I hitched Cuzco to his cart on Saturday and Sunday. Naturally there were people lined up and clamoring to get a ride right up to the time I hitched up, at which point everyone disappeared to either compete in or watch the massive showmanship classes that began in all three rings at once. So I seized the opportunity to take a pleasant drive around the fairgrounds myself.
Later on we gave rides to everyone from tiny babies…
to old grandmas.
We gave rides to kids…
And kids holding kids. (Yes, that is a baby goat in her arms.)
And the real feather in the cap was when the dairy goat judge asked us if we would take a photo of him in the cart. So we brought Cuzco into the ring and snapped a photo. I’m disappointed that there is so much dust in the picture, but it’s still one to remember!
Saturday evening we took Cuzco and Pac-Man for a stroll around the fairgrounds. Cuzco found a party hat and enjoyed posing with it.
We had quite an exciting time at the Weld County Goat Extravaganza this past weekend. Phil and I brought Cuzco the Wonder Goat and his pesky sidekick, Pac-Man. No superhero is complete without a sidekick, of course, but one must wonder if their most amazing power lies in their ability to put up with the little creeps.
Cuzco was in his element. He seems to love these shows. This is now the second one I’ve brought him to and once again he seemed to revel in the charged atmosphere, the crowds, the bustle, the cameras. I think I realized for the first time at this show that Cuzco is really and truly my goat. Or at least that I’m his person. As long as I was in the building he tracked me everywhere, never taking his eyes off me. If I went out one door and came in another, he’d still be watching the door I left from. He hasn’t baa-aa-ed for years, but this weekend when I would return after leaving him for a while, he would let out a soft, gutteral baa-aa from deep down in his throat. He was never upset when I would leave, but he never let me out of his sight when I was around. Cuzco laid down for a nap while I was getting lunch and I didn’t want to disturb him so I tiptoed past his stall. I think he caught my scent as I passed because his head popped up and he looked eagerly around. By then I was behind his head and he didn’t see me so he laid back down. I must say I was deeply moved by his attachment to me. It’s hard to imagine how such an ornery old goat can have such a deep affection for anyone.
Cuzco was quite congenial all weekend, but I put warning signs on his stall anyway just as a precaution. They said, “Admire me from a distance but PLEASE DON’T TOUCH! I’m old and cranky and well-armed!” Cuzco did his best to lure people over and tempt them to put their hands in his stall anyway.
Cuzco and I helped Phil with his packgoat presentation, and Cuzco wowed everyone with his repertoire of tricks. Most people didn’t realize you can actually train goats to do things like shake hands and spin and bow!
Bow was a new one. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to teach Cuzco this one since he’s already known “Repent!” for many years. He’s always been required to go down on two knees and got no cookie for doing a half-baked one-knee bow. But this time I wanted him to go down on one knee. It only took him a week to learn it. I still have to put my foot behind his left hoof to remind him not to bend that leg back, but he did it very well to much cheering and applause.
Yesterday, Cuzco and Phil and I went on a mission to clean up our daily walking route. We saddled Cuzco, put a couple of 6-gallon trash cans in the panniers, and lined them with trash bags. I’m still amazed at how much this goat loves to work. Cuzco stood like a statue while I saddled even though Pac-Man was teasing him.
On Clennin Road
We brought along the whole crew because for each guy working there has to be several layabouts leaning on shovels and drinking coffee. You know… “supervising.”
Have a Bud.
The end result: a clean road and a loaded goat.
Two-thirds through our walk Cuzco got pretty cranky at Phil, who was our main trash-picker-upper, and I had to take charge of the goat. I began feeding him a cookie every time Phil put trash in his pack and his attitude improved again. It wasn’t until we got home that we realized why he was ornery. He had at least 45 lbs. worth of trash in those panniers and wasn’t happy that Phil kept adding more! It didn’t seem like that much until we tried to take it out. Poor old goat! He’s quite the trooper, and his heavy load didn’t slow him down one bit or keep him from chasing Pac-Man at every opportunity. He wasn’t even breathing hard!
I’d like to keep doing this through the spring and summer and clean up more roads around here. Cuzco seems to enjoy it so long as we don’t overload him, and I think the work could help him stay in better shape this year. He seems to love having a sense of purpose too, so giving him a job may help keep him feeling “young” in his twilight years.