Monday, November 23, 2009

LET'S THROW THE UGLY ONE OUT


It was a miserable afternoon. The rain was coming down in sheets and I could barely see the road. Ahead of me was a pickup truck pulling a stock trailer. It was going painfully slow but there was no way to pass as visibility
was so poor. I was tired from a long day's work and content to poke along.

However, I saw something not quite right and pulled closer to the trailer. It had a double hung doors. The one on the left was latched but the one on the right was swinging lazily. Good, grief, it was open. Barely visable inside the trailer was a sea of ears and small bodies. It took a minute to realize that trailer was packed with young goats.

Knowing any moment a goat could fall out on the road, I backed off, flashed my lights wildly and honked my horn. I am sure the rain blocked my efforts to get their attention for they kept on going with the door swinging slowly back and forth. Then it happened.

A little body popped out,hit the pavement and rolled towards the ditch. I put on my blinkers and pulled over. The car behind me also pulled over to see if I were all right. I asked him to try and stop that vehicle or it would just keep spitting out goats. I told him I would try to catch the goat and hold it for them to come back for.

He
took off and I went for the little goat. The goat was completely black and not easy to see in the pouring rain. The baby was bawling amazingly loud for a little one as it scrambled out of the ditch and pressed against a fence visibly shaking. Blood was coming from it's nose and I was thinking the worst. A thunder clap made it jumped into the ditch again and we both floundered around in the thigh high water. I finally was able to grab it and hold it close to me.

I put the squirmy little bundle on the floor board of my vehicle and fortunately, the little one seemed to immediately calm down. I waited a long time for them to come back to claim the little one but after 30 minutes, I gave up. I could only hope that the door was now shut and no more little ones were being pitched out on the pavement.

The bleeding out the nose had me worried so I took it to the vet. Jim, the vet, laughed at me for this was the first time I had brought in a livestock stray. He said that the nose bleeding was road burn and that "she", yes she finally had a sex, would be fine.

"Congratulations on your first farm animal." he chuckled.

Only problem was that I did not have a place to put her. I had many dogs in my rescue and most dogs are quite fond of goat meat. It was getting dark, still pouring and I was panicking a bit. I did have a temporary pen that I had put my fox in when I first got him so I made that do for the evening. It had been a tough day.

Now I have a weakness for animals and baby animals really get me. However, in bright daylight, as I looked at my new charge, I could only think that the other goats in that trailer had gotten together to throw the ugliest one of them out the door.

She was solid black except for the grey road burn patches. Add little button horns, being really scrawny, plus she had a crappy attitude. I swear, she could curl her lip like Elvis, only on her, it wasn't sexy but in total disdain. I am sure she blamed her current station in life totally on me. She really had a demon goat appearance. Repeatedly when I came near her, she would try to butt me. It was comical for I could fend her off with one hand.





Not a picture of a grown up Nubby but the Internet picture shows a very similar attitude.


I called the young fellow that worked for me and between us, we fenced off a nice chunk of property and built a rather attractive shelter. I was really proud of what we had accomplished. However the little one only cried when we turned her loose. Tim thought I needed to get her a friend since they were herd animals. The look I gave him was as black as the goat. This was just temporary wasn't it???

I made the mistake to name her which tore down my resistance to her. I chose Nubby which covered the horn situation. It wasn't too long before I was thinking Tim was right and that maybe another goat would be best. Nubby was so unhappy alone. I realized I was on a slippery slope. Isn't this how "cat ladies" got started?

Since I passed a goat farm on the way to visit my parents, it was natural to pick up a baby on the way home one day. I selected a sweet little salt and pepper colored yard goat. This one had a great attitude and was comfortable around people. Now that Nubby had competition for my attention, she became a much nicer goat. Perhaps it was just that she no longer felt alone and defensive.

Finally all was well and everyone was happy for the two goats bonded immediately. My herd was intact and sufficient unto itself till Lucy Faye Lorraine joined the group but that is for another day.

Did you ever have an animal enter your life unexpectedly, very much UNwanted, but it managed to worm its way into your heart against your better judgment?

24 comments :

  1. Yes Patti, but never with such interesting stories as yours. It's always been stray cats, although my young granddaughter while visiting a friend fou rescued a puppy, a victim of a cruel prank. She found it with a balloon stretched tight and tied around it's neck. It had been there long enough to irritate the skin. They named her Lacy!

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  2. Yes when I was still child a very oold and sick Scottish terrier appeared at Dad's farm. We took it in and I fell in love with it. Unfortunately it had a visible cancerous tumor that my parents said was incurable.

    It disappeared, much as it appeared. My Mother said old dogs often go off somewhere to die. Now that I am grown, I suspect, the "off to die" was Dad's solution to unwanted animals, a trip to the vet for euthanasia, which in the case was probably the kindest thing.

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  3. Yes, but with me it has always been kittens, not goats....LOL

    You have stored up treasures in Heaven, Patti!

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  4. What a sweet story, Patti. I'm so glad that you rescued that little goat. Wonder what ever happened to the other ones?????

    I was allergic to animals when I grew up (so my parents say/said --ha) --so no doggie for me. I did get a cat while in high school.. Snowball was all mine---and I hated leaving her at home when I went to college. She died while I was in college--and it was hard to go back home.

    No more pets for awhile until I got my younger sons a doggie when we lived in New Orleans. We had Duchess (cocker) for about 15 years --and she was very special to us.

    No pets now--since we travel so much!!!

    Have a great day/week.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  5. "I never met a stray I didn't like."

    Will Rodgers...?

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  6. I must say there is some kind of wisdom in the universe since, obviously, animals pick you as their rescuer.

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  7. Aw, nubby, how sweet of you to rescue her. yes, that is how I got my cat Butter. And once we found a dog on our farm in Arkansas and we later gave it to a couple Gary worked with. So many special animals all of them.

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  8. You do get to be in the right place at the right time to rescue the most interesting strays. A goat? Who would have ever thought such a creature would cross your path on a rainy road? Wonderful rescue, patti.

    Yes, our little kitty cat was brought to us as a stray over eight years ago. We said we'd take care of him while a real home was being sought. Hah! We still have him and we're wild about our Bonsai!

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  9. Wanda,
    I have lived 70 years and that is still not long enough to understand people who abuse animals or children. Your granddaughter is a winner. Lacy is a lucky pup.

    Nitwit,
    Sounds suspicious but dogs do go off to die. I have seen it happen. In your Scotties case, it sounds like the humane thing happened and he was spared a heap of pain.

    Olga,
    I really didn't try, these things just happened. Just lucky I guess.They always break my heart. The goat was an accident but many animals are just thrown away.

    oklhdan,
    I have always loved Will Rodgers sayings. He could gather a ton of sentiment into a few words.

    kenju,
    Hopefully God is an animal lover. Perhaps I may break even someday to make up for the not so neat things I have done.

    Betsy,
    I am afraid they were destined to be BBQ goats. I have never eaten goat and know now I could never. Maybe if I raised some pigs, I would give up bacon.
    I still think you ought to get a little dog that can travel with you.

    Linda Starr
    I really liked Butter's story. You were right there for him.
    I always love to hear rescue stories that end well.

    robin,
    I either had really good or really bad timing.
    " we'd take care of him while a real home was being sought."
    How many times I have said that with the same results you had.
    Bonsai really got lucky for you took her in, medical condition and all.

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  10. I love this goat story.....so true that poor old Nubby was probably pushed out hehehehe....

    My 2 dogs were given to me....I moved into this mans converted shed and he became sick so I ended up looking after them. I bonded with Bella the little one immediatley but Bonnie the Rotti I wasn't sure about as I didnh't like big dogs.

    It wasn't long that they both started coming everywhere with me.
    Their owner had to sell up....so I was on the move and he simply wanted me to have them. Now, I can't imagine not having them and as for Bonnie the Rotti....she has grown on me so much and I love her to bits.

    p.s........do you have a picture of Jesse, I would love to see it??

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  11. Can't say I have except, when our youngest daughter came back home with granddaughter and a full grown cat. Now Baby Kitty as they called him, was a little nippy. You had to be careful where you would pet him, he would lay in to your hand or arm. I knew when he was laying on his side, to never pet his tummy, he would attack. Abe learned the hard way, he got attacked several times. LOL I thought this isn't going to work, but now after a year of him being around us, and he seems to have mellowed out some, we enjoy his company. I honestly think being around people all day has helped him a lot. He would be left alone from early morning until around 7 in the evening and sometimes almost all week-ends. Here someone is always at home with him. He seems to like that.

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  12. Patti, you always seem to be there when they/we need you. It's a special gift.
    My daughter rescued a goat under much the same circumstances. He was a pigmy goat and quite the character.
    We had a border collie that would go and find any, I mean any, thing that "He thought" was a stray and bring it home for me to raise. Skunk, possum, kitten, fawn, chick, etc...

