Monday, August 16, 2010

I Just Love My Goats!

I've never had goats before, except that I trained one for part of a summer in Colton, CA in 1977 or 1978. I knew I'd like having goats but had no real idea I'd love them like I do. They make me happy to an almost silly degree.

This weekend I brought them out onto the lawn both days, unleashed (because they follow me around like puppy dogs -- actually, far better than puppy dogs) while Jackie was hosting (on Saturday) an outdoor barbecue for her bank branches and (on Sunday) the regular Sunday family gathering. Sunday I brought out both cable spools and placed a 2 x 6 to span the 10' space between them. I didn't even have to suggest to the goats what that meant -- they immediately jumped onto the spools and started walking the plank.  Whenever I turned a spool onto its "side" (so it rolled easily from place to place), Laverne launched herself onto it like a little circus pony and helped me "roll" it to another location. 

Goats entertain themselves endlessly when they're off leash. Laverne vaults around the back yard as though possessed, engaging in mock panic attacks at top speed, then stops on a dime and looks around to see if anyone has noticed, then runs off again... 

Yes, yes, I'll take video soon of all of this and put it on here and on my Facebook page so you can see it for yourself. In fact, I may post the result on YouTube. (That will be a first for me.) 

Buffy continues to think she's Lassie or Bullet. She gets at Laverne's heels and chases her into her pen.  Shirley, though, has Buffy's number and lowers her head to let her know she isn't impressed by two pounds of puffball and bluster, so Buffy leaves her alone pretty much... but Laverne thinks it's such fun to run, I guess, that everything is a lark to her.  If she can get a wee pup to chase her, so much the better!

Because of our goats, our grape arbor has seen better days. Grape leaves are Laverne's and Shirley's favorite treat (after COB -- corn, oats and barley, which they can't have much of on a daily basis) so Casey, Lizzie, Isabella and Jamie pull them down and use them as training aids to get the goats to stand on their hind legs with their front legs on the girls' hips or chests while they feed them a leaf or two... or ten.  It's  a good thing we don't make use of the grapes, because I doubt we'll get many this year. The vines and leaves used to engulf the entire grape arbor trellis from ground to top, but now there is just the canopy left. And the canopy will remain mostly because no one can reach it. We'll see what happens to the dozens of teensy weensy grape clusters now that so many leaves have disappeared. I have a feeling it probably won't be good. But who knows.  Maybe a little pruning (a little?!!) is actually good for grape arbors.  We're going to find out this year!

No comments: