So....about three years ago, I decided my mission in life was to get myself a goat. Ever since my grandparents had a goat named Lady when I was growing up, I've always kind of loved them. Lady just chilled with the cattle. She didn't cause any extra trouble. She was black and white and the coolest goat ever. She'd follow my grandpa around and she would let you pet her when we'd walk through the cattle trough. Lady died when I was still fairly young, so I'm not sure why it took me to the age of 20 before the urge really struck me that I needed a goat again, but for whatever reason, there I was.
I stumbled across a rescue ranch for farm animals online. Massive mistake. Massive. We all know I'm a sucker for the animals. I will take in any one of them. Except for snakes and spiders...and probably mice too. So when I found this website, I naturally found about 67 animals that I just HAD to have. Some goats, a miniature horse and a miniature donkey, a pot belly pig and about 19 horses.
Just like the goat, we had always had horses growing up. My brother Bobby was particularly into riding and his horse, Mae Dae was legit the coolest horse you will ever meet in your life. Homeboy had massive skills and was such a stud. He was a lover and he was Bobby's main sidekick. Together, they kicked the tails of every other man and horse in the country. Okay, maybe they weren't that well known.....but none the less.....basically every show they entered, they won. Sadly, Mae Dae had a brain aneurysm and didn't make it. We don't know all the details and the circumstances were a little suspicious. He wasn't that old and he went way before his time, but if you were ever wanting to know how much he meant to our family, go check out Mae Dae's burial site. I'm not sure if you've ever had to dig a hole for a horse.....and let's face it, I haven't actually either, I generally tap out when it comes to manual labor such as that, but I remember my dad and the boys did. And it was no small endeavor. But only the best for that special boy. Although, it's a good thing he had the boys to dig his hole, because the only hole I've ever had to dig for an animal was for a kitten and I nearly had a mental breakdown. This is why I would suck as a veterinarian. Back to the horse, I never rode as much as Bobby did, although I did take lessons here and there, but around the same time that I decided I must have a goat, I also decided I needed a horse.
For some unknown reason my dad, Popsicle Weller, was less than impressed with the idea of bringing all of the homeless to our home. I don't know why? I mean, I do actually. As is typical with the barn yard animals, he has the main task of caring for them. I was still in school at the time, Bobby lives in Alton and Chris is....let's just say Chris isn't one with the animals....I'm still not sure how he and I burst forth from the same womb. So, that left the primary care to my dad. He knew this....and I did too really, but I really wanted a goat y'all. And a horse. But I have a philosophy on animals. Some people won't agree (a lot probably, especially Chris....who still to this day makes some kind of comment about have I sent him off to the glue factory yet. What a charmer) but I feel like we have the space, we have the shelter needed, and we have the love to give, and as long as that continues we should open our homes and our hearts to however many animals need us. Keep in mind this is all good in theory, especially when I'm not the one paying for the horse feed (thanks dad : ).
Anywho, around my 21st birthday, I was really making way with my horse and goat plan. I would print off pictures every night of the ones I wanted and each picture came with a little bio of what the animal had been through before it got to the rescue ranch. Well played, Long Meadow. Well played. If that doesn't pull at your heart strings that the horse you think is amazingly beautiful on the computer nearly lost it's leg and was starved to death, and then survived an over turned trailer in the middle of the Missouri freeway, then you don't have a soul.
Well, guys, this may surprise you, but I'm no amateur. I knew my dad couldn't hold out long with this game either. He's a softie for the four legged furry friends too. So, I'd print out their picture and their little bio and set it on his dresser at night, so that it was the first thing he saw the next morning. I usually tried to limit myself to four animals per day, but sometimes I just couldn't help myself. I had just nearly convinced him I needed a goat.....when Bobby went off and got himself not one, but two horses. Score. Excellent move, Robert. (everyone give Mesa and Boris their due respect).
