Two days and 619 miles through holiday traffic with 400 pounds of cargo that is not afraid to let you know how it feels – sounds like a Hollywood plot? But this story is very real.
"It was quite the drive but it was well worth it," Leona Gallegos said on Thursday. "We wanted to give Logan a home where he could run around and play."
Two sisters and twins, Leona Gallegos and Linda Gallegos-Gonzales, spent their Thanksgiving holiday transporting their young pet steer, named Logan, from Edgewood to the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch outside of Dallas, Texas.
The calf was orphaned in May near the village of Logan at a ranch owned by the twins’ dad, Lonnie Gallegos. It was named for the village, and the sisters took Logan as a baby calf home to Edgewood. And as time went on Logan exhibited behavior more like a dog then a steer, the sisters said. But when he began to top 400 pounds, the Gallegos twins began searching for a home – a home where he would not become a steak.
They found that new home, and Leona Gallegos and her husband Mike Marlow and Linda and her four children left Edgewood on the morning of Nov. 28 for Dallas. Enroute, they stopped in Tucumcari to meet with their father, who had given them Logan, and to explain what they intended to do.
"I still don't think my father understands why we did what we did," Linda Gonzales said, because their dad always thought the calf would be raised for slaughter.
Along the way, whenever they stopped, they were met by people who were curious about what they were doing, Leona Gallegos said.
Logan put on a show by bellowing and trying to escape from the trailer that was carrying him to his freedom. On the trailer was a sign that read "Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch or bust."
"We stayed in Wichita Falls, Texas, Friday night and I am surprised no one complained about the noise," Leona Gallegos said. "Logan carried on all night, I was afraid someone was going to steal him and take him off to be butchered."
The family reached their destination, the animal sanctuary, at noon the next day.
At first, when they opened the trailer door, Logan didn't want to step outside, Leona Gallegos said. But then Logan stepped out, and noticed he was being watched by a strange set of onlookers, humans he had never seen before, and he gave chase.
There were some other strangers, too.
"Logan noticed two camels watching him, and being the first time seeing camels he had to investigate," Leona Gallegos said. "He ran straight for the fence to check out two camels that seemed equally curious about him."
Leona Gallegos said that it did not take long for Logan to begin to explore and enjoy his new home, and the family gathered and played with him one last time.
"My husband and I hugged Logan goodbye," Leona Gallegos said. "He was eating in a pen when we left. He will be happy there and that is what we wanted all along."