Monthly Archives: April 2015

“Trust me, I know what I’m doing”

At least, that’s the aura Nubbin gave off this evening when she popped these two little boys out with no help and minimal effort. Meet “Sledge” and “Hammer”!SledgeHammer.1

I was kind of rooting for the one with the doughnut on his forehead to be called “Dunkin,” but Phil overruled me.

Nubbin did great! She spent a great deal of time this afternoon pawing and nesting behind the house, and she would baa-aa softly every time I poked my head out the door. But after watching Petunia do this exact same routine for three days last year, I didn’t take Nubbin too seriously and went for a horse ride.

I got back just in time! Around 6:00 this evening, Nubbin got down to business, and she delivered these two beautiful boys with no help and minimal effort. Well, I’m sure it was quite a bit of effort (they’re big boys!), but Nubbin was very no-nonsense about it. Phil and I stood by and gave moral support, but no one had to pull. Nubbin couldn’t be happier and neither could I. After the tragedy of losing her babies last year, I was so hoping for Nubbin to be blessed this year. “Thank You, Lord!”


MORE Goat Agility!

Sputnik was on fire that day! He was a lean, mean jumping bean!

Higher Sputnik! Get those legs up!

I love this progression. It was all one jump–approach, arc, and landing–captured on a camera that could take three photos in quick succession with one press of the button. I want a camera this fancy!

Magic levitating goat:

The hoop:

And finally, the patriotic pose:

Goat Agility at the WCGE

We also set up our agility obstacles on Saturday afternoon. Only one person besides us came out to try (everyone was so darned busy!), but we had a great time out there with Finn and Sputnik. A big thanks to Bob Stack who took the photos!

First we have Finn, showing off his skills in the hoop jump. I love the bascule here.

I love this pose!

Finn being friendly. Now we just need to teach him not to “shake hands” ALL the time!

Circus goat!

Finn practices the weave polls in the background while Sputnik poses on the washtub.

“How faaaaarrrr can I reach without overturning the pedestal?” Tongue

Weld County Goat Extravaganza!

Phil and I spent the weekend in Greeley at the Weld County Goat Extravaganza where we set up a packgoat information display and did an hour-long presentation. We took Cuzco, Pac-Man, Finn, and Sputnik and we had a great time! Phil says my presentation went well. I did the talk while he managed the four goats we had in the ring. It was fun having several goats so I could show examples of what to look for (and not look for) in conformation and attitude. I also had three different types of saddles set up for people to look at and there was plenty of time for questions.

Unfortunately, we did not get as much traffic as we usually do and thus I was not able to hand out as many cards and flyers. The Extravaganza was so large and crowded this year that we ended up getting put in a back corner of the barn where there would be room to set up our display. Last year we had a main corridor. We also ran another “Goat of Many Colors” contest, but that had a smaller turnout than the last two, probably because of our inconspicuous location. Oh well. We did get about a dozen entries (including my four), so we had enough to make a fun little “parade of color” on Sunday. The winner was a little Nubian doeling named “Cookies ‘n’ Cream” owned by Sara Warren.

Cuzco was a big hit as usual. Everyone was very impressed when I told them he is 13 years old. He looks amazing for his age. Cuzco loves these events where he gets to be the center of attention. He was genial all weekend, and never even growled at the folks who disregarded his “Admire me from a distance” sign. Every time I took him out of his stall, he strutted along proud and lordly, stepping out with his long, bold strides and his head held high. It’s a privilege to have a goat like him who makes it easy to point out good packgoat conformation, and who follows commands perfectly when he’s in the spotlight.

Pac-Man took over the cart pulling this year and did an excellent job. He was much better behaved this weekend than he was at the Easter festival a few weeks ago. This goat is already learning what it means to have a job. I was hoping to do more cart rides than we did, but it rained on Sunday and there wasn’t enough room in the barn to do the rides indoors like we did last year. So we did the rides outside on Saturday only, which meant we didn’t get many customers, but the ones who did ride were enamored. I love the smile on this kid’s face. Smile

That same kid wanted to ride again with his friend, and he would not stop honking the horn! I had to tell him to lay off before he drove me and Pac-Man both crazy. I told him to wait until there was a car or some pedestrians to honk at. Tongue

All in all it was a fun weekend. Cuzco wishes we could do this every weekend, and Sputnik might be happy with that too as long as he gets his own stall next to Cuzco again (yes, I had to separate him from the others after I found Finn and Pac-Man using him for a ping-pong ball). Finn and Pac-Man were getting stir crazy in that little stall and Finn kept jumping out by the last day. I had to tie him to the back wall where he looked very forlorn. Pac-Man even started trying to heave his fat belly over the gate toward the end of the last day. But while they didn’t like being penned up, they loved the hustle and bustle and all the attention. It was a good experience for everyone.


