While we were in Cuchara last week, a couple stopped us for photos and asked us if they could feature Phil and I and our goats in their Colorado tourism blog:
Nibbles had us all in stitches. She kept standing on her hind legs and walking around, trying to sniff cameras and people. Cuzco is our prima donna. He sees a camera and expects the world to stop for him while he poses, shows off his best angles, and gives everyone that movie star look he’s famous for. He enjoys it even more if he creates a scene, blocks traffic, or attracts a crowd of onlookers. Sometimes he won’t move out of the road because someone is pointing a camera at him and he has to make sure they get a good shot. It would never do to end up on TMZ with the tagline “Cuzco has bad hair day!” or “Cuzco’s embarrassing public bathroom emergency!” or “Cuzco hung over!?” We all know how the media twists facts to attract viewers, and Cuzco isn’t going to be caught on camera looking anything less than glamorous!
Oh, and Cuzco was even coaxed into doing his tricks, but only after Tammy gave us a granola bar to bribe him. He was not content to let me break off pieces for him, however, and would not touch any of it until I offered him the entire bar, which he yanked out of the wrapper and ate in one bite. The bits I’d broken off for him were left unceremoniously on the ground. Nope, we can’t fool Cuzco. He knows when we’re holding out on him!
The day after our hike, we walked down to the local park and played on the kids toys. Nibbles loved climbing and going through tunnels, but she wasn’t sure about the slide.
Even Cuzco got in on the action, although he had a hard time squeezing through the tunnel bit. He thought the view from the top was worth it, though.
On Wednesday we took the goats out for a hike above Cuchara. It was an easy climb to a nice view of the valley. It had everything a goat could want–plenty of shade, a variety of delicious vegetation to snack on, rocks to climb, no water crossings, and there were no dogs on the trail that day.
Cuzco wanted so badly to hike in front of Nibbles, but she was always too quick for him. He would cut her off at every opportunity, but she would immediately sneak past him. She tried to sneak past me a few times as well, but she quickly learned that this wasn’t allowed, and I’m scarier and meaner than Cuzco when it comes to enforcing the pecking order!
When we got to the top, there was a little container for hikers to leave notes. It had notes dating back to 2009. Nibbles desperately wanted to erase the evidence that anyone had been there before her.
Nibbles looking noble:
The hike made a big loop that landed us two miles up the road from our cabin. Nibbles was getting pretty tired by this point, so I carried her part of the way home (for as long as she would let me).
Phil loves feeding Nibbles her evening bottle. She really ought to have been weaned by now, but she wasn’t, and we didn’t want to change her whole feeding routine during a move to a new home. Phil had never fed a baby goat before and was amused by her greediness and the lightning speed with which the milk disappeared.
Phil and I wanted to go on a vacation for our anniversary, and usually we go on a road trip. But this year Phil is too busy to leave home for very long, so we decided to take a short trip down to Cuchara (about an hour south of us). We only stayed two nights and we brought the goats with us to do a little hiking. It was nice to get away from home and away from the technology, even if only for a couple of days.
The goats rode in the bed of the pickup. I added sides because Nibbles doesn’t know about trucks and I didn’t want her trying to jump out. I tied both goats any time they were in there, and they seemed to do pretty well. Cuzco is cranky about his space, but Nibbles is fairly respectful of it, so it all worked out.
The goats stayed in the truck at night and we were able to park it right outside our hotel window so we could hear if anything went on. The first night I was worried about bears and the second night I was worried about rain, but we got neither bears nor rain, so it was all good.
So the big exciting news around here is that we bought Cuzco a buddy yesterday! She’s a 3-month-old registered Alpine doe.
After watching her taste every conceivable type of plant, rock, clothing item, or other object within reach, we decided to call her “Nibbles”. She never stopped tasting things for the entire afternoon. She had to try every kind of weed, shrub, tree, or sprout on the premises, and we have a wide variety to choose from! She loved undoing the velcro on my sandals, and she spent some time carrying them around our porch. She licked all of our windows, chewed screens, bannisters, the hammock swings, the wire fence, the stucco, the shed, the gas can (and the sticker she peeled off of it), the door mats, the firewood, the firewood box… you name it, she tasted it.
Cuzco and Nibbles are coexisting pretty well. They’re not friends yet by any means, but they seem to be enjoying each other’s company to some extent.
Cuzco likes to make sure Nibbles knows who’s in charge around here, but she is a lot quicker than he is, so she pretty much runs circles around him while he lumbers after her, waving his horn in a somewhat menacing but mostly bemused fashion. At first Nibbles was terrified of him and Cuzco wouldn’t put his hackles down. But today, she only darts away if he actually touches her. I think that’s because deep down she knows Cuzco is an old softie. Every time he’s gotten close enough to give her a good whacking, he slams his horn down then pulls his punch at the last second, giving her a little love tap on the bottom (if he even makes contact at all). Usually he’s at least a foot short. His hackles have stayed down and he’s kept a goaty grin on his face all day today, so we know Cuzco has no intention of hurting Nibbles. Still, we’re keeping them separated at night, just in case. I think Cuzco loves having someone he can push around for once.
Cuzco recently had his annual shots and health check-up and passed with flying colors. He also weighed in at a whopping 219 lbs. That’s 25 lbs. up from this time last year! He’s looking a little grizzled from the winter, but soon it will be time to give him his annual shave so he can look his noble best for summertime picnics, parades, and other events where he can show off.
The thistles have started coming in and Cuzco is doing his part to help keep them in check:
Up next: Big, exciting news about our new goat acquisition!