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Goat becomes blind calf’s best friend

December 22, 2018

CRESTON, Iowa — Rodney the goat was just a kid when he became the other half to what many refer to as “the odd couple.” Fast forward almost two years land he is now hailed a hero because of his enduring relationship with a red-haired heifer named Rosie.

Cattleman Rick Friday, of Lorimor, said he had struggled with how to help Rosie, a Hereford Red Angus crossbred calf, born in March 2017.

Rosie, who was born blind, struggled to eat at first, but was eventually able to bottle feed on her own at six days old. As Friday continued to feed her, he noticed she behaved peculiarly after each feeding by walking in circles.

“Constantly. All day long. It would just wear me out,” said Friday.

Friday started visiting Rosie more frequently, which calmed her down. He realized what she really needed was companionship.

“Cattle are very social creatures,” he said.

Friday attempted to acclimate blind Rosie to a group of her peers, but, as she bumped into the others in the pen, they all became frustrated.

“They were very aggressive toward her,” said Friday. “She’s the one that started it, so they were hitting her, but she couldn’t see. They were beating her up pretty good.”

Worried for her safety, Friday removed her right away, but Rosie was hardly impressed by his efforts to help her.

“Our relationship was not very good because she thought I did it. She didn’t understand. She’s blind. She doesn’t know what she is. She just wants company,” said Friday.

Three months later, Friday found a buckling goat for $100, but the goat was weaning off his mother.

“I thought that would be a perfect opportunity, because he was getting read to detach from his mother and thought he would attach himself to Rosie,” said Friday.

And, it worked.

As Rosie became acquainted with her new friend Rodney, Friday’s son suggested he tie a bell around Rodney’s neck to help Rosie sense his presence.

“Well, it scared the goat, the goat scared Rosie, and Rosie about run over us there in the lot. So we took the bell off and locked them in a really tight pen,” said Friday.

The next morning, Friday found the odd couple laying side by side.

It’s been a friendship ever since.

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