Eyebrows. This little goat was a sweetheart. Each time I would pick him up he would lay his head on my shoulder, and snuggle in as close as he could get. We had a few close calls with Eyebrows when we first got him and his brothers back in March, but each time we thought we would be saying goodbye the little fellow pulled through. This time however, was different.
We moved into our home 9 years ago this month and to say we were lucky to find a home with the land we have and for the price we paid would be an understatement. We looked all over for a home with property and while there were a few that seemed okay, there were quite a few more that would not have worked for us. There was this one house that we wanted to look at and since the real estate agent was not available to show us we were given the code to the lock box and told to let ourselves in. The house was very unassuming from the outside and appeared to be something that we might be interested in buying, however, upon entering things changed. The living room had a fireplace, definite plus, but it also had a large brownish red stain on the floor, big minus. The upstairs had three bedrooms, plus, but it also had a door that was so small Shannon looked like a giant when standing in it, big minus. Lastly upon leaving the house our dog, Dublin, proceeded to take a big shit right in front of the door (we of course cleaned it up) and this was the final sign that we should not consider this house.
The house we live in now is one that we would each pass while driving to and from Indianapolis to see each other and one day Shannon made a call so that we could take a proper tour rather than just staring through the windows and fogging up the glass. I would be lying if I said the house was perfect, it is a farmhouse that was built back in 1910 so we only have one bathroom, which now that there are four of us is a bit of a pain in the ass. However, the house has character, beautiful woodwork, a place for a wood burning stove (we added one a few years ago and it is now our primary heat source), a laundry room that is not in the basement, and an attic that we one day will (hopefully) finish. I will say that while I love the fact that we have a back porch (work porch) I really wish that the one corner was not sinking, but as of right now that and a second bathroom are on hold.
About a month after we moved in we went to the County Fair and Shannon suggested that we look for a couple of goats, after all the for sale sign did mention that the property would be perfect for goats. We looked around not knowing what we were looking for and ended up talking to a nice family. The kids showed the goats and were looking to sell them to a family who would keep them as pets and we ended up being that family.
They were two standard sized goats, Buster and Buddy, and the deal was sealed when Buster leaned out of his pen and took a nibble on the crotch of Shannon's pants, we had to have them. Knowing nothing about goats we set up a couple of lean-tos for them and they offered the perfect amount of shelter for them during the rain and other inclement weather, that is until we hit December and there were a few days of sub zero temperatures in the forecast. We were of course concerned about the well-being of our goats and decided that we should bring them into the basement so that they would not freeze to death.
Getting the goats into the basement was not too difficult because they are basically like dogs and will follow you just about anywhere. Once we had them down there we needed to figure out how to keep them contained. Thankfully there is a small coal room in our basement with a door that we were able to block with a pallet and after we filled it with straw the goats had their new temporary home.
While they were not inside with us more than a few days the time they were inside was quite amusing. We would be sitting in the living room watching television and hear the occasional, "baaaa," from the goats. Unfortunately RJ was just two months old at this point and Lily was not even a thought in our heads, because if they had been old enough to have lived through this it would have been even more entertaining.
So, long story short, we had two goats living in our basement in the winter of 2008. Buster and Buddy.
Last night was comical to say the least. Shannon noticed that Lola, one of the donkeys had gotten out and shortly after than Cocoa and Jellybean where also hanging out in the backyard.
After everyone was finished eating dinner, I went outside to corral the donkeys. Just as I walked outside I heard a loud bang and noticed that Buddy had his head stuck in the gate that leads into the fenced area. I watched as he pushed the gate off the hinges and proceeded to plow his way into the backyard with Buster close behind.
At first I just stood there, but I finally managed to get Lola and Cocoa back into their area, and then tried to get Jellybean. Jellybean was confused and could not figure out where he needed to go, so I cornered him and used all this girlie strength to pick him up. I carried him into the fenced area and set him down with Cocoa and Lola.
While I was relocating a baby donkey, Shannon managed to put the gate back where it belonged and coax Buster back, but Buddy had already made his way through the broken part of the fence into the neighbor's field.
I grabbed a bucket and filled it with some food hoping that the noise it made when I shook it would tempt Buddy to come back, but no, he stayed where he was.
The hay in the field was being "fluffed" (as I like to call it) or raked (the proper term) and the farmer stopped to talk to me when he noticed that I and the dumb ass goat were in the field. He kind of chuckled and said something about how fresh hay is too good to pass up. "Funny Randy, funny, you are up on a tractor, not chasing a damn goat," I thought to myself.
I ran along the fence line with Buddy hoping that he would give up and run back in through the hole, but he kept turning back to the field for more hay. Finally, I forced Buddy into an area where there was brush and some small trees. I grabbed for his collar, but was too far away and could not reach it so I knelt on the ground, (immediately thinking that I would end up with more poison ivy) when I saw an opportunity to grab Buddy's "unihorn" I went for it and dove. At first I did not think that I was going to be able to hold on (Buddy is s strong fellow), but I hung on and managed to pull him out from the shrubs and then grab his collar. I drug that pain in the ass back to the fence where Shannon was waiting and gladly handed him over.
The entire time I was chasing Buddy, Gabby, followed right at my heels, but did nothing to herd the goat. Ellie also was along for the excitement, casually watching the entire process from a safe distance. I think that they were both silently laughing inside their heads at me, "Why is she wasting her time on that dumb goat?!"
Steve the Goat (& Jimmy) - Steve originally came with Jimmy. Unfortunately Jimmy jumped into the swimming pool and well, goats do not swim.
The story must be told as to how the Clem Family acquired and then named Steve. Shannon is always looking on the Craigslist farm postings for random animals, hay, straw, and whatever else he may think is interesting. Anyway, he found two pygmy goats on Craigslist and we became the proud owners of the little guys.
Once the goats were home the naming process began and for some reason I thought it would be funny to name them after my dad and uncle. I called my dad (Steve) and he did not seem to mind and when I called to ask my uncle if it was ok my Aunt Karena answered the phone. I explained what was going on and Aunt Karena laughed a little bit then handed the phone over to Uncle Jimmy.
After Uncle Jimmy heard the story about the pygmy goat brothers he was on board with the name choices. He handed the phone back to Aunt Karena and in between laughs she said to me, "I thought you said you were naming goats, not jackasses!" Maybe I found that so funny since it was my dad and uncle we were naming the goats after, but to this day I still laugh when I think about what Aunt Karena said.