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January 18, 2017: The Contemplative Life

Via email, I’ve been telling friends about the ongoing saga of Rover, the Very Sick Goat. The latest: last night, at about sunset, the temperatures began dropping. I told Pete (who called at the end of his work day to say he was coming home) that I didn’t think Rover would make it if we left him out in the shed. My rationale was that he would die because he has no fat reserves to keep him warm.

When Pete got home, he agreed with me that we should bring Rover into the kitchen addition. I was surprised that he agreed – he’d had a long day at school and most likely was in no mood to set up an indoor goat domicile.

Once Pete commits, he does not back out of things. So we went into action. He put a big piece of plywood halfway between the sink and the cupboards, and further braced the plywood with full water buckets. Rover’s space adjoins a closet, so we cleared out our winter gear and our boot/shoe bins, just moving all aside for the night.

We got Rover in the house. He was resistant because he did not know what was going on. Pete pulled, and I pushed him up Rainbow’s ramp. Once inside, he laid down on the old horse hay and took in his surroundings. We did not let him go to sleep right away. We gave him an electrolytes and a drench, one that contained molasses and polypropylene glycol. We also gave him a smidgeon of bicarbonate and some coarse goat salt.

This morning Rover was about the same – he got up, took some salt and bicarbonate, and then lay back down again. He didn’t appear to be in pain, and he has not been moaning as he was previously. He hasn’t eaten much hay, nor nibbled on any hay pellets.

My friend Betty came over – together we are going to work on a project called “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Goat.” She is going to do the illustrations. We speculated some about Rover, and his tenacity. And I freely admitted that he might be hanging in there because he doesn’t want me to feel bad if he goes. This is very Rover-like. I have not had the “It’s okay for you to go,” talk because right now, I still believe that it could go either way. He has a 50/50 chance of making it.

The extremely cold temperatures are just one more thing to deal with. In addition to tending to Rover, I must (because Pete’s at school) make sure that all the animals are doing okay. Tinni has a blanket, seems comfortable. Rainbow, when I take her outside, is decidedly uncomfortable so we make it quick. The horses all have frost on their faces – but they don’t seem at all cold.

All were restless, so I took all four horses and Ryder for walks, Raudi and Tinni by themselves and Hrimmi and Tyra together. I did a woods slog with the latter two horses – the snow was up to my knees. Lots of grr, grr, grr going on here.

I suppose that if the low temps continue that we’ll get used to it. Then it will feel like the tropics when it gets back up to the 20s. I thought that this was going to be a mild winter. Hah.

Next: 19. 1/19/18: A Conversation with Ranger, Rover’s Sibling

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