Sunday, August 6, 2017

A tale of two goats...

Regular readers of my blog know a bit about Luna.  Luna was my first goat, a sweet and gentle girl, as friendly as they come. She liked to snuggle, and when I was in the pasture she would stay near me, pressing her face against me, squinching her eyes shut and sighing deeply.  I loved her beyond reason and was very sad when I had to have her put down last winter. To me she was the very heartbeat of our little farm, and things were not the same without her here. She had a disease called Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis, (CAE.) The woman who I bought her from assured me she had been tested and was fine.

But of course, I got used to her being gone, (though I looked for her each and every time I went out to the pasture,) and life went on.  And then I got a message this spring from a woman who had acquired one of Luna's daughters.  "I am thinning my herd. I know you really liked that Saanen doe, would you like to have her daughter back?  I can bring her over tomorrow."

I talked to Chris.  "Luna's daughter is available, but we don't need another goat."  And we didn't. But also, because the disease Luna had is passed to kid from their mothers milk, I assumed that the daughter would also have CAE.  It would be silly to take her.  Chris said, "We have to get her."  I explained all the many reasons that it was a bad idea.  "It's our last link to Luna.  You HAVE to get her." So we did.

And to my great joy, she not only looked exactly like her pretty mama, she acted like her, too.

Hugging me sweetly, following my every step, and snuggling.  I delighted to see her in the pasture, it was almost like I had Luna back, but I felt a reserve... I was afraid to fall in love with her.

I had my good veterinarian out to give her a rabies shot, and other goat shots, and check her over.  I also had her draw some blood to test for CAE. I was certain she must have it, because she had nursed from her mother, but I had a little thread of hope, because I am an optimist.   I waited.  Three long weeks.  A few days ago I got a text message from her vet, "I got the results back.  Spirit is NEGATIVE for CAE!"  My heart skipped a beat.  "This is rare and unusual, but it does happen from time to time."  So now I am free to fall in completely in love with Spirit. She is strong and healthy, gaining weight, her coat growing in thick and glossy. She is is affectionate and seeks my companionship whenever I am near. It's just like having Luna back.

She had melded nicely with the rest of the herd, has learned her name and comes at a run when called with a recall that would make dog owners envy.  And she is healthy. Did I mention that already?  Luna lives on in her daughter, Spirit.  A happiness in my life.

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