Monday, November 7, 2011

I almost fainted

Well the ancestors came and left it seems. Thanks for riding on that roller coaster with me.

You know a really nice psychiatrist told me that I could be bipolar, he knew I was depressed. I sometimes read my blog and think, Is this the manifestation of my mental condition? I am certainly all over the place. My head sometimes feels like it could explode because of all of my creative thoughts. You name it... I can think it.

Hence this post, in the middle of telling you a story about how I came to be me and how I seem to have landed here, you are now interrupted with this:

A nice little farm update. :-) (Sort of.)

So I had been expecting  delivery of a new Myotonic (aka TN Fainting) goat. He was born in Kentucky and although I was looking for another doe, I saw this guys and he appealed to my magical side. He looked mythical in the pictures, a black horned blue colored buck, that seemed like he would appear the same place say a unicorn might show up. He is like the color of morning mist, and he is a little wild in personality.

He has been here for well, that is complicated when I say he has been... here.

We met Blue Bird Acres the transport company at midnight at the WV Welcome Center. It was cold and windy. We chatted a bit (we had actually met them earlier that day which is another little something I will tell you about.) We got little Blue Clay the Myo goat into the back of our Jeep Cherokee and made our way home through the winding mountains. I sat in the back seat scratching Blue Clay and looking at how beautiful he was. I only got glimpses of him when enough light hit his blue color. I was telling him that he would love his new home. He smelled a but musky, like a buck will smell and he would lower his head to warn me if I moved my hand too fast towards him. He wasn't really going to butt me, but it was all he had. It had been a long ride for him, he was away from his home where he was born and now this lady was trying to touch him while he leaned into the turns, over and over. When we arrived Rusty picked up Blue Clay out of the Jeep and carried him into the electric fenced area that is next to our house.

I was struggling to get out of the back of the jeep (two seat-er) and by the time I got inside my Bella the beagle barked at Blue Clay. Blue Clay had had enough, took off running with Bella in chase. He went flying through the 5 hot wires, in a god awful faint. Right through it, electricity pulsing while he fainted and the fell down the drop on the other side. Rusty and I went running to unlatch the gate and go catch him. He was heading down the mountain, fast. Maybe he was flying. I looked up higher along the mountain while Rusty went lower. He told me he lost the tracking sound of crunching leaves because I was making so much noise above, you know, crunching leaves and stuff. We searched every inch of the side of the mountain, pitch black, rocky, briars, you name it. I ran back up to the house and got two flashlights. I came back and I continued sweeping the mountainside, while Rusty jumped back in the jeep to drive down the the cattle farm on the road below us on this side of the river and at the beginning of a valley. We searched and searched. We traveled as far as the river and back, then spread out again. I was in tears, calling for him, sick to my stomach.

I heard the distant horn of a train. They echo here in the mountains. I knew it was coming. One train line still comes through our area, full of coal it comes like thunder. I stood and listened to it get closer and closer. I thought about it scaring Blue Clay out from his hiding place, and could only imagine him in a full faint in the middle of those tracks, unable to move. I could hardly breath.

After the train passed, we doubled back, I climbed up and got the dogs out to help us track him. They ended up chasing rabbits, oh, and Bella found our cat that was not lost. Thanks beagle, great nose. We searched in the cold until 3 am, freezing and sweating, tired and scared. I came inside and cried and cried. Rusty and I kept going out every time we hear one of our dogs bark, but none of them were able to track Blue Clay. I cried more. I know what is out there, bobcats and bears, coyotes and dogs, mean dogs. Fainting goats have no defenses. That is why it is important to own herd guardian dogs to protect them. In fact, these goats used to be used with sheep, so if a predator would come, the sheep would run and escape, which left the fainting goats there as live decoys to save the herd. Now fainting goats are the ones to protect. They are coveted, and rare and soon the breeding lines will be closed on them, as most old herds have been found.

But, I knew he was alone and defenseless, he did not know where he was, or who I was.

Rusty held me while I sobbed and sobbed into his shoulder, snot and tears flying. He tried to tell me that he would be ok, and promised me that he was probably hunkered down hiding and at first light he would go find him and bring him home. I would not hear any of it. I wrote my neighbors with an incoherent email and alerted her to have her family (their land surrounds ours) to look for him in the morning. I sent pictures. I lay down on the couch, my knees, back and heart aching and listening for my dogs and finally fell asleep about 5 am. Still with Clay's bucky smell on my hands.

At first light Rusty woke me up and says, "come look" ... there he was, Blue Clay, staring at my face, I grabbed him and hugged him and cried more and then he promptly pooped and peed on my hardwood floor.

Seems he had made it way down to the farm below us in the valley. Rusty had searched everywhere again for him along the mountain, past the train tracks, and finally went to the cattle farm searching near their pastures. There was Blue Clay, up on a hillside, blending with the boulders chewing on a tree.

I haven't got pictures of him yet, but here is a picture of him a few months ago. Today is the first day I have let him out with my herd. I am watching him like a hawk.

Blue Clay


  1. Wow Crow that was a real roller-coaster of a ride right there. I could feel the panic when Clay did a runner!

    Heck, I nearly grabbed my coat and flashlight to come look for him myself, even though I'd have a 3000 mile drive/swim/drive to get there!!xx

  2. What a sweet story. He is a cutie pie.

  3. Hi Kat, yes he is cutie. He is a little more bulked up now than the picture shows. Myos are in the meat goat category, so they get pretty muscular. He is pining away at the girls on the other side of the fence right now. Poor fella.

    Chris, I sure would have appreciated the help! I will have to set up a hotline, in the event of missing farm animals we can all spread out and start looking. :-)

  4. Ooh, I so glad you were able to find him.
    What a scare, he's a sharp tack to stay close to the farm !
    I once lost six Yorkshire Terriers after my fence blew down in a windstorm, I didn't stop looking until they were all safely home, six weeks to the day.
    He's a handsome lad.

  5. He obviously realised that he's better off in the company of humans. He's a fine looking boy.

    If this happens again just call Chris and me, and we'll be over!

  6. Oh Jo, so you know how that feels x6. Poor babies. I am glad you found them. There is nothing that makes my heart ache more than when an animal in my care is in trouble. I take my responsibilities seriously, as do you.

    Cro, I will call both you and Chris if it happens again. Thank you! How I wish we all could be neighbors. Oh my what fun we all would have. (Or trouble) ;-)

    Blue Clay is a little more wild than my first two, Pancho and Cinco. They are very tame and I trip over Pancho. He is definitely attached at the apron strings. Such sweet babies. Blue Clay will learn to come running when he hears the porch door open. He doesn't know yet that I am the treat lady.


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