It would take a thirty year journey to understand the origin and need for the Cow Shed but here are the Cliff Notes. A long time ago, about forty years actually, a family member acquired two old Bi-Lo Grocery Store cows that had been used in advertising. The store had been closed for years and the cows were headed to the dumpster. Instead they wound up at home for almost twenty-five years and became a neighborhood fixture.
Then with the passing of the new owner they had no real home and our treehouse complex became the next logical home. The cows had become an art project here and are now covered with scenes of the local area. These were done on some special art days and as many as twenty artists worked on each one. So now that they are art rather than discarded cows they needed a home fitting their new stature.
We had additional land between Jack's Place and the parking lot and it seemed like a natural fit for the space. So in June 2016 we broke ground on a new structure that we thought was fitting for both cows and art. At twelve by twelve feet it is by no means large, but all structures have to go through the same construction process to be sure they are sound and built to code.
The family member who acquired the cows was not a farmer and he named them Maude and Bessie. Only later did he discover that they are steers, so we guess they are gender challenged at this point.
The ceiling of the structure is painted what we know as "Haint Blue," which is a real color. It was used on traditional southern porches because it apparently keeps bugs and other things from setting up home there. It seemed to us to be a good wives' tale, but so far it actually works and there are no bugs at all.
But that isn't the end of the story or the end of the use for the Cow Shed. No sooner had we settled in Maude and Bessie on their new Astroturf floor than another opportunity arose that we could not pass up.
Back in 2003 or 2004 the city of Athens, Georgia did an art project top place bulldogs around the city as a fund raiser. We participated and actually did two of them. One is known as "Vincent Van Gogh Dog" because it is covered in Van Gogh paintings and it sat outside an office in Gainesville, Georgia for more than fifteen years. But the business moved in 2018 and Vincent became available for purchase.
We figured that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and jumped at the chance to bring Vincent home. Now he has a place of comfort to stand in retirement. How knows, perhaps we will have a chance one day to reunite him with his brother "Sky Dawg" who sits at the airport in Athens.
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