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Honoring Dozer, A Beacon of True Friendship

We weren’t ready to bid farewell to our beloved Dozer, a magnificent 15-year-old steer who passed away in early June, but Dozer was ready to say goodbye to us. Our hearts are both broken and full, knowing we’ll never again get to scratch or cuddle him, but remembering that he’s been reunited with his favorite person — Rudy. As we grapple with yet another tragic loss of one of our beloveds, we find solace in reflecting in Dozer’s journey, which was one filled with profound love and unwavering companionship, that touched the hearts of the thousands of people who had the opportunity to witness that friendship firsthand.

Dozer arrived at our sanctuary in 2009. Originally slated to be killed as a baby for veal, Dozer was instead sold to a traveling petting zoo, where he lived for a time. When the petting zoo closed for the season, Dozer would have been sold at auction. Instead, he was rescued by a kind soul, who brought him to live out his days at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. In his 14 years with us, Dozer was often the most protective member of his herd. That rang true even when he was introduced to Rudy in adulthood. The pair quickly formed an inseparable bond, becoming the best of friends — like life partners. It seemed like they were meant to be!

Throughout their beautiful lives, Rudy and Dozer were a testament to the power of friendship, resilience, and the enduring capacity for love. We’d often find them grooming one another, snoozing side-by-side in the summer sun, or exploring together in gentle snowfall. Where one was, the other was never too far behind.

When Rudy departed this world in May of 2023, Dozer’s heart shattered into a million pieces. It seemed as if a part of his being had been taken away, leaving a void that could never be fully filled. His sorrow was palpable, his grief resonating through the pastures where they once roamed side by side. Dozer’s spirit, once vibrant and full of life, became burdened by the weight of loss. He stopped eating, an activity he once enjoyed with vigor, and spent less time on his feet, often needing the help of our staff and a tractor to help him stand up again.

Our founder, Kathy Stevens, often says cows can be summed up by the idiom, “still waters run deep,” and Dozer was a perfect example of that. His soulful eyes held a wisdom beyond words, and his presence, though large and looming, brought a sense of calm and tranquility to all who sought solace in his company. Dozer’s gentle nature touched the hearts of everyone he encountered, leaving an indelible mark on our sanctuary and the countless lives he touched.

Dozer’s spirit will forever graze in his favorite field overlooking the pond, intertwined with that of his dear friend Rudy. Though they are no longer with us, their love remains unbreakable.

Rest in peace, dear Dozer. Your presence will forever be etched in our hearts. Say hello to Rudy for us.



Love Spoken Here