Ailing calf remains on the ground unaccompanied until a dog arrives to provide aid

An ailing calf, Lewis, was left isolated and lying on the ground until a dog intervened to offer assistance. Upon his arrival at The Gentle Barn, Lewis, who was an orphan, was struggling with illness and barely surviving. Sky, a therapy dog, played a significant role in aiding Lewis’ prompt recovery.

Last year, Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner, the founders of the Gentle Barn, took in a calf who had tragically lost his mother. The young bovine had been saved from a slaughterhouse where his mother had not survived, and he was just one week old at the time of his rescue. In honor of his resilient spirit, they named him John Lewis Thunderheart.

Upon Lewis’ arrival at The Gentle Barn, he was not in optimal health.

“He had severe pneumonia. He had loud, raspy breathing. He had a deep cough. He had an extremely high temperature,” Ellie said.

Due to the tense circumstances surrounding his birth, Lewis was unable to receive an adequate amount of colostrum to strengthen his immune system. As a result, when he developed pneumonia, his life hung in the balance. Recognizing that he wouldn’t survive if left in the barn, they transported him to their air-conditioned home, where he could receive round-the-clock care in a clean, cool setting.

In addition to Ellie and Jay, Lewis was fortunate to have a furry companion residing in their home named Sky, who would eventually become an enormous source of support and comfort for him.

The Gentle Barn took in Sky from his previous owner who was unable to keep up with his high energy level. Although they hadn’t intended to adopt him, they soon discovered that Sky was a remarkable therapy dog. He had a talent for making people laugh, easing the hostility of those with anger issues, and soothing the nerves of those who were anxious.

That’s why he was the best person to be with Lewis while he was getting better.
“Sky protected him, soothed him, and would lay down right next to him and curl up beside him,” Ellie described. “We just kept pouring love and comfort into him until he slowly began to heal.”

When Lewis was well enough to go outside, they could see that he and Sky had become close.
“They run all over the yard and tussle. Sky is very mouthy like a puppy and Lewis wonky like a cow, but somehow they make it work and understand each other,” said Ellie.

Ellie accompanied Lewis for walks around the farm and to meet the other cows, where Sky also joined them to assist Lewis in adjusting to farm life.

At a mere week old, Lewis weighed only 50 pounds, but now, at two years old, he exceeds a thousand pounds in weight, towering over Sky.

Despite the significant difference in size, they no longer engage in physical play, but their affection for each other remains evident. Lewis will sprawl on the ground, and Sky will shower him with licks while lying down next to him.

“Watching Lewis and Sky together, there’s so much to be grateful for. What I enjoy the most is no matter how old or big they get, their love still continues,” Ellie said of their relationship. “To us, we see a dog and cow. But to John Lewis and Sky, they just see friends, they see family, they see love.”

Ailing calf remains on the ground unaccompanied until a dog arrives to provide aid.