Sunday, December 3, 2017

Day 149: The Goat I Got


Once upon a time, I was thirty-five and hoping to have one more child.  It didn't happen for me, but I was able to pour a lot of that need for care-giving into two little wethers I adopted. I bottle fed them from two weeks old on up, and we bonded hard together.

In those days, my husband and I lived at the edge of farm fields. We could exit our back gate and ride forever.  Or, we could take off hiking through the canyons and creeks.  It was quite beautiful up on that plateau.  Most of the time, you could see three states--Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.  Pretty breathtaking.

The baby goats would see me coming, and they'd start bouncing into the air, kicking their back legs behind them.  My husband and I took them on our hikes with the plan that we would teach them to one day pack our picnic goods.  They loved and trusted us so much, they'd stay right at our feet.  When we'd come to the creek, we'd pick them up, cradle them in our arms, and cross it, placing them gently on the ground on the other side.

But when they were about a year old, they died.

Urinary Calculi.

Stones.

The vet tried to operate on them--it didn't work.  So, we returned home empty, their little house, next to ours, quiet.

Enter a three week period of mourning. Guilt. Regret. Mixing up many losses into that one loss.

It turned out, I'd fed them too rich a diet.  I thought I was doing something good, but in fact, I was killing them.

My farrier told me, "The next time you get a goat, go out and kick it every day."  He was joking, trying to make me feel better, but his point was--goats aren't meant to be spoiled like that.

Not long after, we got the goat you see in the photo.  Scotty.

Ornery thing.  100% piss and vinegar.  Instead of me kicking the goat every day, like my farrier suggested, it's Scotty that kicks me every day, instead.  He bucks me, too, with those big old horns. And, he walks in my path to trip me.

But he's 12 years old and healthy as a....goat.

He thinks he's the head of our horse herd, and he guards over them like he'll kick whatever coyote or cougar butt comes their way.

Now that we're riding at home, he accompanies us on rides.  Getting in the way of our path and creating whatever bedlam he can.

I don't even know how to end this post--or where I was going with it.  The story of our different goats is one of my life's little ironies.

There's a meaning in it--but I haven't learned it yet.




12 comments:

  1. Greetings from the UK. Sorry your goats died! Good luck to you and your endeavours.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  2. I’ve never had a goat so I wouldn’t know how to take care of one. It would be interesting to see how the herd would deal with a goat though. Glad Scotty is doing well even if he sometimes is a bit of a pest.

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    1. Thanks. Yes, Scotty is a tough little goat. A real survivor. ;)

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  3. I would have been so sad about the goats too. Scotty sounds like a tough cookie

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    1. Scotty is a tough cookie, for sure. He has a certain nobility of his own, I guess.

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  4. I'm pretty sure that is what killed Cowboy as well. We have never fed grain or anything rich per out vet's warnings, but we were told that wethers don't tolerate the "fixing" and it is more common than not for them to succumb. And almost impossible to save them. He recommends getting does -- of course, we only have wethers. And I worry.

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    1. I've heard that the fixing process keeps their urinary tract from fully developing. Scotty has outlived his sister. She passed away about a year ago. She was a sweetie. I bottle fed her, too. I got another goat, Irish, right before I got Scotty and English (siblings) and she was ornery. She was a little bigger than them, and she'd try to intimidate them all the time. That may be what formed Scotty into who he is. Once he got a little bigger, he put Irish in her place and would never let her rise again. She's still alive, too, and he looks after her, but he's the boss.

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  5. You would think just from the title, I'd actually expect the post to be about a goat. But I didn't. I thought it was going to be a story about teasing your hubby or some such thing. Instead, though I understand how hard it must've been to lose your little goats, Scotty the so-goaty goat story made me smile.
    I wanted more children too, which explains Manic MinPin (more of a handful than a toddler, less than a teenager - win/win in the end). ;-)

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    1. Funny. No, my brain doesn't work that way. When I say goat, you can bet it's going to be a goat story. ;)

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  6. From what I've read, I think you've learned from your goats more then you think.

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    1. True. They become a part of you, like any animal you caretake for 12 years would. As much of a stinker as he is, there is a certain sweetness to him, too.

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