Tiny Lives

By Elisabeth Welters

For all the planning you put in you can never underestimate the force of Mother Nature and how she can inflict chaos to your otherwise organised life.  All too often with farming you are subjected to enormous turmoil just when you thought everything was ticking along nicely. That’s farming, as they say, so you regroup, re-plan and quickly move on.

We were right in the middle of a ticking along nicely scenario during 2011. The herd was building steadily and we had finally got planning permission to live on the farm which was going to improve our lives immeasurably. There was far too much wasted fuel travelling and far too little time spent in a warm comfy bed. It is simply not possible to leave your animals unattended especially when calving and so several nights have been spent with feet propped up on the office desk trying to catch a few zzzz’s while waiting patiently for a first time calver to find her way.

By late September we had just set aside time to begin work for the temporary lodge; this was going to be a very special Christmas. We had worked so hard to make this happen, exciting times lay ahead. Then Mother Nature stepped in. Our twin heifers were born prematurely in October 2011. Minnie and Tillie arrived fairly dramatically three months early.  No time to regroup, re-plan or indeed move on. After initial help from the SCBU at the Cumberland Infirmary the girls were rushed to The RVI, Newcastle’s highly regarded Ward 35 SCBU and there we stayed for 5 months.

In the meantime, the farm and any plans we had were on hold. The existing stock was cared for with the very generous support of friends and family. Our beloved dog Lady divided her time between dashing around the country on trade missions with Max’s Dad, to keeping the home fires burning and food parcels flowing with Max’s Mum. We had to stay and watch our very poorly little girls grow, get stronger and hatch an escape plan so we could all come home. By December, Minnie, managed to break free. She was 2lbs 2oz at birth and was now 3lbs 13oz, still on oxygen but otherwise fit and ready for the big wide world. Tillie still had to undergo open heart surgery so was held back. A brief holiday at the Freeman and she was patched up, ready to start her own great escape. That day finally arrived 23rd February 2012 and the black tyre marks are still evident on the car park! Tillie was 2lbs 14oz at birth and 8lbs 12lbs on her day of release, still on oxygen and now with Tracheostomy in tow.



Home was a welcome relief, we never dreamed you could miss the smell of silage so much! The Community Nurses organised the enormous amount of help and equipment needed in those scary first few months. And so, we started to regroup, re-plan and move on. Sadly, Mother Nature wielded her force once more and just as we were in the throes of adjusting to our new lives and re-acquainting ourselves with the beasts, Maurice, Tiz’s amazing Dad, passed away rather suddenly. Clearly this was a dreadful time but it did give us the opportunity to start the payback. The family requested donations in aid of The Sick Children’s Trust who had kindly put up with us for 5 months. They even allowed Tiz’s Mum & Dad to stay for a few days so they were able to see their tiny Granddaughters.

So with one bit of fund raising underway we had to put our heads together to think of the next.  Many a night we had spent staring into plastic boxes watching our babies gestate before our eyes, imagining what we could do to raise money to give something back.  Neither of us are inclined to throw ourselves out of aeroplanes so we needed to think of something unique and achievable with our ever expanding work load.

Throwing some ideas about and discussing future farm plans one day a rather brilliant notion entered our heads. Why not dedicate our first halter trained pedigree heifer to Tiny Lives? It is something we love doing, we are proud of and fits in nicely. It’s something so different it is bound to raise a fair amount of publicity which is always good for charities such as Tiny Lives. So with a quick call to the secretary and a bit of admin, Maximus Rose, was rebranded as Maximus Tiny Lives.

‘Tiny’ is now 19 months old, she is the daughter of Killiemore Doreen 2nd and Tobergill King Arthur.  She will be entered into the annual show and sale at Wallets Mart, Castle Douglas on October 25th. All monies raised will be donated to Tiny Lives. She is a cracking little heifer. So friendly, she has great conformation and a nice uniform belt. She will spend the summer at stirk deportment school, in preparation for her big day. The wonderful thing about auctioning her is that the lucky owner will not only have a beautiful addition to their herd, they will also be giving to a very wonderful charity who help families in some of their darkest hours from all over the UK.

Maximus Tiny Lives to be auctioned at Wallets Mart, Castle Douglas on 25th October all proceeds will go to the Tiny Lives Charity. To donate, please visit www.justgiving.com/kernalrigg or text BELT55 plus your amount to 70070.

We are trying to raise as much as we can for this amazing charity who helped the professionals save our girls tiny lives in 2011. Thanks for your support! Max, Tiz, Minnie & Tillie x

Read more at: www.facebook.com/maximusbeltedgalloways