D.H. Dora the shippon explorer aka Bugger but I love her

Why D.H.? It stands for Dick Head but I truly don’t think of her as a dick head at all although she does things regularly to make both Keith and I say it about her. Usually when we call a cow a dick head it generally means they don’t conform, they have their own little quirks that they do which makes the job of milking even more difficult but it also makes it much more fun. Dora is in fact the opposite of a dick head, Dora is bright.

When we begin milking we get all the cows in, 46 cows all under one roof at the same time. 32 cows are tied up there’s 32 places where we place a cow band round their neck and they stand waiting to be milked. The others are in the middle milling around. More often than not Dora is right at the front on the loose.

Dora’s mission is to steal cake, in whatever capacity she can get it, she is cake mad. She doesn’t just come in, get milked and go back out again she knows where to stand and what to do to get more cake than her ration of one grey bucket per milking time.

After the cows are in and tied I go to get the cake barrow. Dora knows (because she has tried it) that there is no point in coming into the alley at that moment or no point in pushing through the doors because there is no reward, the cake isn’t there. But once the cake barrow is in the alley I can’t leave it unattended for long or Dora will be into it, not just her either a few of them try it. Next I go and fetch four more buckets of cake and she tries to break through the doors to get to it. She has literally smashed the door and cracked the wood.

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Dora will only stand on the left hand side of a boose (the cows stand in pairs) Dora usually stands on the right of the shippon, on the left of the shippon at a push but never on the right of a boose.

Dora loves to be scratched. Her tail, ears, neck, back, between her leg and her bag. She will actually lift her leg and balance on three while you scratch her on the inside of her hind leg.

She is the only cow who can take a single pencil of cake from my fingers and delicately take it on her tongue to eat it. She also makes a grab for my bucket and takes a mouthful out  as I walk past her on my way to a cow. I say she is nimble – Keith says yes like a thief!

When trying to give her, her ration of cake from the grey bucket she looks back and goes crazy her head flaying all over desperate for it. And when she is in the middle ready to get in her place to be milked she often pushes in so forcefully she almost knocks me over.

She is a bonny cow. A proper British Friesian, strong built and fit. I love her Keith says she has goggle eyes but I don’t see it.

She has a few little features I notice an extra nipple on her bag at the back and a white line down her right side.

Sometimes I mistake her for her mother 829, at a distance, face first they look very similar.

Dora is in calf with a Friesian at the moment and I really hope she has a little heifer calf as a replacement and another little Dora.

Tonight in the shippon she went out after milking and came back in for a love (and a few more pencils of cake) . But that also meant she stood at the back door preventing the others from going out. I find it funny Keith finds it frustrating.

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But I know he loves to see me happy and Dora truly makes me happy.  I adore her, I a Dora 💗

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