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December 12, 2022: Eulogy for Ranger

Ranger passed away early this morning. We checked in on him before breakfast and he was lying flat out and making noise. We checked in on him after breakfast and he was clearly dead.

Both Sassy and Swampy were anxious. I let them out of the pen and then Pete and I lifted him onto the sled. I put a blanket on him and took him down to the compost station. He’s there now. There was far too much snow for me consider hauling him out to the woods. Even the snow on the road is knee deep, and of course the plow has not been by yet.


I make the above sound easy. It was not. I called Zach, our veterinarian in between the pre and post breakfast checks, and talked with him about the methods of euthanasia – none sounded good to me. Pete didn’t want him to be given phenobarbital, and I didn’t want him shot. The prospect of him having a vein in his anus cut also did not appeal to me.

That Ranger went, not so peacefully, was for the best for him and for us.

Quite clearly, he didn’t want to go. He took to the recent routine, which involved lifting him up onto his feet and then giving him a bucket full of supplements. Once onto his feet, he was fine and seemed really strong. His back leg muscles gave out because they atrophied.

My biggest regret is that Ranger never had a real job. He did not pull a cart or carry a pack or get to do much agility. I will always feel bad about this because he was a very intelligent goat, and he would have loved to have something else to do besides eat, sleep, and keep his herd mates in line. He was also very athletic, which contributed to his longevity.

The closest he came to having a job was when he went to the Alaska State Fair, with the purpose of keeping Stormy company. The two shared a pen and had plenty of hay and water. I spent considerable time in the enclosure with the two of them. The multitudes had a lot of questions. Most wanted to pet the goats. Stormy quickly tired of this, but Ranger couldn’t get enough attention. He would stand sideways to the metal bars and allow himself to be petted through the slats. We would have had him do time at the petting zoo, but he had one fault; this was that he would sometimes rear up and stand on his two legs. By the time he was on exhibit at the fair, Ranger was no longer doing this, but we could not take any chances.

Ranger outlived Rover, Peaches, and Stormy, who were his constant companions. He’s survived by his herd mates Sassy and Swamp Thing. He was the sire of Teslin and Muncho, and Peaches was their dam.

Greatest of all Time. The moniker fits my dear, departed friend.

Next: 342. 12/13/22: More Snow Forthcoming

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