Fittingly, adorably named for the storm that swept her into their lives, meet the newest member of the Canton family--Harveigh.
KATY MAGAZINE | October 2017
By Ashley Lancaster
In the middle of the worst natural disaster to hit Katy in decades, one family discovered a newborn calf in their pasture, alone, shivering, and on the verge of dying. Just a few hours old, the Canton family swept her up out of the flood waters and into their home - they never expected "Harveigh" would find a place in their hearts as well.
An Unexpected Visitor The Monday after Hurricane Harvey slammed into South Texas, Tammy and Ren Canton, their seven dogs, one cat, and a neighboring family whose home had flooded and their eight dogs took refuge from the storm inside the house on their ten-acre property. Once the flood waters had receded enough, Ren decided to head out in the side-by-side and check on the land and livestock. That's when he discovered an hours-old calf, alone in the cold, flooded pasture, taking refuge under a tree.
"Her mother was unable to feed her due to a medical condition, and was also spooked by the storm. So when we found Harveigh, she was just a few hours old, shivering, and on the verge of dying," says Tammy. Ren and a friend immediately scooped her up, drove her to the house, and brought her inside the laundry room. That's when Tammy took over. "I was overwhelmed considering we had so many people and animals already under one roof, and a baby calf needs around-the-clock care," she says. But even with the added strain, the Cantons immediately looked after the calf's immediate needs; warming her up slowly with towels and a heating pad, and milk replacement that Ren was miraculously able to get from a store in Sealy. For the entire first day, she stayed inside their laundry room.
A Whole New Experience Although the Cantons, who own Tron Electric in the heart of downtown Katy, live on land and are comfortable with animals, caring for a newborn calf was entirely unexpected, and they had to learn fast. "Our son showed animals through 4-H when he was younger and that is how we started raising cattle. The few cows we have on our property are his old show heifers and their off-spring. They pretty much take care of themselves, so when we had Harveigh, it was a whole new experience for me," she says.
Best Friends with a Pitbull
That experience included finding out just what, and how much, a baby heifer will eat, and staying on top of her needs. Tammy says that her schedule now revolves around Harveigh, who eats a combination of milk, calf starter, and hay every 12 hours and has a lunch bottle around 1 p.m. A young neighbor stops by to feed her during the day, and Harveigh can be found most of the time chewing on hay, laying around, and in the evenings running around with the dogs, whom she loves - especially their pitbull, Sealy. "Everyone loves her, sometimes a little too much," says Canton, "Sealy licks her and cleans her face everyday."
Little Miss Harveigh
If you can believe it, the calf has spunk. "She can be very silly at times, loves to run and buck, and really really likes to be scratched under her chin," says Tammy. The Cantons are currently trying to halter train her, which she hates, and throws herself on the ground, refusing to walk.
Acting Like One of the Dogs
The calf is growing quickly, up from approximately 60 pounds at birth to around 90 now, and is already one of the family. She loves to act like the dogs, and will run and jump just like they do when she's outside. She's also learned how to get attention from her "mama", Tammy. "When I'm making her bottle in the kitchen and she is in the laundry room and she is mooing for her bottle and you can hear her throughout the house," she laughs.
Forever part of the family For now, little Harveigh stays in the laundry room where it's warm and dry, but soon she'll graduate to her big girl room in a barn on their property. She visits with some of her siblings on land, every now and then running for dear life, but slowly becoming comfortable in the pasture. She won't be allowed to play with Sealy quite as much as she would like once she reaches maturity, but there's no doubt that this adorable little cow has found a forever home in the hearts of the Canton, who say she will always have a place in their family.
MORE photos of Harveigh the Cal