Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Goats!

We are philosophically, dispositionally and practically non-reproducers here at MisFit Farm. Meaning, we spay and neuter as a rule, and those who are not spayed or neutered are not exposed to impregnating agents, generally speaking.

Last Fall, an exception was made for reasons that I no longer can begin to fathom. For some inexplicable reason that in memory amounts to: K pleaded, cajoled, and batted her eyelashes at me while smiling that heart-and-reason-melting smile, I agreed to let our two un-spayed female goats intermingle with Steve and Carolyn’s goats, including their un-un-masculined male, Dewey (Batman). After two weeks of our goats brutalizing Dewey, I retrieved them, reasonably assured that Pebbles had been tapped, but doubtful as to whether Lucy allowed herself to succumb to Dewey’s amorous advances. I have since concluded that poor Lucy had to have slept at least once, because she does indeed appear to be carrying some of Dewey’s product.

The girls’ stay at the Rancho Curry is a story unto itself, which will remain untold until such later time as I need to tell a story and haven’t anything else more imminent to relay.

Fast forward roughly 150 days into the future: Sunday, April 25, 2010.

In the middle of a weekend where I had managed to triple or quadruple book myself until the point in time when a family health situation caused me to sharply refocus my priorities, and where we had not just one, but two out-of-town houseguests, Pebbles gave birth to two lovely little goatlets. Thankfully, she appeared to have the situation well in hand, so minimal intervention was needed on my part.

The upshot of this all is that we now have two very fresh baby goats at the Farm. AND THEY ARE TOO FREAKING CUTE FOR WORDS. So here’s a video instead:

Friday, April 02, 2010

Clean Catch

Having owned and housed various Danes across the past several years, many of whom have come with health or disability issues, and then having felt our way through goat and miniature horse ownership, we have had a front-row seat for veterinary care for treatments ranging from spays to sutures. I have held goats as they were being de-manned, and squatted alongside the Vet in our front yard as I learned about a “brave cut” while gelding the horse. We have learned about blood conditions, cherry eye, endometric eyelids, stenosis, colds, osteoporosis, and displaysia; we have explored the full landscape of the wonderful world of NSAIDs, and treated lots and lots of UTI/bladder infections.

K pointed out yesterday that Presley had gone out like clockwork every hour overnight, prompting us to wonder if she might have a UTI/bladder infection of some sort. Presley had dealt with such issues in the past, making her a prime candidate for these types of ongoing issues. K mentioned she has the day open today, so she would be happy to take Presley in to see Doc. Well, even if she is somehow able to wrangle Presley into the CRV and get her over to see Doc, I know from past experience: we will need a urine sample.

Knowing my chance would surely come to collect such a sample, and believing firmly that chance favors the prepared mind, I loaded my pocket with a syringe and one of the little vials we have re-purposed for taking urine samples in to Doc. Seriously. We have done this enough to have designated containers for this purpose.

Sure enough, a short while later, I followed Presley as she wandered out into the yard for a potty break. She squatted and I tiptoed up behind her with the vial, trying to make a “clean catch.” For my trouble, my hand was given a warm sprinkling, the vial remained empty, and Presley scooted away from me, shooting a disgusted look over her shoulder. In retrospect, I can’t really blame her. But I wasn’t done. I didn’t have my sample. Thankfully, Presley wasn’t done, either.

She re-squatted a few yards up the path to finish the job she started, and in a desperate attempt to make my catch, I ran up behind her, cupped my hand, and thrust it into the stream. I dipped the vial into the puddle I had gathered in my hand, and stood up triumphantly, at least until I fully processed that I was feeling a sense of accomplishment while holding dog urine in my hand. My feeling of triumph was slowly replaced by a sense of wonderment about what I would do now that I had my uncapped sample in one hand and a fistful of uncontained urine in the other.

I did what any reasonable, college-educated person who suddenly found herself standing with urine in her hand would do. I began calling for K to come save me. She padded outside, shot me a questioning look as I stood there with my urine hand-cup, and without a word, took the sample vial from my “free” hand. She then held open the door and waited as I dumped the hand-cupped urine out onto the ground and followed Presley into the house. I washed my hands and capped the vial off, but somehow I can’t get Presley’s disgusted look and my concurrence in her sentiments out of my mind.