The pen the I built seems so big and empty. The fence that I built seems too high. The garden is not at risk. The roses will likely grow back now. Our feed bill will be lower next month.
This post comes after a long deep breath. You see, our goat… Buddy, died this week. I never thought I’d mourn the loss of a goat, but I am.
Living with Buddy the Goat
Buddy was annoying, forceful when food was present and would jump any fence to get into trouble. He cost us so much in feed and infrastructure. A new goat house was built to accommodate Buddy’s unnerving ability to get out of almost anything. The double gate entry system was designed and installed to give us a better chance at getting in without Buddy getting out. He even discovered how to open our back door to get on our kitchen table!
Ugh… why do we do so much for one goat! Because we loved him, that’s why.
We have two other goats, but they don’t seem to care much for us like Buddy did. Buddy was more of a friend like a good dog. He loved to be petted. He would come to us when we called his name. His gorgeous blue eyes were heart melting. When he laid his head on our laps we melted.
Why did Buddy become ill?
It would be difficult to know exactly how and why he became ill. He laid down one day and started contracting like he was trying to pass something. We observed him that evening and called some people who had goat experience. It seemed clear that Buddy could not urinate. Apparently this is not uncommon in male goats. Some say it’s even more common in wethers (male goats that have been castrated). I don’t know if this is true, but it is a common belief.
Treating Buddy’s Urinary Calculi
Two small stones were massaged out of the urinary tract. We were so hoping that this would help Buddy relieve himself. It didn’t. A trip to the vet would have him undergo a minor surgical procedure to nip the tip. This was supposed to increase the opening… again making it possible for Buddy to relieve himself. Beyond that there were other surgical options.
I’m very sad to say that we just couldn’t afford more.
That statement causes more emotion in me than I care to really admit. We couldn’t come up with enough money to keep our Buddy alive. We had to be “practical” with our budget. Logically I get it. I really do… but it’s hard to swallow.
The next couple days nothing got done on the farm but caring for buddy. We did vitamin injections, pain relievers, muscle relaxers and dredged him orally with Ammonium Chloride. That was miserable.
Buddy seemed to respond well to the treatments. He perked up occasionally. This made us think that he could pull through this. We did not want to give up.
Losing A Good Goat to Urinary Calculi
My wife had to take our son to a doctor’s appointment, so I stayed home with our daughter and Buddy. I was convinced that Buddy would still be there just like he had been for the last couple days. I was in and out of his pen looking after him.
There was a moment when Buddy started making noises that were not even close to normal. It was horrible. I knew this was it. This was the kind of misery that you are not supposed to let an animal endure.
The moment was here. I had to make the decision that I did not want to face. It took me about five minutes to go inside and get my weapon. Right at that same time a Permaculture friend pulled up the drive. I offered to shake his hand after I did this thing. He understood and came out with me.
Buddy spared me the emotional moment. He passed on his own in that short time that I walked away from him. I wanted to cry, but held it back. I’m tearing up writing this post. I am sad that Buddy is gone.
My friend and I wrapped Buddy up in a blanket that he had been laying on. He was carried to his final resting place. 90 pounds never felt so heavy.
For the time that we had Buddy on our farm I am grateful. There will never be a goat like that for us again. Losing A Good Goat to Urinary Calculi.