WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Like so many love stories in the 21st century, Mallory and Ryan Phillips’ starts out online.
From there, though, it is probably unlike any other love story you’ve heard.
“I saw a video of him and his cow, Jenna, on Facebook,” Mallory said.
As a lifelong animal lover, this seemed like Mallory’s perfect match, times two.
“I thought this cow is so cute and he was so cute,” she said.
But it’s not a love story without an obstacle: Mallory lived in Arizona, and this ideal man – and his cow – lived in Williamsburg on a farm animal sanctuary called Life with Pigs.
Undeterred by the distance, Mallory followed the sanctuary on Facebook and eventually offered to help rescue a cow.
To this day, she swears the cow was her sole focus.
“I think over time, her intentions became less pure,” Ryan said.
The cow rescue effort became flirtatious and eventually, Mallory flew out to Virginia.
“Immediately, we were just like, “Okay, we need to be together,” she said.
After just a week of knowing each other in real life, Ryan asked Mallory to move to Williamsburg and she agreed.
Mallory’s family and friends were surprised but supported the move once they learned Ryan’s passion for animal welfare was equal to hers.
“I would show them pictures of him and the animals,” she said. “They were like, ‘We can see why he’s perfect for you.’”
When Mallory and Ryan got married, no one was surprised by the wedding party.
“Jenna had to be his best cow,” Mallory said. “I brought the three dogs with me from Arizona, so they were my bridesdogs. […] the pigs, we got them all little matching skirts and dresses.”
All the animals made it up the aisle to help Mallory and Ryan keep their fairytale going.
“I think we’re just looking forward to a life filled with cows coming in the house and looking out our window at our giant family of animals,” Ryan said.