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February 2, 2017: The Farming Life: Animal Husbandry

I just wrote yet another poem in which Rover the Goat is the central character. I wrote about how Pete, in my absence, began giving him smoothie slurries. This, I think, has contributed to Rover’s gradual improvement.

Pete’s having thought of this has actually turned out to be a life-saving gesture for Ole Rover. Rover still isn’t eating. But he is now taking bicarbonate and salt out of my hand and downing the slurry when we syringe it into his mouth. I think Rover is on the upswing although I would like to see more upswing.

I have always loved Rover and loved the fact that of all the animals, he most loves me. This has always been his most endearing trait. Rover has never been as agile or seemingly as smart as his buddy

Ranger and Rover

Ranger; consequently, he has not gotten quite as much attention.

Here’s the catch. We have a lot of animals here – two chickens, two goats, two dogs, four horses. In fact we have so many animals that no one animal gets all our attention. Of course, we love them all. Ours is very peaceable kingdom. They get along with one another and with us, and vice versa. Even Ryder the herding dog puts the goats in the pen nicely. She sits on the porch and gives them eyeball. The goats then move into the pen. If they don’t move, she gets behind them and puts them in place.

However, Rover’s being ill has brought him to forefront of our attention. And his being brought to the forefront of our attention has alerted me to the fact that he might very well be one with the universe. And furthermore, all the animals here might very well be one with the universe. A sobering thought gives me reason to pause.

All the animals, as I am seeing with Rover, are teaching me the importance of kindness and compassion. For instance, last night I went to feed Rover. He wasn’t really keen on this and went to the corner and put his head against the wall. So I sat down in the pen with him and hung out with him and rubbed his ears and flanks. And he rubbed his forehead against my face and in so doing became very relaxed.

Now if Rover had remained healthy we would not have brought him into the house. And if he had not come in the house I would not have the above-mentioned very deep interaction with him. I did ask him if he was (in a manner of speaking) ready to part company with us and he said no. So I am going to respect his wishes and keep doing what we are doing.

What I am to learn from Rover is to remain in the moment. For it is in remaining in the moment that we, and those we interact with, are most apt to fully hear and appreciate what the other has to say.

That I’m writing poems about Rover and his illness is further verification of this.

Next: 34. 2/3/17: The Horse Life: The A and B Teams

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