It has been a better week.
The first few days of the week were spent ensuring the safety of the remaining animals. Our neighbor, Matt, set up his game camera to monitor the night-time activity around the pen. (None.)
Zeke is sleeping in the garage and for most of the week Mele was volunteered to keep him company.
(And, hey, guess what, Zeke uses a puppy pee pad. I kid you not. He's "house-broken". The first night he peed on an old beach towel, the next night I covered the same towel with a "Super Absorbent Training Pad" and he's been using the pad ever since. The small poops (dry and odorless) are sucked up with The Man's Industrial-sized Shop-Vac.)
The chickens returned to their coop after spending a single night in the garage. The mess and smell nearly bowled The Man over when he opened the garage door. Sorry, Ladies, you've got to live in your own home.
For future security, The Man constructed and installed a lion-proof gate on the goat house. I'm not entirely certain a clever cat can't get their paws through the wire so I'm asking, ahem, nagging The Man to reinforce it with a finer metal mesh. In the meantime, we'll keep Zeke in the garage at night.
For the first few days we spent as much time as we could with the scared, lonely goat. Luckily, Zeke immediately bonded with Mele and followed her everywhere.
We thought things were progressing well. Then one night The Man went outside to put everyone to bed. It was already dark, he found both dogs sleeping in the garage, but Zeke wasn't with them. A few long minutes later, with a flashlight, The Man found the scared goat wandering in the dark, looking for Mele. He was quite a distance from the house. Not sure who was more scared: The Man or the Goaty Boy. Zeke needed a goat companion ASAP.
The next day we answered a Craigslist ad for two Nigerian Dwarf bucklings born on August 11th. They would we weaned, wethered (neutered), and available in October; there was also a female. We made arrangements to visit on Thursday to take a look at the boys. On Wednesday, while at work, Wendy texted me that one boy had been sold.
Over these past three years we have been very fortunate to have the friendship and guidance of Goat Mama Peggy (the Goaty Boys' Mom). I once again turned to her for advice. Peggy didn't think a female goat would be too bothered by Zeke or the dogs. I was reassured and went to our appointment with an open mind.
On Thursday, we put dibs on the remaining boy. Such a tiny baby, I'm sure our chickens weigh more than he does.
We also came home with Bitsy, the one-year old female, the buckling's Aunt. Goat Mama Wendy thinks Bitsy is too small to be bred safely. She offered her to us for free.
I was pleased that Wendy liked and/or trusted us to gift us with her beautiful doeling. Then, when Wendy started walking towards the house, the itty bitty Bitsy opened her tiny mouth and SCREAMED. You know those funny goat videos with the bawling, yelling goats? She could've been the star; what she lacks in stature she certainly makes up in volume. Wendy said, "Um, yeah, she's a little vocal." A little? Really?
The Man didn't seem perturbed by the vocal onslaught (nor did he seem to notice me trying to catch his eye so we could talk about it first).
And Bitsy came home with us. So, now I'm thinking maybe Wendy was happy to rehome her goat before they got in trouble with the neighbors, heck, the whole neighborhood!
Phew, it's been three days and finally things are settling down . . . and quieting down.
But I gotta say: Bitsy. Talks. All. The. Time. (To Be Continued.)
We received many emails of support and sympathy from family and friends. How amazing that animals can touch our lives and make us better for it. Thank you everyone.