Thursday, June 30, 2011

Deflated...

It's been one of those weeks... Where you wonder what is going to happen next...

 Things started off with a phone call for me. I have been in the midst of trying to adopt another "rescue case" goat, who was permanently crippled. He was an Oberhasli wether and his name was Stevie. When he was rescued in 2009, his hooves were over 6 inches long and curled up like elf shoes. He could no longer walk, so he resorted to walking on his knees. It's unsure just how many months or years Stevie had to walk like that, but after he was rescued he had surgery performed on his legs which at least helped him back onto his feet. Despite his hardships, Stevie turned out to be an incredibly affectionate fellow, and was up for adoption to whoever wanted him. Two years passed... No one wanted a crippled, male goat. :( A couple weeks ago, I started hunting around for a special needs goat to adopt. With my birthday coming up, I wanted to give something instead of just getting something, and while watching Heidi one day, I decided I wanted to provide a safe, permanent home to another needy goat.

This is Stevie...



When I found Stevie online, I knew instantly that I wanted him, and him only. Papers were filled out, phone calls were made.... I was ready for my boy.

 Then, after three weeks of impatient waiting, I received a phone call from the rescue where Stevie was. Only two days before my adoption application got to them, someone else asked to adopt him, and the rescue people were calling to say that I was welcome to choose another goat, but Stevie was leaving in a few days. It took a couple minutes for things to sink in. For two whole years, not a single person wanted this poor goat, and then someone beat me to him by two days...

That was the start of things.

On Wednesday afternoon, a hawk flew over head the pasture where the goats were. Chamomile was next to our large livestock gate that happened to have a strand of barbed wire beneath it. When the hawk flew past the goats, it spooked them and they ran for the barn. As they were running, I noticed that Chamomile was crying louder than she normally would. As I approached her, I could easily see part of her ear dangling like an earring, and blood dripping from it. How that little goat managed it, I don't know, but she somehow ripped the tip of her right ear on the barbed wire. :( I was able to stop the bleeding quickly, and tried super gluing it back together (super glue is used in the hospital on humans, as well as by vets on animals), but it was just too ragged of a tear. I called the vet to see how much stitches would cost, and was told it would be somewhere between $400 and $700! Oy! So she now has a most-likely-permanent 3/4" rip in her ear.

 I'll admit that I did cry when I found out that she ripped her ear. I just plunked myself down amongst the goats and cried for who knows how long. For the record, I don't cry easily. Through the years, I've learned to mask my emotions (or at least the majority of them), and keep a straight face. But I figured since no one was in the barn, and it was just me and the goats, I could take the mask off and have a good cry. I was keeping Chamomile specifically as a show goat. Yes, she will most likely be a good brood doe and milker, but I had plans to take her into the ring, and to some big shows next year, but a ripped ear is a disqualification in the bigger shows. So BOOM, all my hopes and dreams for Chamomile went right down the drain before my eyes, as I stared at her pathetic little ear. Heidi was so sweet and made me lean up against her, using her velvety muzzle to nudge me closer to her. I was thankful for the company, and she surprised me by giving me what could only be called a "goat hug". Once she had gotten me next to her shoulder, she wrapped her long neck around me, completely encircling me, and held me like that for a few moments. She licked my tears away, and Poppet sat on my lap.

Today was the latest happening. I normally don't let the goats out to pasture until noon, as the grass is really lush this time of year, and it's wet in the morning. Too much wet, green grass can give goats what is called bloat, which is where they eat too much, and then their rumen creates too much gas inside, causing their stomachs to bloat so much that the animal can die if something is not done quickly. The goats however, were all standing at the gate after milking and batting their eyelashes to be let out. I threw caution aside and let them out. Heidi grazed avidly all day long, and when I went to check on them at 4 PM today, I found poor Heidi standing in the barn with her stomach three times its normal size, and a look on her face that clearly said "I don't feel good!" Fiddlesticks. Her left side was noticeably bigger than her right, which is where the rumen is and that is one of the main symptoms of bloat. She didn't seem to be too far along, so I quickly ran inside and got some olive oil and some baking soda. The oil help the gas bubbles inside to dissipate, and the baking soda helps balance the Ph level in the rumen. After administering the meds, the only thing left to do was to massage her stomach in hopes of getting things moving in there, and keep her walking, which also helps.

My family was not happy with me at the time, since I was supposed to be inside making dinner, not outside rubbing a goat's stomach... Last time we went through this was when one of our horses that we boarded, got colic on my dad's birthday. Oof. Thankfully, after an hour or two of rubbing and walking Heidi, her stomach dramatically deflated to its normal size. Whew.

I've been meaning to blog about our chicken processing day, and about one other thing that happened around here (to remain a secret for now!), but I've just been too busy and stressed to sit down and try to write as if my life were perfectly fine, when it's not. I feel deflated right now. I'm too tired to think logically, and keep wondering what is going to happen next. Hopefully things will start to smooth out soon, and then I will try to give y'all the updates that have been promised.

Now, my clock says it is 8 PM, so I must needs go now and milk ma' goats....

1 comment:

Christi said...

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed..."

Remember that God is always greater then your greatest problems.