Vishnu has the most compelling story of all.
Two calves, about a year old, escaped a beef farm. They were “escorted” to a County Park in Santa Cruz by a CHP officer while the farmer was being located. One calf was recovered and returned to the farmer. This calf could not be found. In frustration, the beef farmer said that whoever found the other one can shoot or do whatever they please. In the county park, there’s a horse boarding center. The property used to be the home of the Lane family of Sunset Publishing Co. They sold the land to the county but wanted to keep the horse barns in use. The second calf survived for 2 years by hiding. The calf would eat the hay and food laid out for the horses, probably late at night. No one had seen the calf but the manure was a sure sign of a cow visiting the area.
Maybe he became lonely so he started peeking out of the greenery. Some horse boarders rolled apples and oranges to him. He loved them and started to get human-friendly. Karen (who saved him) named him Lonesome and the other boarders called him Buddy, hence his name became Lonesome Buddy. He started getting friendly and hanging out with the boarders who made him a pet. They knew that he was in trouble when he scared a lady, riding her horse on the trail. He was just planning to tag along and have fun!
Some horse riders were scared of Lonesome Buddy and complained to the County Park officials. While some of the boarders were trying very hard to find a forever home for him, he was hauled off in a trailer to the auction! Karen bid and outbid on him at the auction till she could “buy” him! She says, “How lucky we were to be able to do that and then find PreetiRang!!” Being “processed” through the auction yard was a hellish experience but Lonesome Buddy, now known as Vishnu, is enjoying life at PreetiRang.
During his years of hiding, his tags were probably caught in the bushes and tree branches and torn off; but the branding is still visible as the sign of his slavery.
When he stepped out of Karen’s horse trailer, he bounded towards the horse boarding center next to PreetiRang. Then he ran across the pasture to the corners of the property and bellowed at each corner. Karen was amazed because no one had heard Vishnu’s voice before. Was he declaring his freedom? If the caretakers provide slow food service, Vishnu bellows and all the other cows/steers follow. He knows his rights and exercises them.