If she wants to learn how to ‘cow,’ she will need to spend time with them.”

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It’s a matter similar to attempting to train a pet dog to behave appropriately in the outdoors. It’s a challenge for both man and dog. The animal needs more time to understand the situation fully. Nonetheless, Harveigh’s exposure to the other cows outdoors likely aided her understanding.

You assume she finally outgrew the house, right?

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Sneaking in the Backdoor

It’s possible that you have a companion animal who is in the know about something–the key to independently unlocking doors! Harveigh has mastered the skill of getting through the backdoor without assistance.

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When she grew tired of doing cow things, she longed to be a house cow, but of course, a set of regulations must be observed. “I don’t let her free roam in the house,” Tammy said. “Just quick visits to come in and say hi to our dogs.”

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Cow’s Tale

Even though Harveigh had to learn to act more like a cow than a dog in order to fit in with the cows, Tammy still couldn’t resist bringing her inside for a little TLC every once in a while. On exceptional occasions, she even feeds her a dog treat.

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“It fills my heart with joy being able to spend so much sweet time with her,” Tammy mentioned. “She will literally lay her head on my lap and be at peace.” What a fantastic tale.

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