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January 23, 2013: Peaches, Etc

We have no idea how old Peaches the Goat actually is. She was old when we got her, five years ago, and she’s even older now. She’s lost a lot of weight since this summer. She was thin then, and is even thinner now. She’s now near-skeletal. I don’t think that she’ll survive another cold snap.

I’m now giving her corn, oats, and barley, and rice bran. I have to pull her away from the garbage can holding the grain when I’m taking her from the shed to the great outdoors. It’s hard, because she’s still plenty strong.

Peaches didn’t come downhill with Rover and Ranger this morning; rather, she chose to stay in her dog house. This is a bad sign. But I was easily able to lure her out with food. She seems more indignant than usual. She’s not really her happy self anymore. My guess is that she’s suffering from chronic wasting disease.

Whatever she has is not contagious. Ranger and Rover are the healthiest goats on the planet. They’re both bright eyed and quite plump. They race around and routinely bump heads with one another. Ranger seems to know that something’s up with Peaches – in the morning when I go to give the three their morning hay he gives me this odd look. I haven’t seen Peaches butt heads with either of them for some time.

I’ll have Peaches euthanized when she no longer shows any interest in eating. This is because she doesn’t need to experience the out-and-out discomfort of starvation. Also, it will be time for her to move through the portal, going from this world to the next.

I believe that our spirits continue to live. I have no idea what form these spirits take. Our problem is that because we fear the unknown, we do our best to keep ourselves and our animals alive for as long as possible. The quality of our life here is then a secondary concern. I don’t believe that we’ll be reunited with our pets when we die. This doesn’t make sense. For example, it would, in this instance mean that I’d also have to spend eternity with Peaches’ former owners, Rhonda and Matt Shaul. Then I would not be happy, for they had a herd of over 100 goats. Goat heaven would not be my idea of heaven. Three is enough, thank you.

I also will not replace Peaches when she dies because Peaches cannot be replaced. Maybe someday, I’d get another milk goat – but not right away. We need to size down rather than up.

Peaches has lead a wonderful life thus far. Most milk goats don’t get to experience retirement. Farm economics dictates that when they’re no longer producing milk, that they’re to be slaughtered and eaten. We decided to let Peaches live off the dole. She’s had a very good time, hanging out with Ranger and Rover.

If at this very minute I could have one wish, it would be that the powers that be allow Peaches to have more spring and summer. She could then spend her time grazing and eating browse. She would like this. And this could be why she’s being so tenacious about sticking around. I do enjoy her presence.

Update – got all the horses out today. Tinni and I played dodge the snowplow, and won. It was coming at us, so we went into a neighbor’s driveway. The driver did not look in our direction when passing. Pete and I also took Hrimmi and Siggi for a walk. Hrimmi is getting better and better at leading. And I took Signy and Raudi out. The two travel well together. I rode Signy at a trot for well over a mile, and Raudi happily travelled suit.

I’m now working at training Hrimmi to get into the trailer. We need to build a step – a covered pallet – for her so that she can step up into the trailer.
She may get to do a road trip later this week so we have to get going on this little project.

Pete went for jury duty selection – he was told shortly after he arrived that his services would not be needed. The accused pleaded guilty at the very last minute. He must have done this around 9 a.m. That’s early for such heavy decision making.

Next: 24. January 24, 2013: Pony Grrrrrrrrrl