From the Day He Was Born

4/11/2015 – 12/31/2021

Eddie T. Goat

From the day he was born (not the night, but the day)

He was trouble (not Monopoly, but Trouble)

He was the thorn (not the rose, but the thorn)

In his owners’ side (not the back, but the side)

They tried in vain (not in artery, but in vein)

But it never caused him nothing but pain

They weren’t home the day he died

This is a song lyric only lightly edited; don’t think I’m trying to be poetic on my own. Eddie seemed a little slow even from birth. He was double-inbred. We were soon to discover he had problematic hooves. We tried all sorts of things but could not do anything to remedy the situation or make his walking less painful. The following year his sister Zowie was born with the same condition, so we stopped all inbreeding immediately.

He adopted an unusual gait and a habit of going down on his front knees, which gave him arthritis. He was also prone to wounds that wouldn’t heal and becoming disgustingly dirty even for a goat. His problem hooves had to be cared for twice as often as those of normal goats.

In short you can see we had here a child with a disability. It is so hard to know when to end an animal’s suffering. Last winter Eddie developed some problems getting up on his own, and I started voting to put him down; but it was a winter thing, and he went on to have a good summer. Unfortunately, it didn’t take very many cold winter days this year before he had had enough. And unfortunately, the going-down-and-not-getting up came on suddenly, severely, and while we were away. Keep goats long enough and eventually everything happens, including the worst – having your goat-sitter need to be the officiant over an end of life. I’m afraid we’ve permanently traumatized Penny.

My husband deserves to be very proud for how he cared for Eddie all these years. Every three weeks trimming and sanding those hooves, clipping disgusting hair, coming up with ingenious ways to keep bandages on wounds. Troubles are over for both of them.

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