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Monday, October 06 2014

I've started building my fall inventory of soap and thus begins the merry-go-round of making soap, cutting soap, bagging soap, mailing soap and delivering soap. The goat milk I'm using is the last of the frozen milk from Clover and Crimson. I stored the milk in glass Mason jars with a little blue dab of painter's tape on the lid where the goat and date is listed.

I can't help but get a bit choked up as I pull the milk out of the freezer. By the time I've completed my Christmas inventory, I will have run out of milk from Crimson and Clover - my first dairy goats.

Last spring when I ran CAE tests on everyone, my beloved Clover and her son, Dash, came up positive. While other people may be able to juggle CAE positive goats with negative ones, we have neither the time nor the space to do it, so I opted to place everyone in pet homes and start over again. Although it hurt to lose them, they went to great homes with people we trust, so all was well.

Clover and her babies went to live with our grandchildren so we could see them regularly. I missed them, but was satisfied that they were living happy lives as beloved family pets. They got lots of attention and followed the kids everywhere. But just as there is a snake in the Garden of Eden, there are parasites in Paradise.

Most likely these were parasites the goats came in with but because Clover was at the tail end of lactation, she was affected more than the kids. Clover began to lose weight. She was wormed and seemed to be better, but the kids found her dead one morning a few weeks ago. 

Like an ostrich, I stuck my head in the sand and pretended it didn't really happen, but each morning that I pull milk out of the freezer, it's there in front of me. I have to deal with her death. I cannot keep pretending that the next time we visit the kids, she'll come trotting up with her ears swaying from side to side.

The rest of the goats are fat and happy with strong immune systems, but Clover just didn't make it. I cried. I cried for Clover, I cried for the grandchildren who lost a beloved pet, and selfish beast that I am, I cried for me, because I loved that silly goat.

There is a philosophy among goat people -

"It's always the pretty ones, and the ones you love the most who will die."

Sadly this holds true. Parasites are nasty little bastards. Worming goats and sheep with the right drug for the right parasite is always a tricky game. Most of the time we win, but this time we lost. And it hurt for everyone.

Clover will always remain that one special goat for me. She was my first dairy goat. The first goat I learned to milk, the goat who led me to the world of goat milk soap. She used to hum when I milked her. It was the oddest thing. I think she was actually talking to herself as she ate her grain, but it sounded just like humming. Clover was my humming goat.

So each time I take a Mason jar out of the freezer and peel away the little blue sticker with her name, I will hurt a little inside, and through the tears I will remember my beloved Humming Goat.


Vaya con Dios, Clover. Go with God.


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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