Saturday, June 07, 2008

The little goat that could

Early last month I posted about Minnie Pearl (aka M. Pearl) and Scooter. About how Minnie had just arrived and not long after Scooter showed up all bloated and just not feeling right. Well, he's been pretty sick for the last few weeks. His bloated belly really didn't go down--it just stayed the same. He wasn't going potty (keeping it clean here folks) and he couldn't even lay sternally (on his 'belly' with his legs and feet tucked under.) He would lay on his side, legs sticking straight out and cry piteously--and his cries weren't normal goat 'baaas', they were small dog barks. Then, when the pain was really intense, he would scream.

When I was in the clinic, I would run to check on him and reassure him that he wasn't alone or forgotten. Then I would reposition him to allow his body to remember how it was supposed to be laying. During his feeds, I would have him straddle my leg (as I sat on the ground)front legs on one side, back legs on the other, so it would model how he would normally feed--standing up.

His skin began to crust and peel--very much like cradle cap on a baby. Even his ears were crusty. I bathed him then took him outside in the sun and brushed and picked the gunk off. He laid patiently in my lap (no bigger than a 3 month old lab pup!) and dozed. I also took he and Minnie to the pasture to spend time with The Boys. Minnie frolicked while Vinney ignored her; Rocky laid beside me, contentedly. Scooter would be in my lap, head on my leg, soaking it all in.

During all of this he never gave up. His eyes stayed bright, his mental state was always one of trying. I thought, more than once, that he was just suffering and maybe we needed to consider letting him go. But looking into those amber eyes I realized he wasn't giving up and I needed to follow his lead.

The vets prescribed all kinds of meds for him. Antibiotics for his swollen knee (possible joint infection); dewormers, pain meds and homeopathics. Everyone was at a loss as to why he was down and why the bloat wasn't going away. His formula was changed, colostrum was added... everything.

Then one day (this past Monday) he stood up on his own. All on his own! His right front leg and rear left leg were very weak, but still there he was, standing!! He took tentative steps forward and hasn't stopped since.

He is still very slow but his will is solid. He now spends his days outside with Minnie and her new friend Cher. (Cher has her own story!!) He walks, grazes, and I think truly enjoys his time with them. I have walked past where they are and have watched him curled in the grass, eyes closed and nose pointed skyward with a slight smile on his pink fuzzy lips.

Goats are known for their determination.

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