Saturday, July 12, 2008

Exit Soda, Enter Jack

No, I haven't sworn off soft drinks for the hard stuff; in fact, it's quite the opposite.  I've given up hard stuff for a softie.  So, what the heck am I talking about?  Well, our goat, Soda Pop, has gone to a new home, and we have acquired a pet bunny by the name of Jack.  This farm can be a regular animal Grand Central Station at times.

Soda Pop was a 9-year-old wethered Nubian whose coloring was reminiscent of Ginger Ale - hence his name.  He was quite large, somewhere between 250 and 300 pounds, and fortunately was a mild-mannered guy.  Unfortunately, he - or any of us - could not escape the fact that he was a goat.  Though he was interesting to have around for 9 years, nobody cried when he left.  

We originally acquired Soda when we were showing horses.  Often, we'd take all the horses off to a show except for one, and horses being the herd-bound nuts that they are, would be frantic and anxious until their buddies returned home.  So, we got a babysitter for the one horse left behind, and Soda did a great job of it.  In fact, he thought he was a horse himself and would gallop along with the little herd, trying to keep up with his great huge ears flapping like wings.  

Soda was expert at escaping through fencing and eating my roses.  He almost became BBQ last year for that repeated offense.  He was also expert at breaking into the barn and opening the doors for the horses to join him inside where they all had raucous parties.  Not only was he expert, but he was determined to do such things.  Owning Soda has made me understand why God places the goats at his left hand and not at His right!

We do have some good stories to tell thanks to Soda, though.  Like the one when he got dehorned and had his head wrapped up like a mummy.  When he was turned back out with the horses, they were terrified at the apparition and stampeded away from him.  Soda, just trying to keep up with the herd, kept running after them and it was apparent that things were suddenly terribly out of control.  Sure enough, Monte jumped the fence and hit the road.  Peytonsville Road.  In morning traffic.  Fortunately, he stayed in his own lane, but ran for two miles before turning into a farm.  We finally found him up at the top of a ridge up against a fence line where he could run no more.  It was weeks before his hoofprints were no longer visible in the asphalt.  

Then there was the time when he got an infection and had to have Penicillin shots.  "Sure, I can do it," I told the Vet.  "I've given the horses shots hundreds of times."  Well, Soda was no horse.  Even with Katie astride him, and me sitting on him best I could with a large hypodermic, it took three tries to successfully inject him.  When it was finally accomplished, his eyes rolled back in his head and he fainted!  I thought we'd killed him!  I called the Vet back and told him he could have the job after all.  I'm allergic to Penicillin and there would be no more fighting with a goat and hypodermic!

There are other stories to tell about Soda, and I'm sure we'll be telling them for some time to come.  He was certainly a spice of life.  However, it's nice to close that chapter and welcome a lop-eared bunny to the Funny Farm.  Why not trade the hard stuff for the soft stuff occasionally?