At 1,200 pounds, Milkshake just might be the world’s largest dog — except she really isn’t a dog at all. But Milkshake, an 8-year-old Hereford cow, is proving an animal of any shape, size, and species really can enjoy a dog’s life.
When Milkshake was just a calf, she was the victim of an animal hoarder. For the first few years of her life, poor Milkshake was trapped in a 10’-by-10’ pen after she was taken from her mother at just 2 weeks old. Not knowing anything else, Milkshake became used to the loneliness and the neglect — until a very special rescue group stepped in.
When The Grace Foundation, an animal rescue and rehabilitation organization out of El Dorado Hills, California, brought Milkshake to their 600-acre state-of-the-art ranch facility, the bashful bovine had no idea what to do with her new-found freedom, says Grace Foundation founder, Beth DiCaprio.
“When Milkshake first arrived at the ranch she didn’t even know what grass was,” DiCaprio tells Caters. “I spent a lot of time with her so I became her first friend and she started to follow me everywhere.”
But Milkshake didn’t start to come out of her shell until she met animals with which she felt more of a kinship — DiCaprio’s pack of 10- to 30-pound dogs.
“So she hanged out with the dogs,” DiCaprio tells CBS Sacramento, “so I think that’s what she assumed — that’s what she is, more than a cow.”
“She was never really around another cow,” DiCaprio adds, though when the ranch brought in another cow just for Milkshake, Milkshake wasn’t particularly interested, preferring instead to mosey with her mutt friends.
It didn’t take Milkshake long to start developing traits that were a lot more canine than bovine. She moos when she knows DiCaprio is in route to the ranch, she loves to run and play, and she’s even tried to climb into the backseat of DiCaprio’s car, though Milkshake is obviously too large to fit.
“She follows me around all day long, just like my dogs — she comes and watches me tend to all the other animals. She’s even followed me into the bathroom before, although she was a little scared of her own reflection,” says DiCaprio.
Sometimes, Milkshake becomes a literal bull in a china shop, knocking over furniture in her path — especially if that furniture stands in the way of her and her snacks.
“Milkshake is still not convinced she is a cow and has never been a fan of grazing,” DiCaprio explains. “I think she thinks it’s pointless finding her own food when she can wait on us brining it to her in a bowl, like her dog friends.”
DiCaprio is thrilled that the world is falling head over heels for the cow who thinks she is a dog.
“Everyone loves Milkshake,” says DiCaprio, “she’s certainly one of a kind.”