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Ranger, Rover, and Peaches

Alys and Pete’s three goats are named Ranger, Rover, and Peaches. All are from Cranberry Ridge Farm. Ranger and Rover are four years old and Peaches is of an indeterminate age. Ranger and Rover are Toggenburg Alpine Crosses and Peaches is a Saanen Oberhousie Cross. Ranger and Rover came to be Aly’s goats in a rather odd way. She one day had a discussion with neighbor Kirby, which was to set the tone for things to come. Alys would raise two male goats, and he’d butcher them. They’d buy these goats from Matt Shawl, who was a local breeder.

Neither Alys nor Kirby had anything to say about the selection process. Matt strode into the goat pen and picked two males out of the many that were gamboling about. However, she did have some say about their fate. On the drive home, Kirby began ranting about the sorry state of the world, and how Matt (who appeared to be lacking in organizational skills) was totally screwed. Alys then turned around and looked back inside the goat crate. The smallest of the pair caught her gaze and let out a loud bleat. She named him Ranger, and the other Rover, because, as she told Kirby, “they’re both going far in life.”

Ranger and Rover made themselves at home at Squalor Holler. The next day Alys called out to the pair, who came running when they heard her voice. She then realized that she might be able to kill an animal that she’d named, but, she’d never, ever be able to condone the butchering of animals that come when you call them.

Ranger endeared himself to Alys, who was the one who took care of him when he first broke his left front, and then his right rear leg. The first time this happened, Alys and Pete had Dr. Beck of The Far North Animal Hospital in Palmer set the leg. She did a really nice job, and Alys and Pete have the x-rays to prove it. The second time, Pete took the splint that was previously on the front leg, and taped it in place on the rear leg. Both legs healed nicely. Ranger has always been more energetic and enthusiastic than Rover, who Alys and Pete have dubbed “a good old boy.”

A year later, Peaches came to Squalor Holler, shortly after Matt and his wife Rhonda decided to move to New York State. Rhonda told Alys that Peaches was one of their favorites, and she’d sell her to the pair because they’d give her a good home. At the time, Ranger and Rover were bucklings, and as such, were randy. As Alys told Pete, “It’s getting harder and harder to love them.” The two saw Peaches coming into the yard and before even being introduced, they began a three-day chase which culminated in a breeding frenzy. They then were castrated, because, as Alys told Pete, “The goat pen is too much like a frat house!” Five months later, on a sunny February afternoon, Peaches gave birth to Teslin, Muncho and Mojo. The three are now owned by Jennifer and Jeffrey, who instantly fell in love with the threesome.

Alys milked Peaches for a year and then retired her, in part because she felt that the old goat had done her job, and done it well. She’s remained the farm matriarch after running dry. If anything is wrong (for example if Jenna is advertently left in the chicken or goat pen), Peaches will let Alys know it, by baahing nonstop until the problem is solved. Alys is often asked why she has three goats, (since, as she’s told, they are for intense practical purposes, useless.) Alys’s response is that Squalor Holler would not be the same without them. She most values their enthusiasm for life, particularly in the dead of winter, when it dark for up to twelve hours at a stretch.

Ranger, Rover and Peaches will not be going with Alys and Pete on the Divide Ride because getting two dogs and two horses down to the Lower 48 is going to be enough of a challenge. At least this is what Pete says. If Alys had her druthers, they too would come along.