As long as everyone is changing their astrological signs, can I put in to be a Capricorn? One, I always hated the uptight, meticulous, control freak Virgo (would a Virgo be typing at 2 in the morning in mismatched socks munching cereal out of a box?) and two, I am definitely a goat fan now.
That’s right, we got our goat! It felt surreal to see my classy mom pull up in a borrowed truck with our road-weary guest. Dustbunny (she came prenamed) arrived a week ago today, all 150 or so hairy pounds of her. She is a snow white Toggenburg/Saanen blend (I can’t believe I know what that means). I didn’t know how I would react to having a living breathing manifestation of a crazy idea in my actual yard, but it was love at first sight. Maybe it was her golden eyes, maybe the long beard, or maybe the way she tried to eat my hair that won me over. I heart Dustbunny.
She is pregnant. Presumably with triplets. The previous owners can’t tell us when she is due, but said her track record predicts three babies. Now, goats have been dropping goatlets since the beginning of time, and yet I can’t convey the anxiety I have over not knowing when to expect the big day. All the books I have read (you’d be surprised at how many there are; you don’t see those in a book club, Erika!) say that 90% of deliveries go
smooth. It’s the other 10% that have me tossing and turning in my sleep. The “kidding kit” I ordered online comes with gloves that go up to your elbows. Need I say more?
I will never forget the first day with Dustbunny. My awesome bro-in-law, Ty, was finishing up the goat shed and he brought his boxer, Dax, down to play. Dustbunny got out of her pen, as someone had not yet finished securing it (see previous post, Stuck Up Redhead). She ran around our yard exploring until this strange creature, Dax, caught her eye. From across our little field their gazes locked and what happened next was so bizarre, it felt like something out of Roger Rabbit, as if the cartoon world had collided with mine. Both animals lowered their heads and charged valiantly at the other. Their skulls clashed with a hollow thud, like watermelon dropping on the pavement. Dustbunny stood her ground and Dax kind of shook his head and went off the other way, cartoon canaries circling his ruddy colored skull. He looked like a schoolyard bully trying not to show he’d been hurt in a fight. I looked at Ty terrified that we had just killed his dog, but neither beast shows any long term signs of brain damage. You’ve got to respect the goat.
Despite her reaction to canines, Dustbunny is a sweetheart with the kids. Excuse me, the children. I am told we need to change our terminology to avoid confusion. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to post a sign in the yard that reads “Kids for sale,” and there is a sick satisfaction in telling people that our kids sleep outside in the barn.
I actually enjoy feeding and grooming our newest family member. Maybe because her needs are clear and she seems pleased to see me each morning. Even if she is just happy to see the bearer of breakfast coming, the simplicity of it is refreshing after dealing with 4 kids, er, children who are not so easy to please. I pray we have healthy little babies and I don’t do anything to mess up the natural process. And though nervous about actually, you know, touching a teat, I am excited to be able to milk her and have visions of fresh cheese and yogurt dancing in my head.
I never would have guessed that we would have a milking barn in our backyard one day. I never would have guessed I’d be collecting eggs in the morning on my way in from feeding a goat. I never saw myself taking this turn towards country (no Jen, I still haven’t changed any of my radio dials!) This is not what I pictured my life would be. It is better! All in all, I love that little bearded lady.