Phil and I headed home in the rain on Sunday morning.
The rain that had come down all night finally petered out just long enough for us to take a short walk along the muddy lake shore.
Ok, now it’s time for a little show-off session. Or maybe I’ll call it a “training clinic” so I can pretend that I’m not just boasting. Finn gave us a textbook-perfect example of how a well-trained goat should cross water and I can’t help but post the whole thing.
There was a small corner of the lake that I wanted the boys to wade through. Finn and Sputnik must have decided to trade personalities, or else Finn was trying to make up for his disgrace the previous day because Finn is usually sticky about crossing water and Sputnik generally plunges right in. This time they were the opposite. I grabbed Finn first and he demonstrated the kind of water crossing I didn’t know was achievable with goats!
Finn approaches the water with interest, and while he’s slightly hesitant, he’s not resisting. There is slack in the lead. I am neither dragging nor coaxing him toward the water.
I have now put a little gentle tension on the lead–enough to show Finn that I DO want him to follow me into the water and not avoid it by leaping over the narrow spot to the left–and he is responding beautifully. He’s stepping down the bank cautiously but without balking.
And here he is, walking nicely across. The lead is short but I have very little tension on it. The bottom is very uneven and I’m not sure whether it might be slippery in spots, so I keep Finn close so I can grab onto him if I lose my footing.
And we have achieved the crossing! “Good boy, Finn!” He gets a cookie.
Now for the hard part… There is a deep spot right under the wall and I’m not sure if Finn will step down into it, especially now that the water is murky and we can no longer see the bottom.
“Bravo, Finn!!” He steps right down into the water without hesitation, and he is not startled by the initial depth, nor by the steep, unseen climb to shallower water.
Now it’s Sputnik’s turn! Sputnik is usually not too concerned about water. When we go hiking and there’s a creek crossing, Finn always takes the log bridge or finds a spot narrow enough to jump while Sputnik plows right through the water. But Sputnik isn’t too keen on this pond for some reason. You can see the tension on the lead and Sputnik’s body straining against the pull.
Luckily, Sputnik is very motivated by food. A treat from my pocket persuades him to plunk those first two feet in, but his braced posture tells us he’s not happy about it.
After that he crosses pretty easily, but not with Finn’s nonchalance. Once again, I’m holding my goat close so we can support each other on the uneven, invisible bottom. I love the way Finn is looking down from above. I think he feels superior. “I did it better, Sputnik!” And I admit–Finn DID do it better. On the way back, Sputnik balked before suddenly jumping down into the deep spot. He made a big splash and soaked the back of my pants, so I got to be wet for the rest of the morning. Unfortunately, Phil did not manage to get a picture.