Sometimes the most unexpected experience will rock you to your core and ultimately change how you live your life. Our something is named Spearmint. She's a smart, affectionate, and very demanding little goat.
Once upon a time, I thought it wasn't enough to just have a couple of pet goats. No, I had the bright idea that it was necessary to breed and sell purebred Nigerian Dwarf goats that came from Grand Champion lines. So I bought Blaze, Magic, Rose, and Spearmint from a farm that was retiring from raising show goats. It also was the only home that they had ever known. Spearmint happened to be the oldest of the bunch and was 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 the 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, they told us she was probably just stressed from the move. So that night I decided to lay 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. Which is now her way of telling me she is waiting for me to come in and lay down with her. Spearmint is also very stubborn. If she is sitting like a dog in the her stall and I don't go in and lay down with her. She will stand there all night long and at times stress herself out to the point she is shaking in the 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 times while she is waiting for me that even our 3 indoor barn cats know, if Spearmint's 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 of the cats will lay on top of me too? 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. Spearmint is very picky when it comes to stall mates. Some of spearmints more past 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 wouldn't lay back down until I would come back out and make Tawni and Nibbles move. 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 sweet and cute. The sad part is where I went wrong. There was a time Spearmint didn't require me to come in and lay down with her. It was after she had her 3 boys back in 2017. Unfortunately back then I didn't have the same mindset as I do now. And even though I believed that I loved and took good care of our animals. I still 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 for using them for breeding. At that time I didn't think I 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, She became depressed. Which is a common problem with the moms when you first take their kids away. So it was no surprise that Spearmint then 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 unfortunately she had health problems during kidding and we can't risk her health or worse, losing her. Something that I will regret for the rest of my life.
Spearmint opened our eyes to many things. First, Spearmint seems to be in charge. Because even on nights that I'm ready for bed, I still have to wait until She's ready to lay down. We 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 us was to always have compassion. Spearmint changed our lives in so many ways and is the reason why we no longer wanted to participate or support any animal industry. So all of our turkeys and goats retired and we became a Vegans.
Hopefully Spearmint's story will inspire you to be more compassionate towards all animals. So share some good fuzzy vibes and have the best day ever.
Aaron & Donna