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May 7, 2019: Treating Animals Kindly

When animals come here to live, we strike a bargain with them. We will treat them with kindness and respect, and they will do the same with us. The animals have never, ever reneged on their side of the deal. In fact, chickens, goats, horses, dogs have brought us great joy. Every so often Raudi has laid back her ears in order to let others in her herd know that her best interests come first. But she has never indicated this to us.

This is a tough dispatch to write because I am admitting that today I erred by going back on my side of the deal. And right now, I feel like shit about this.

Dr. Kaiser came over for the fourth of four visits, all in preparation for our upcoming trip. The horses have now had their

Young Ranger and Rover

wellness exams, and two have had their teeth floated. They’ve had their Coggins Tests and vaccines and are ready to cross into Canada and back into the US. Dr. Kaiser and his vet tech Sarah (once again today) did a wonderful job. We are indebted to them.

As an aside, we asked Dr. Kaiser if he might help us remove our goat Ranger’s scur, a horn-like growth that occurs when the disbudding procedure is done improperly. Our former veterinarian, Dr. Sandy Farris, did the honors many years ago. Ranger has had to live with the consequences of her not fully removing the area that produces the horn. She did do a good job of castrating him and Rover (now deceased), but did a bad job when it came to removing the scurs.

So yeah, we asked Dr. Kaiser to trim the scur, to which he agreed. We three strode into the upper quadrant and attempted by various means to restrain Ranger. Ranger is a very strong fellow and fought tooth and nail because he knew what was coming. When finally, we did have him restrained, Dr. Kaiser went to cut the scur with his nippers. Ranger jerked away and the scur came off, leaving a bloody stump. He then bleated in pain.

He will be all right. However, I was left to wonder (and I am sure Pete and our veterinarian was too) as to how we might have handled the situation differently. My take on this matter is that we rushed into the pen, speaking loudly and grabbed Ranger, who’d come up to us. We then did what we did in a very quick but thoughtless fashion.

This bothers me to a large part because Ranger is a very friendly fellow who has a wonderful disposition. And he presumed that we would not hurt him. What we did was a form of betrayal. After, we did give him treats and I did some body work on him. But this was after the fact. You want to do these things before you use the nippers.

How does one apologize to a goat? I don’t think it’s possible to do this. He seemed like he was pain this afternoon, so we did give him Banamine. Tomorrow I’ll let him into the yard and spend time with him. Pete and I also agreed that if we ever have to put him through this that we’ll first have him sedated. Live and learn, sometimes at other’s expense.

Next: 126. 5/8/19: Gosh

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