Friday, May 4, 2012

Goats at the Kertsons

When I was younger I had a pet goat. My Dad (who grew up on a farm in Idaho) used to tell me stories of how fun goats were. He would tell me about their large personalities, and how they are smart yet very mischievous, how they are social creatures and much like dogs are loyal to their owners.  He would tell me about how when he was a kid he always dreamed of having a goat with a cart that could pull him around and of course I would dream the same thing. So one Christmas when I was about 14 years old, much to my mothers dismay, my Dad got me a goat! We made a bargain that if he got me a goat I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend, and at that particular time I had no prospects in sight so I happily agreed.  To this day one of my favorite childhood memories with my dad was going and picking up that baby goat. I named her prancer and I vividly remember holding her in my lap as we drove her home. I fell in love with her and I think my Dad did too! But... from the moment that Prancer came home with us she was nothing but trouble, we had to rebuild her pin several times because she kept finding away out of it. We soon discovered that she could jump 6 ft straight up and we would often find her walking along our neighbors six ft brick wall. But probably the biggest issue we had with Prancer was that she always wanted to be with me, and every moment that she wasn't with me she would cry! and I am not talking like a cute little goat cry, I am talking like loud, shrieking, every neighbor around could hear her cry! So my Dad and I tried everything to get her to stop, we stuffed some of my clothes with hay and sat it by her cage hoping she would think it was me sitting there, that worked for maybe two days, next we tried a dog shock collar, but goats cries are apparently so different than a dogs bark that it would not register it, so the finale solution was to have the goat sleep in a crate in my bedroom, and that is what she did every night for probably about six months, until my mother who was sick to death of the goat eating her flowers and causing mehem to our everyday life, made me get rid of her. She was sent away to live at a petting zoo. I remember being devastated. I refused to go with my dad to drop off the goat and to this day I don't even know where exactly she went, but I remember crying myself to sleep every night for weeks and from that moment on I vowed that one day I would have another goat.
Fast forward 15 years later, and you guessed it...Not only did I get one goat I got two! Bet you didn't know you could find goats on craigslist! I didn't either until I started looking and found two of the cutest pygmy goats I ever did see. Someone was giving them away for $50!!! I just could not pass them up. A little convincing to my husband...who I have to admit I caught him in a weak moment, and we were off to pick up our goats. The one thing that I did not anticipate was that we live on a very busy street, in fact we live right in front of a bus stop where every 30-40 minutes a bus pulls up to the side of our house to pick up and unload passengers. Within minutes of getting the goats into our yard I realized that what I thought was a great idea may have been a huge mistake. Tucker and Lila were absolutely terrified of all the cars and buses driving by our house, they would not leave our porch next to our sliding glass door and every time a bus would come by they would ram into the glass trying to get inside. They would not even go near the grassy area that I was so hoping they would enjoy and help us out with yard work. Watching them run into the sliding glass door over and over again I was afraid they were going to break it so I quickly moved them to a smaller gated area on the other side of the house away from the street where they could settle in for the night. I originally wasen't planning on having them stay in that area of the yard so I had put no thought into goat proofing it. I was really scared that I was going to wake up in the morning and find that the goats had managed to exscape (remember they can jump 6ft straight up!) So I hardly slept all night...I could hear them out there crying and jumping on the side of the gate trying to get out but at some point I must have drifted off because I was awakened very early in the morning to my husbands panicked voice saying "Babe...get up! They broke a pipe!" I ran outside in my pajamas and found the whole side of our house flooded and the goats soaking wet as a pipe was gushing water! To make a long story short my husband spent all day fixing the pipe and he eventually got it fixed that evening just in time to wave good bye to the goats. I put them back up on craiglist and within hours a very nice farmer man who lived on an organic blueberry farm a few miles from our house, came and picked them up and gave us $100 for them.
The worse part of this crazy 24 hour mistake was the heart break that is caused my daughter Peyton. Much like her Papa and her Mother she is an animal lover. She loved those goats and when we had to say good bye she cried for hours. I felt horrible, I knew her pain, I felt it when I had to get rid of my goat as a kid. It was like re living it all over again through her eyes. The goats drove away and she ran into the house and buried her head in the couch cushions and sobbed. Her Dad and I tried to talk to her but she made it clear that she did not want to talk about it she just needed to cry and I understood that. We told her when she was ready to talk about it we would be here to listen. Sometime later that night she came to me and said "Mom I think I am ready to talk about them now" I said "ok what should we talk about" she said "Maybe all the good times we had with them...that might make me feel better" So we reminisced on how funny Tucker was, how feisty Lilia was, how she loved it when they would chase after her and how she was a lucky little girl to be able to tell her friends that she had pet goats, even if it was for only 24 hours. Some how that conversation led to her to asking me to tell her stories about Prancer, which led into her asking me about all the pets I had when I was a kid. I told her about my dog Krispen who would sleep in my bed with me every night from the time I was 3 to 16 years old, and my guinne pig Squeaky who would squeak every time someone opened the refrigerator to let us know he wanted a carrot, and my bunny Spring who had baby bunnies and loved to swim in the pool in the summers when it was hot, and my chicken Buffy who got hurt by a raccoon and I nursed her back to health by making her a wheel chair out of Legos...the stories go on and on and she could not get enough of them. It was a special moment for me because I remember listening to my Dad tell me stories of his pets that he had as a kid and I used to love it. Over the years I would ask him to retell his stories to me over and over again. In fact I remember thinking to myself as a kid that I hoped I would be able to tell my children stories of my childhood half as good as my Dad could tell stories of his. Tucking Peyton into bed that night I realized I had succeeded one of my goals as a parent and that was to pass on a legacy of telling stories. I couldn't help but picture Peyton telling her kids about her 24hrs experience with her pet goats. Everynight since the huge goat mistake of 2012 Peyton has asked me to tell her stories of my childhood before she goes to bed at night and that has made the mistake all worth it.

1 comment:

jes said...

I love your blog!!!!!! Makes me wanna be a mom so bad!