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January 12, 2017: The Livestock Life: Conversation with an Older Goat

Rover isn’t feeling too well. I do not know just how serious this might be, or exactly what’s wrong with him. He is somewhat lethargic and is making this lowing sound, as would a cow. Pete put a second door on the goat house. I opened it. He laid in the old hay as I did some TTouches. A part of our conversation follows.

Alys: Rover, what’s wrong?
Rover: Don’t feel good.
A: Can you tell me what the problem is?
R: No.
A: Where do you hurt?
R: I don’t hurt.
Ranger (walking past): He feels like crap.
A: Can you elaborate?
R: No.
A: Is it okay if I keep asking you questions?
R: It’s okay.

Ranger and Rover

A: I see that you are having a hard time standing. And you aren’t eating your hay.
R: That’s right.
A: What can I do for you?
R: Hang out with me. I enjoy your company. Always have. I like the ear slides and the flank rubs.
A: Look! You’re coughing up and chewing cud!
Ranger (walking back the other way): “Big deal!”
A: Rover, I’m worried about you. I don’t want to lose you.
R: Stop worrying and enjoy my company while I’m here.
A: I can’t imagine life here without you.
R: Just be happy to have me here, now. Look, the morning sun is coming over the mountains.
A: It will warm things up some.
R: Yes, when there’s again heat in the sun it means that it will soon be spring again.
A: That’s right Rover.
A: Is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable?
R: What you’re doing right now is just fine.
A: Northstar Animal Hospital has an on-call veterinarian who works with goats. Or we could see if Dr. Zach, our regular veterinarian can do a home visit.
R: Depends.
A: Depends on what?
R: If he can make me feel better. It would make you feel worse if he suggested you have me put down.
A: I have no idea what the outcome might be.
R: I like Zach. I’d be up for a visit if he’d do as you’re doing and sit with me and rub my ears and flanks.
A: You know Rover, veterinarians are very busy people.
R: How come they’re so busy?
A: Because there are more sick animals out there than there are veterinarians to care for them.
R: How come there aren’t more veterinarians?
A: Because you have to be smart and willing to work very hard for very little money.
R: How come you aren’t a veterinarian?
A: Because I’m not science smart.
R: You’re hard working. It might take you some time, but you could figure things out.
A: If I went to veterinary school, I would not have time to tend to you, Ranger, the chickens, dogs, or horses.
R: How long would you be in veterinary school?
A: It would require an additional four years of school on my part.
R: That’s a long time.
Ranger (walking back the other way): Get up dude. Dog’s in the house. Hay shed is open. Time to make our move.
A: Ranger, get the hell out of here.
R: I’m feeling a little better. I would like to walk around a bit.
A: I’m so glad to hear this!
R: Life is good, isn’t it?
A: Yes Rover, life is very good.

Next: 13. 1/13/17: Greatest of All Time

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