Thursday, July 20, 2006

Have I Failed as a Pet Parent?

I ask myself this question often these days. Many of you have probably been asking yourselves that very same question when you come to my house and Sebastian tries to bite your arm off. Where did I go wrong? What did I do? Why does my cat hide when you rustle paper? Why does he not like anyone but Marty and me? Why did he spend his first 6 weeks in NC literally under the covers in an 80 degree room? It was so disconcerting that visitors would ask if he was alive (he was).

I did nothing but love and nurture Sebastian the best I knew how. And yet, look at how he turned out.

I find myself once again in the same boat (although in 2 different regards) with the goats (sorry for those of you who are goated out. I can't seem to help it).

Today, a gentle rain storm turned into an all out downpour and Elvis and Ann-Margaret got caught out in the pasture. Elvis made a run for it but little Ann-Margaret can't go so fast. She sort of walked/stumbled to the barn and got soaked. Her being so little, I was worried. So when the rain stopped, I went out to the barn with a towel to dry her off and some goat chow (she loves the stuff).

As soon as I walked into the barn, Elvis made a dash for it. But Ann-Maragret is not so quick so she got stuck in the stall. Elvis of course started bahhing frantically from outside of the barn and Ann-Margaret responded with equal emotion. I of course was not there to hurt them. In fact, I can't think of 1 thing I have done (other than pick 2 ticks off Ann-Margaret and give them each an oral dose of dewormer) that is remotely threatening. On the contrary, I have brought them away from the other goats, given them a huge pasture full of yummy things to graze on, given them shelter and fresh straw to sleep on and as an added bonus, they now get goat chow. So why is my presence so alarming?

Even on my knees, goat chow in my hand Ann-Margaret would not budge. I got as close as my hand literally under her mouth, but she would not eat. So I scooped her up (she made a fuss), toweled her off as best I could, and then watched her scramble off the find her boyfriend. And the whole time I am wondering, why does this little goat not like me? Come to think of it, perhaps she blames me for the mysterious disappearance of her sister. Even so, I am beginning to get a complex.

As for Claudette, she took a turn for the worse on Tuesday. So much so, that the doctor told me to keep my cell phone close by in case he needed to get my permission to put her down. But she has improved over the last 2 days. They forced some milk on her and she's back to bottle feeding 4 times a day. Someone takes her home at night to keep an eye on her. Sally - who I met last Saturday - has had her at home for a few nights and has put Claudette with her little goat which seems to be working well. And one of Sally's cats has taken a shine to Claudette as well and can be found curled up next to her on the pile of towels.

While this warms my heart, it makes me a little sad too because that was supposed to my Christmas card picture. Not someone else's.

Dr. Bob knows I want to bring her home, but he gently suggested we let them continue to care for her. As he put it, he did not think our schedules would allow us to care for Claudette in the proper manner that she currently requires. But it's not about schedules (well - it is, but not 100%). It's about something more and it's that something more that has me so wrapped up in thought on this.

Should Claudette fully recover, I wonder if it is fair for me to take her from the people who nursed her back to health? Yes - it is their job but they have gone above and beyond the call of duty on this one.

Anyways, that's what's on my mind tonight. Not exactly a barrel of laughs...and maybe not all that country...but then again, did you ever think I'd get so wrapped up in livestock?

Just wait til we get chickens...

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...


Fairy God Sister said...

Sarah sweetie - do you think it could just be that GOATS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE HOUSE PETS! Don't take it personally that Elvis won't nuzzle you or Ann-Margret won't eat out of your hand. They're goats honey - goats. Goats.

Rick said...

Sarah - Every time I read one of your entries, I can't help but think of Ava Gabor in Green Acres (yes, I have seen EVERY episode). Leslie and I used to go home during lunch while we were in high school just to watch the re-runs. I had a wonderful time with your dad while he was in town for the book signing. He was the lone bright spot on the panel of three.