PET was our first milk cow. She was 50% Jersey, 50% Holstein, and 100% knucklehead.
We purchased PET when she was a young heifer, and watched her grow, grow older, then old. Very much like she watched us do the same.
PET taught us a lot about milk cows. About their nutritional needs (and ours), about their dispositions (and ours), about their values (and ours).
PET also became what is known in ranching-farming vernacular as our "lead goat." She intuitively understood where we were trying to move the cattle and was always the first one through the gate. She'll be hard to replace in that regard.
One of the most powerful things PET taught us is a deeper understanding of the interconnectivity and the interdependence of the land to the plants to the animals to the people. As we strove (and strive) to increase the health of the land (and the microbiology that lies therein), it increased (and increases) the health of the plants thereon, which increases the health of the animals that feed on them (and each other), which increases our health in return. The Intelligent Design of that system is beyond amazing. We have much more to learn about that system.
I found PET deceased in the pasture a couple days ago. She is now returning the favor to the microbiome. As will we someday.
RIP, PET. Thanks for the education.