For The Love of Goats….

I’m still waiting on my first cup of coffee for the morning. If my daughter will ever quit complaining about getting  woken up at 7 am by a chorus of barking dogs I might actually get it before noon!  My nephew and niece still live with me, and their uncle showed up bright and early to surprise them and take them to breakfast. Have I mentioned it was 7 AM? Yeah. The 17-year-old niece rolled over, glared at him when he went in her room to wake her up, declared she wasn’t going anywhere, and rolled back over and went back to sleep. The 14-year-old nephew rolled off the couch and got dressed.

Considering I didn’t go to bed until after 3 this morning I was not thrilled to be awoken at such an early hour either, but since I am up I may as well blog a bit, have my coffee, and get my day started.

The grand daughters are here this weekend. DriDri spent the night since it was Friday and she has no school in the morning. She loves spending time with her cousins and only can stay over on the weekends they are here.  They had a blast playing all afternoon and evening and are still asleep for the time being–surprising considering all those dogs barking and they never stirred! Wish I could still sleep like that!

My younger daughter and  her aunt and I are planning on going out to look at some goats later this morning.  My oldest daughter owns a little Nigerian dwarf named Gemini. We got him at 3 weeks old and bottle fed him. He is incredibly sweet and will cuddle if you hold him. After spending most of my adult life despising them I have decided that maybe goats aren’t so bad after all. Let me tell you the story of why I disliked goats…

I have had a long-standing hatred of goats. When I lived in Chicago and worked at the English jumping stable as a show groom I was expected to also care for the two stable goats, Buttercup and Mooj. Buttercup was a Swiss dairy goat and Mooj was a rather wild pygmy. They both lived in the stall with our $50,000 dollar pony Fancy, and I was expected to bring Buttercup along any time I had to turn Fancy out in the arena for some free time. Only problem was that Buttercup had never been taught to walk on a leash, so getting her stubborn ass to the arena at the same time I walked the pony there was a bit of a challenge. I finally started carrying a small horse crop with me and would whack her in the butt whenever she stopped walking. This behavior certainly did not endear her to me but it was when she ate my class ring that I decided I truly hated the species as a whole and wanted nothing more to do with them.

One of my chores in the stable was to keep Kings Row spick and span. This was the aisle that our main show horses resided on.  It was separate from the rest of the barn and the horses were expected to be clean and always ready to be shown to a potential customer at any given time. There was even a small gate to close off the aisle from any strangers who happened into our barn–it was by invitation only and only with an escort were you allowed into that area of our barn.

I had let Buttercup out of the stall she shared with Fancy and Mooj one night while I cleaned and swept up the aisle. I had taken my white gold class ring off and laid it on a tack trunk for whatever reason–I probably didn’t want it to get dirty. When I was done cleaning and put Buttercup away I went to put it back on–and it was gone. The only other creature who had been in there was Buttercup.  I was furious!! Goats have multiple stomach just like cows and I knew that the chances of her passing that damn ring were zero to none…  I contemplated murder or immediate emergency surgery but decided both would be frowned on.  I glared at Buttercup who stared back at me nonplussed and I admitted defeat. I put her back in the stall and decided that I hated goats and have not changed that opinion until I met Gemini.

So this morning I am going with my younger daughter and her aunt, my girlfriend with the ranch where I keep my horse, to go look at some goats her ex boyfriend’s mother purchased a few weeks ago. For some reason she and her daughter decided goats would be fun and they went to a goat ranch and bought a nanny and kid for their farm. They immediately started having issues with the baby goat, who for some reason refused to suckle on the momma goat. They tried bottle feeding and finally called the man from whom they bought the goats, only to discover he had given them the WRONG BABY!!  So they hurried back to the goat farm, baby in tow, to return the baby and get the right one. They had fallen in love with both goats, however, and instead of just getting the right baby goat they decided to bring the other momma goat home as well, and so ended up with two nanny goats and two kids.  Unfortunately they have decided that goats are more trouble than they are worth and she has offered to sell them all. My girlfriend with the ranch wants more goats so we are all going to go take a look at them. We need another baby as well for Gemini to be friends with (goats should always be kept in at least pairs) so my older daughter and I are going to see if either of the babies would be a good fit with us. If so we will bring one home to bottle raise and have for a friend for Gemini.  I am not sure what kind of goats they are–I am assuming pygmies–but if they are Nigerian dwarfs I will definitely be bringing one home!  If pygmies I will have to think about it–I prefer the Nigerian’s personality over the pygmies.

Well, my coffee is finally done, and the morning is crisp and cool and I think I will go outside and enjoy both while I still can. Fall is finally in the air here in Northern California and despite the fires in the mountain ranges bordering both sides of the valley its a beautiful day. Fall is my favorite season but it never seems to last that long so I have to grab as much time outdoors while I still can before the fog sets in and it goes gray and damp for a couple of months. Hope all is well in your world and I will have to try to post some pics of the goats when we get them!

jordan-and-gemini-black-and-white(My oldest daughter and her baby goat Gemini…. yeah. How do you resist that sweet face!!)