Toby is a testament to what can happen when one falls in love at first sight. I found Toby on a horse rescue website, late at night, while I was surfing out of boredom. When I saw him, I thought to myself there was no way this one wasn’t getting adopted. On an impulse, I posted my name to be his last chance bid before heading on a semi to slaughter. Lo and behold, a month later – I’d already forgotten – I got a phone call. I was now the proud owner of an Appaloosa horse named Toby. Talk about something that will sit you down! Well, I didn’t want to go back on my word, so I scrambled to find a suitable place for him to call home. When he got off the trailer, I looked him over and, taking note of his confirmation, thought, ‘Well, that’s a sway that’s here to stay.’ Aside from that, he was every bit of healthy and so very handsome.
He’s been my faithful and loving companion ever since. That was in 2008. He has a wonderful sense of humor and loves to hang out with people. He’s smart enough to let himself out of many a stall or paddock. There isn’t much that he won’t try by way of treats. He’s somewhere in his mid-twenties now and still looking great!
Lazarus came to live at the farm, because he was going to be a companion animal to another goat, named Gilbert. Together, their purpose was to topple the blackberry bushes that had taken over the back pasture. Lazarus is very unique. He is the only goat I’ve owned that has been shown in 4H. He is also extraordinary, because he is a colored Angora. It’s a little hard to tell since his coloring is champagne grey, not too far from the normal white of Angoras. Well, the monumental task soon proved to be greater than the two. The thought that four aught to do the trick is how Leon and Lily came to be…
Leon is magnificent! If you don’t know this about him, it becomes very apparent the second you get a glance at his horns. Everything about this boy is powerful. When I adopted him, his paperwork said he was a Pygora, but there’s nothing pygmy about him. He might have been more aptly referred to as “biggun.” His fleece is the most luxurious of all the goats I’ve owned and is always a favorite for my spinning friends. When Leon isn’t reminding the other goats about his status, he’s hanging out with his best friend, Toby. Watching their antics always gets a hoot!
Lily is a special girl. When she came to live at the farm, she had been neglected to the point that her horns looked like she was a doeling and she weighed 35 pounds. She was two years old! The rescue didn’t have any information about her, except that she was a pinto Cashmere-cross. All I knew was that she was cute as a button and was coming home with me. Lily was the only girl in the herd, but quickly established her place right by Toby’s side. It would be that way for the next 6 months. After that, they remained pretty much inseparable, with Toby keeping a mindful eye to make sure the other goats didn’t pick on her too badly. Nowadays, she doesn’t need to stay so close. She weights about 250 pounds and often has first dibs at the new feeding time.
In memory –
Gilbert was my first goat. He was quite a character, because he had a couple of bottom teeth that protruded from one side of his mouth and scurs from a botched disbudding job. I had studied up about the Angora breed before I went to meet Gilbert. On first impression, everything I’d learned to avoid was there like a blaring, flashing, ‘No!’ sign. However, when I looked at him, I was unprepared for his quiet determination. I knew I couldn’t leave him behind. So, I loaded him up in the bed of my truck and away we went.
Gilbert produced the silkiest fleece I’ve ever had the pleasure to touch. He was the first goat I ever sheared. His hooves were the first hooves I ever trimmed. His insatiable appetite was the reason he was the first goat I needed to call the vet for. He stood his ground against the dogs with no horns. Gilbert came when you called his name and he was fearless. Gilbert was great!