Sometimes the most unexpected experience will rock you to your core and ultimately change how you look at life. My something is Spearmint. She's a smart, affectionate, and very demanding little goat.
The story began when I wanted to be able to breed purebred goats that were from Grand Champion lines. So I bought Blaze, Magic, Rose, and Spearmint from a farm that had that success in the show ring and were retiring from raising goats. It also was the only home that they had ever known. Spearmint was the oldest of the bunch and already four years old when she came to live with us. To try reduce their stress, I had all three girls share the same stall. But, Spearmint wouldn't lay down at night. She just stood in the corner of her stall and showed me that she wasn't happy with the move. We took her to the Vet to make sure she wasn't sick. After they ran some tests and couldn't find anything wrong, we were told that she was just stressed from the move. So that night I laid down in her stall and to my surprise she eventually laid down next to me. I started petting her and if I stopped, she would either lick my forehead or nudge my hand with her nose. The funny thing was after a while, she fell asleep and started snoring. Now almost every night, when Spearmint is done eating, she will still stand in the corner of her stall and wait for me to come in and lay down with her. But because she is also very stubborn. If she is standing in the corner of her stall and I don't go in and lay down with her. She will stand there all night long and at times stressed herself out to the point she is shaking by morning. Another problem that I have is, if I lay down with her and I get up before she is ready for me to leave, she also will get up and start this routine all over again. There's time she will set like a dog while she is waiting for me and even the 5 indoor barn cats know if Spearmint is sitting like a dog, that I will be coming soon. So all of the cats will go in her stall and wait for me too. Did I forgot to mention that when I go in and lay down with Spearmint, that all 5 of the cats will lay on top or around me? On a few occasions I have fallen asleep only to be woke up hours later by either Spearmint licking my forehead or having one of the cats decide to lay on my head. They are hilarious. Some of spearmints more recent stall mates Tawni and Nibbles got so jealous that wherever Spearmint would laid down, they would make her move and lay in her spot. Of course spearmint would not lay back down until I would come back out. Eventually Tawni and Nibbles got their own stall and since then Latte and Moose have became Spearmint's stall mates.
Even though all this sounds cute. The sad part is where I went wrong and failed Spearmint. The only time Spearmint didn't require me to come in and lay down with her was after she had her 3 boys back in 2017. Back then I didn't have the same mindset as I do now. Because it was a business, I made most of my decisions based on profitability and not what was best for our animals. So, I would sell most of our kids every year unless we had future plans of using them for breeding. At the time I didn't think we had a need her boys, so I sold all of them. I still can't believe I was that inconsiderate. Because once her boys were sold, Spearmint went back to requiring me to come in and lay down with her. Now we wish Spearmint could have more kids because she was a really wonderful mom and was so happy. But she had problems kidding and we can't risk her health or worse, losing her. Something that I will also regret for the rest of my life.
Spearmint opened my eyes to a thing or two. First, Spearmint seems to be in charge. Because even on nights that I'm ready for bed, I still have to wait until She is ready to lay down. I also have learned, that you don’t know how smart your furry friends are until they have trained you. But the most important thing that she taught me was to be more compassionate. Spearmint has changed my life in so many ways and is the reason why I became a Vegan.
So share some good fuzzy vibes and have the best day ever.
Aaron & Donna