If Bobby can have one and keep it at your farm, where the majority of the work to care for them is your responsibility then why can't I? Afterall, you've already got two, what's a third going to do? You're already feeding the others anyway. Well played, Morgan. Well played. Guess what I got for my 21st birthday?
A horse. His name is Bullwinkle Roosevelt Weller and he. is. gorg. (as in gorgeous).
Oh, also, I got a goat....or two.
Originally, I only thought I HAD to have one goat. I wasn't trying to be greedy, I just wanted to save one. Her name was Willow and she was beautiful. I'd been stalking her online for months. And I'd already made her mine. Then, the week before we went to pick them up, some little five year old skank adopted her first. So rude. What a jerk. I was devastated. Willow was all I wanted. Well, now Willow was off with the bratty five year old (who I'm sure gave her a wonderful home. I would have given her better. But whatever), and I had to find another goat.
And so you have Gussy and Timothy. You might wonder how it went from one to two and well....I'm not quite sure either. Other than another one of my golden rules is that they always need a buddy. The horses had each other, and the goat needed a friend too. Timothy was the one I found first. He just seemed so shy and sweet. Well, the lady at the ranch said he would really do better with a more outgoing and dominant goat to have as a friend. She was afraid by himself he would never come out of his shell. I liked that lady. She reinforced my plan without even really meaning to. She thought a more outgoing goat friend would help him to become more comfortable with people and that he would follow the other goat's lead. So then there was Gus.
The lady was right. Gussy really did help Timothy to adjust. In the beginning we couldn't even pet him, he was so skittish, but eventually he livened up and today he has no problem with humans, but he's still as sweet as ever. You can pet him and basically do whatever and he's cool with it. He doesn't get bossy. He doesn't get irritated. He just loves to be loved.
Then there's Gus.
Little history on Gus. Gus was in this program called "Barn Buddies". It was the program that Long Meadow had to promote their organization and get their residents publicity so that they would have a better chance of getting adopted. The animals in the Barn Buddy program were the ones that they would take with them to community events, on tv, or for whatever publicity even they needed. Basically, those animals were in the traveling petting zoo. Well, Gus got kicked out of the program. Sometimes, manners are not Gus' strong suit. Turns out, he likes to give a little tap here and there with his horns. And by tap, I mean....he likes to tap whoever is closest right in the hiney.
Apparently, this was a common enough practice for ole' Gussy that he got demoted. Gus didn't care. He didn't care one bit. He didn't have to travel anymore and he could still do it to whatever unlucky sucker got to feed him that day. He's kind of an a hole, really. Because he truly does know better. You might say he's just a goat. And he is. But after he gives you his little love tap, he'll go to his corner and the look on his face, he just knows. And if a goat could laugh, that's what he would be doing. Laughing at himself and at the fool he just made out of you. But, as some of you may know, I've been known to love an a hole animal or two. I like their sass. Bullwinkle and Mesa are a couple of ass hats too. Too bad they aren't donkeys. Furthermore, some people might say I'm an a hole too, so I probably relate to them because of that. I just think they are fabulous, really. They are spunky and sort of out of control and I find them to be hilarious. So we bond. He really is a sweet boy. Most of the time. Well, sometimes. But he's still mine.
He and Timmy are complete opposites. Timmy a sweet boy with a gentle heart. And Gus, a dirt leg. But I love them both. They are my boys.
I told you a few weeks back that you'd eventually hear all about all of my animals, and you will. So today's blog was in part because it was time for you to hear and G and T. But today's blog also had a bigger picture with it. You needed the back story for tomorrow's blog. Because it just wouldn't be quite as great without the back story.
As it turns out, we run an amateur goat ambulance. I say amateur, because it could be argued our skills aren't as finely tuned as they should be. And if you have any brain at all, you'll come back tomorrow to hear all about why.
Oh, and ps....I still don't have my miniature donkey or my pot belly pig. But I will one day. Just you wait.
Just. You. Wait.