A man drove his pet cow more than 2,200 miles across the US in an emergency road trip to try and save his sight.
Dan McKernan, 28, rescued six-month-old Hereford calf Mike from a farm in November 2017, but quickly noticed that there was something not right with his eyes.
Keen to give the young calf the best chance at life, Mike took him to veterinary medics in Michigan State University, who determined that he was blind in one eye and needed surgery on the other to treat a detached retina.
‘I wanted to give Mike the best chance at saving his sight, just like I would if he was my pet dog or cat,’ Dan said. ‘I decided to take him to Pasadena to Dr. Huffman’s surgery. She was such a sweetheart.’
The only problem was that her Californian surgery was more than 2,200 miles away from Dan’s home, which was close to the farm in Chelsea, Michigan.
But the former tech worker, who now runs Barn Animal Sanctuary, did not let this stop him. He decided to load up his van and drive his bovine pal cross-country to Pasadena.
‘On the way we had a lot of funny looks when I would take him out of the van and at night it was interesting because I just bought a cot and slept in that for the three nights,’ he said.
‘When I brought him to the beach in Malibu he loved it. People just flocked to us it was really nice, they were just interested,’ he added.
‘I guess when people saw him they were like “Holy crap, that’s a cow.”‘
Although the surgery was sadly unsuccessful, Dan said the road trip was a wonderful experience for the pals, who also took photos at Mt. Rushmore on the way home.
Although his sight couldn’t be saved, Mike is thriving at the sanctuary thanks to his new seeing-eye buddy Dan Jr., named after the pair’s rescuer.
‘It was sad we couldn’t save Mike’s sight, but he really is thriving especially thanks to Dan Jr., a name which my friend gave him for fun.
Dan added that he started the sanctuary with his father in 2016, after he’d grown bored sitting at a desk for his tech job ever day.
‘It’s been super rewarding,’ he said. ‘Right now we have 32 animals, the cows but also pigs, turkeys, chickens, sheep, pigs and even donkeys.’