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AndyAndy is a former veal calf, rescued together from a dairy farm with calves Ralphie and Elvis and brought to Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in 2004—our very first cow residents!

Andy, Ralphie, and Elvis are good friends and are often seen eating hay, hanging out in the barn, or laying out in the grass by one another. However, Ralphie and Andy have a special bond.

In 2009, Ralphie started stumbling. His back legs were giving out on him, so we decided to send him to Cornell to diagnose the problem. As soon as Ralphie was loaded on the truck, all of the steer—Andy, Elvis, and Dylan—went to the corner of the field and started mooing. It was more like crying than just mooing, and it definitely wasn’t a mad moo (like when Dylan wants hay). The crying continued on and off all day, every day.

Andy says hello to his best friend Ralphie over the fence.

When Ralphie was brought back from the vet, we placed him in a separate field so he could fully recover. Andy stood as close to Ralphie as the fences would allow and just stared at him. Ralphie laid down, chewing his cud, looking off into the distance and Andy watched him. When Ralphie was finally let back into the field with the other steer, Andy went right up to him and started licking him all over. And so it was, off and on for many days: Ralphie standing stockstill as Andy licked his coat. Even now, years later, you can see a giant spot on Ralphie’s neck where his coat looks different—reach over and touch it and it’s wet from Andy licking him. He’s been telling his friend how happy he is—still–that he’s back.

Over the years, Andy has sauntered up to tour groups with curiosity, showing thousands of visitors how charming and affectionate cows can be. He is a living example of how all animals form intense bonds with one another and are deserving of love and compassion.

Andy the steer 2016: We had to say a tearful goodbye to Andy the steer. In recent weeks, Andy’s 2,000-plus pounds became too much to bear because of progressing arthritis in his back legs. We all knew it was time to let him go. While it’s hard to imagine the herd without handsome Andy, it’s comforting to know he had a truly joyous life and the luxury of growing old. He lived a life that was literally one in a billion for a steer born into the veal industry. He was especially close to Ralphie, so we are going to give Ralphie a lot of extra attention over the next few months as he mourns his lifelong friend. We are eternally grateful for the loving gifts Andy freely shared with so many. We love you and we already miss you, Andy.e