How could we not fall in love with this downy little black and white creature?

When Lilly first came to live with us, these were the only goats around who would accept her.

This was why we called her “Silly Lilly”.

Lilly soon got too big to sit in my lap, but she never stopped trying, and she was always ready to cuddle even if she wasn’t allowed to sit on me.

“Happiness is a warm lap”.

We also called her “Flavor Saver”.

Lilly didn’t like baths, but she loved toweling off.

And she loved getting to lay on the basement couch and watch “The A-Team” with Phil while she dried off.

Lilly was our “owl goat” who could turn her head completely around to demonstrate her pleasure at being brushed.

“Smile, Lilly!” I was thinking about how to teach her to do this on command.

Lilly was good at a lot of things, but she was best at being a mother. She was attentive but did not hover. She was frantic whenever she lost her baby, but if she knew her kid was with me or Phil she went out to graze contentedly, knowing her baby was safe with us. She loved it when we would pick up and admire her kids. You could see the pride shining in her eyes and she would chuckle low in her chest.

We love you, sweet Lilly-Goat, and we will not forget you.

Rest In Peace, Sweet Lilly-Goat

We said goodbye to our sweet “Lilly-Goat” this week, and it’s been a difficult few days. Phil spent time with her on the “goat tower” that last morning and I snapped a few photos.

It seems ironic that we bought Nibbles and Lilly because I saw Cuzco growing older and didn’t want to look out at an empty goat house. Yet they are both gone and he is still going strong. Of course, because they both had babies we will NOT have to look out at an empty goat house any time soon! Most of our goats are their descendants, and what sweet and lovely goats they are!

Lilly was always the one at the top of the goat tower. Always. But her daughter, Petunia and her son, Finn were never far behind.

Lilly loved a lot of things. Heck, this goat just plain loved life! But this was her favorite thing: To be embraced by a human being.

Pac-Man joins the work force

We took Pac-Man and Finn to the community Easter egg hunt this morning! This was Pac-Man’s first time pulling kids around in the cart. I drove him with the empty cart once in a while over the winter, and yesterday I hitched him up and practiced leading him with the empty cart, but today was the first time he really pulled a proper load for any length of time. I even drove him for a few minutes before the event started just to warm him up and to take a little edge off him.

I’ve gotten spoiled from years of working with Cuzco’s professional, all-business attitude and I’d forgotten how a young goat likes to squirm and walk off half-loaded. Pac-Man and I need to practice “Woah!” a little more so I don’t have to spend so much effort holding him in place. There were a few times when he wanted to walk off before we were ready, so I had to clamp down on the halter and force him to stand anyway, and that made him upset because he didn’t like his head to be held so tight, so then he fought back, forcing me to grip him even tighter. Still, he’s got the makings of a fine harness goat.

After an hour or so of hauling kids around he got tired enough to appreciate standing still while they got in and out. There’s nothing like a bit of exhaustion to teach patience! He never balked even once, and all things considered I’d much rather have a goat that likes to drag me around than one I have to drag around. We were a huge hit with kids and parents alike.

Phil also brought Finn down to the park so he could meet kids and get used to the crowd. This was Finn’s first event, and he lapped up the attention. We put mini tennis balls on his horns as a precaution. He hammed it up for the audience and enjoyed showing off his repertoire of tricks. Phil had the camera, and since he had his hands full with Finn he unfortunately wasn’t able to get any photos other than this one at the truck.

When we got home, we were greeted by a couple of the welfare class who are living the life o’ riley while everyone else works for their bread. They were luxuriating so hard they couldn’t even be bothered to get up and greet us when we pulled in.