Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Goat Girl

Our darling daughter, Sami (9) has decided she wants to raise goats... No idea where this came from (we are goatless outfit here), but it has been on 'her mind' for close to 6 months now....

Her visions of raising her own little herd of critters started with the Puppy Batch of 2006... Dick asked Sami if she wanted to be in charge of puppies, tempting her with the riches to be gained...from potential puppy sales. What's an easy going 8 year old to do? Sure! She replied.... So, Ernest, our oldest male McNab (older than Sami!), and Maggie, a two year old McNab 'got married'...

Sami's job was to take care of the mother to be. As most out of the 'out of wack' events go around here, Dick was out of town for a few days in December and Maggie, in her infinite doggy wisdom, decided she was not going to have her puppies in the cozy condo we setup in the vacant 3-vehicle shed...No way, Jose...Even though she had been spending the last month in her own personal digs with clean straw, fresh water and food, and basically her own delux accommodations without others of her own kind, she had plans.

So, on the day she delivered her pups it just so happened I had a group of gals over for a Christmas Crop (scrapbooking - naturally!). Of course it was one of those nasty, windy, cold winter days...where the wind manages to sneak into any crevice it finds and blow it's way into your house (I even covered the air filter over the kitchen stove it was so bad!)... Anyway, it was time for the evening chores and Maggie was running loose, and had obviously dropped a few pounds.... The kids and I then went on a puppy search... and sadly, the crop came to an end...Little did we know that on her daily rompings Maggie was out 'in the elements' digging a den in a straw house that already had two other dogs... She was even bold enough to kick one of the occupants out of his cozy digs. We eventually found the pups, but could not 'see' them... Maggie's den had a narrow opening, and only Jake, the smallest of our family, could wiggle in for a peak. He got to be our scout with a flashlight, and report on the litter size.

Fast forward to May... Six puppies, and $350 dollars later, Sami was a wealthy girl of her age. She and her dad had worked out the income minus expenses thing (puppy food, shots, etc.) before the big goat shopping trip. Now, I would like to say, no one compensated the 'baby sitter'. That would be yours truly who fed the puppies every school morning, picked up all the chewed up items found in the yard (if Mr. Deere and I didn't mow over them) and of course, took a loss on garden tools or other luxury items 'found' and destroyed by the pups.

Sami and her dad prepared for their upcoming goat shopping trips. Ads were clipped out of livestock publications, they compare prices, Sami surfed the net to check out breeds, etc. Then, they went to the Thursday Livestock sale to bid on goats... the first Thursday, they saw goats, but Sami did not buy one. Two weeks later they came home with Ruby...

Ruby, my friends is not a goat. She is a calf. A calf with Brahma influence. Wild. And when she arrived, she was a kicking, snorting, wild bottle baby calf! No human had domesticated the beast. Now, why would a rancher who raises cattle 'let' his daughter pay big dollars for a calf from strangers instead of giving her one of our own?

Probably for the same reason that the same rancher came home with 7 new steers from the livestock sale as well. Let's just compare it to say, Scrapbook supplies. I have enough patterned paper to outfit perhaps the next four generations of family albums. But, I just can't pass up something that I know 'will be the perfect fit' - it has potential, and it's an emotional decision. For the most part, it's all about the experience, and when we are talking about memories and learning experiences, it's as the credit card ads say, "Priceless".


~Stacy said...

I love it!
I'm laughing because i understand that story perfectly. and hey that gals gonna grow up pretty! she has beautiful color!
I'm so glad you made a blog!

Sandy said...

What a great story! Maybe one day you can collect "back pay"??