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  13. We seem to collect other people's cats completely without intending to. They just seem to like it here, not take my "Go aways" seriously, and slowly work their way into our lives. As you know, Ginger is our current furry companion, and he does add a lot of love and fun to our days.

    There is a white goat at our neighbour's place, that usually gets a friendly rub on the head and a mouthful of grass (always better on the other side of the fence) from those that walk past. I do like goats, if we had a suitable place I would be very tempted to share some of it with a couple of goats!

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  14. Whjat a really sweet story, my dear. You have the biggest Heart...Like St.Francis...I Love It!
    I cannot say I have had any experience even close to this....A stray cat or two...but that's about it! LOL!

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  15. Patty,
    Isn't it funny how even disagreeable animals can get under our skin. Like us humans, some animals come with baggage but I have yet to see one that didn't respond to kindness. Proud of you two for hanging in with Baby Kitty.

    Amanda,
    Sometimes it is the unintentional animals in our lives that find the snuggest parts of our hearts. Just think what would have happened to those lovely dogs had you not been there. That is a really happy ending.
    I did a two part post on Jesse. If you go to my "search my blog" gadget and type in Jesse, it will bring up both. There is a picture of Jesse on each post."Odd Couple" is the first part. I miss him still today.

    Brighid,
    Ah, bless your daughter for rescuing the goat. Aren't goats a hoot? I love to watch them play.
    I just love your rescuing border collie. What a great, sweet animal.
    There are dogs with more compassion than others. I had a black lab that "mothered" each stray that I brought in, regardless of its size. I adored her gentle,caring nature. She lived long and prospered.

    Peter,
    I just knew when I posed the question, I would hear about Ginger. He is the perfect example of a stray forcing its way into a person's life. Every picture you post of him makes me realize I have a lot to learn about really relaxing. He really is a grand animal.
    Sometimes I think "go away" translates to "here kitty,kitty" in cat language.

    OOLOH
    Thanks. I don't know if it is a big heart or just a raging inability to say "no" to big brown eyes. Other people can do it, I just can't.

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  16. It's usually been little birds with me, a sparrow with a broken foot, which healed but not quite properly so was recognisable thereafter; a blackbird, but that's a long story, but whenever I hear a blackbird's song it has a profound effect.

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  17. What a great lady are you to take in so many stray animals! I read the story with a lot of interest. You've written a wonderful story again!

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  18. Lizzie
    Ah, you sound like my mother. We always had one room of the house reserved for the sick and wounded that we kids brought home. Birds were the main patients. She was really good at patching them up. Once you have saved a life, it changes how you view all of that species. Way to go LiZZie.

    Reader Wil
    Thank you Wil. I probably should have had a ton of kids for I did seem to have a need to be a caregiver.
    With all the animals, if my "kids" got in trouble, I could have them neutered or sell the babies. It was much easier.

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  19. I LOVE this! I think that Nubby had a very lucky fall!

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  20. ldermarylee,
    Welcome to TNS and thank you for stopping by. So glad you liked Nubby's story. She brought me a lot of pleasure. Goats are such fun.

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  21. You have a knack for being at the right place at the right time to help others and save animals. : ) I can just see you trying to wrangle that goat on the side of the road. I would have enjoyed seeing Nubby do her bad tempered Elvis impression.

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  22. Jewels,
    It was funny for she would also snort when she did the lip curl.
    Sometimes I am pretty sure the fates were laughing at me.

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  23. Marvelous story, Patti!

    I took in a stray Cairn Terrier last weekend; no collar/tags, ratty-looking, hungry and totally sweet! A bouncy little fellow that slept calmly in my kennel in the kitchen each night. I kept him Saturday and Sunday but had to take him to the Animal Shelter on Monday morning. He is, or has been, someone's sweet little dog. If he has not been claimed this past week, he goes up for adoption on 11/30. I'll keep checking to ascertain his status. Unfortunately our shelter is not a "no-kill" shelter. So--- if he's not adopted by someone else before his "time is up" I have a strong feeling that I'll have a dog! The cats will just have to get used to it!

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  24. Pat,
    How sweet and neat of you to rescue the little fellow. I do hope you took pictures.
    I have a terrier and they are grand little animals.
    Hope you don't mind my saying, but I hope he is not claimed and you have a new house guest.

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