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A PRIZED dairy cow is putting her best foot forward again after an Australian-first effort to fit a prosthetic limb.<br><br>
Latrobe dairy farmer Geoff Heazlewood admits it was just a whim when he suggested Theresa, a two-year-old heifer, get an artificial leg.<br><br><br><br>
But the response to the throw-away line on ABC Radio's Country Hour has amazed Mr Heazlewood and his wife Anne.<br><br><br><br>
Last weekend Theresa was fitted with a new leg, just three months after one of her rear legs was amputated after a fall down an embankment.<br><br><br><br>
It followed offers from four people with experience in making prosthetics, including Launceston's Charmaine Gooding who made and fitted the limb.<br><br><br><br>
"She volunteered her time but gave us no guarantees, did some work and that's where we are at now," Mr Heazlewood said.<br><br><br><br>
A week after fitting the artificial leg, made of timber and fibreglass, everything is going well.<br><br><br><br>
Mr Heazlewood said the cow seemed to take a few minutes to get used to the new leg, but had adjusted fairly well.<br><br><br><br>
"I don't know whether someone whispered in her ear what the alternative was, but she doesn't seem to have any discomfort or pain," he said.<br><br><br><br>
"If there was any suggestion it would hurt the cow, I wouldn't have gone ahead with it."<br><br><br><br>
Mr Heazlewood said he wouldn't like to estimate just how much the exercise had cost, from the original amputation to the prosthetic.<br><br><br><br>
But says it would be much more without Ms Gooding's generosity in donating her time.<br><br><br><br>
He is now hoping that Theresa will deliver on the faith he and his wife have shown in her.<br><br><br><br>
The cow comes from Canadian genetic stock which is no longer available.<br><br><br><br>
The Heazlewoods were hoping to use her for showing and breeding.<br><br><br><br>
Mr Heazlewood is also hoping that the success of the limb will also be a happy ending to a story which has captivated media across Australia.<br><br><br><br>
"We had calls from Perth to Rockhampton and Hobart to Darwin. The interest really did amaze me," he said.
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