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People Can't Stop Sharing This Photo Of A Sleepy Boy and His 'Udderly' Exhausted Heifer At The Iowa State Fair

The Des Moines Register / Jeremy Miner

Even though the boy and his cow didn't win the top prize at the Iowa State Fair last weekend, they are definitely winning the internet in a photo that captures a tender moment between the two.

When Jeremy Miner walked into the barn, he saw his son, Mitchell Miner, 15, and his heifer, Audri, snuggling up for a snooze.

He quickly snapped the sweet picture and shared it on Facebook. Within days, it went viral tallying over 24,000 likes and 2,500 shares as well as hundreds of comments.

The teen from Williamsburg, Iowa spent most of his summer forming a special connection with Audri the cow. In the weeks leading up to the competition, Mitchell led, clipped, walked and bathed the gentle beast.

But it's obvious from photo that what Audri likes best is a quiet cuddle.

"She likes to lay down quite a bit," Miner told the Des Moines Register. "She just enjoys my company."

On the day of the competition, Mitchell woke up at 3 a.m. to finish getting Audri ready. It would be his third straight day doing so.

Audri finished fifth out of seven contestants at the competition. 'Udderly' exhausted, the two took a nap inside a barn after the event.

Mitchell's mother, Laura, explained that Audri was being borrowed by the family for the summer from a local dairy farm. She and her husband, Jeremy, both grew up on farms and believe in sharing those values with their children.

"We learned a lot from the farm," Jeremy said. "We have those values instilled in us and we are trying to do what we can to preserve that."

As for Audri, she will return to her home on the dairy farm in the fall after the family's final showing in September.

[h/t CBS]