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photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just an Old Goat

We lost Alice yesterday.

She went down about a week ago- not on her side or in pain or even in distress, just with her legs under her like a big dog and decided she didn't want to get up again.

And if a 150 pound goat tells you she's fine right where she is, you just move the food and water and tuck a sleeping bag around her old bones.

Alice and Trixie were our 2nd attempt at goats down here in Texas. The first 2- China and Marigold- were run down and killed by dogs who dug under the fence one winter day while we were at work.

It took me 2 years to get Ward to agree to try again.

Goats are very personable.

So we got Alice and Trixie. Trixie died of bloat about 5 years ago.

Alice had a set of triplets every year...and raised them all. Usually one is smaller, weaker, and gets pushed out of the way by siblings and has to be bottle fed. Alice made sure everyone played nice.

One year Alice had her triplets in an ice storm- outside even though the barn was right...there. They all died. I thought we were going to lose Alice as well. She stopped eating, hung her head and just gave up.

About a week later, we had 2 other births- one nanny had triplets and decided she just wanted two. The other had twins and decided she just wanted one.

I took the two virtual orphans over to Alice and set them down beside her. Her head came up. She sniffed the babies. She licked the babies. And she started eating.

Alice was easy to milk and loved people- She posed with Alec for many photos and with sunglasses on for t-shirts advertising the little store I used to own-"Grinning Goat Gifts".

When Alice went down I tucked a sleeping bag around her- she was pretty moth-eaten and missing some of her hair, but I know how she feels- I'm old, too. I sat by her side and looked up "life span of Nubian Goats" on my phone.
8-10 years
8-12 years
10-12 years
Alice was 13 going on 14.

So we moved the water dish and food, kept her daughter Lucy in with her for company (Lucy is 11) and made sure she was always tucked in and brought her the kitchen scraps- apple peelings, bread heels, carrots...She ate them all.

She never cried out, never ground her teeth and never seemed distraught.

She just slowed down till she stopped.

I'll miss you, Alice- but can see you in your daughters Lucy and Becca and your son Lazarus- Alec's pet.

Till we meet again, old friend-


When we took our official portraits for work, I let my staff choose who I posed with- overwhelmingly they said "a duck and a goat". I'm so glad I chose Alice.

2 comments:

  1. she must have been very content to live such a long productive life. Sleep well sweet Alice, you've done your work and it's time to go home now. Hugs to you Sheri.

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  2. You're the best friend and care-giver your goats could have! What a good life and a good home she had! Hope all the good memories lift you up. ((hugs))

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