Sunday, April 17, 2016

Luna's gift... Nova

I fell so in love with Luna, I bought a second goat.  Another white dairy goat, part Saanen, part Nubian.  She was a tall goat, and only one word could properly describe her.  Regal.

Luna, on the left, and her kid liked the newcomer right away.
I liked her, too.  She had a sweet spirit.  Bonus points, she was lovely on the milk stand, had a nice udder and gave large amounts of delicious milk.

We named her Nova.  She and Chanel, the horse, became tightly bonded to one another.  So much so that even the neighbors commented on it. "That one big goat is always with the horse," they'd say.

In the fall, when goat breeding season arrived, we arranged for a buck to come stay a while and breed the girls, so that we could have kids in the spring.

On my birthday in March, Nova delivered three adorable dark colored kids.  The first kids born here. It was magical and wonderful. I got to help clean them off and welcome them to the world. The kids were beyond cute. But Nova didn't bounce back from the birth.

She didn't want to stand, or eat much, or drink.  The veterinarian came out. She scratched her head. I gave Nova calcium drenches. I shot her full of antibiotics. I wormed her. I gave her vitamins. I tempted her with fresh romaine lettuce from the market. We insisted she get up and move, which became more difficult by the day. She got worse and worse.  We made the heartbreaking decision to put her down.

So, here I was with three infant kids and no mama to raise them.  I was heart broken about losing my goat friend.  And Chanel the horse was bereft.  She called and whinnied for Nova, looking for her everywhere. It was a sad and dark time at FairWinds. My farmer friend told me something that stopped me in my tracks because it was so stunningly truthful.  "Where you have livestock, you will have dead stock."

And there you have it. The blatant, in-your-face, facts of life that one experiences on a farm. New babies bringing joy and laughter. Sweet companions dying before their time and knocking you to your metaphorical knees. The circle of life is blatant  when you live with animals. 

Nova's legacy lives on here, embodied in her two daughters, Ella and Celeste.  I catch the occasional glimpse of her regal spirit in the arch of their necks, the curve of their voluptuous frames. Living this close to animals is bittersweet for certain. 

1 comment:

Bonnie Peregoy said...

Great blog Daryl. I think there is some kind of link to our relationship with pets that has been lost to us generally too. I hope you can articulate that some day, because it is sad that we have begun to treat them as if they were not animals, with species specific behaviors and lifespans. We ask too much of them, and ourselves, when we anthropomorphise.