Good afternoon all!
Before I forget, make sure you all visit our Facebook page and Like it so you can all see the photos we take regularly and post on there. We will have some new ones up shortly with one important topic: The Changing of the Goats...
On Saturday I arranged the transport of our new goat, Vanilla, to come from Deposit, New York to Vernon. I just want to first say a HUGE and humble thank you to the Buntings from Honesdale, Pennsylvania for transporting Vanilla on her long ride here. The Buntings have a rescue barn called "Billy's New Hope Barn" in Honesdale. It turns out that Mrs. Bunting drives the bus that my granddaughter, Taylor, rides and we recently started having Taylor begin volunteer work at her barn, caring for their many rescued pigs, cows, etc. Since they have a horse trailer, Taylor asked them if they would help transport the new goat to our school. I offered to pay them whatever fee they charged. The journey began on Saturday morning at 8 am, where they left Honesdale (Mr. and Mrs. Bunting, Taylor, and Taylor's friend Morgan), drove to Deposit to pick up the goat and drove to Vernon with Taylor (and her GPS) guiding them here. I met them here at 1 PM and we unloaded the goat. When I asked them how much they want for the transport, they told me that since Taylor is such a huge help to them and a wonderful and good girl, they were donating their time and travel fees to us. I felt so honored and so proud of my granddaughter! (I also want to thank Dale Haysom from FOG for offering to help transport even though we couldn't get the timing right.)
When we introduced (or re-introduced) Vanilla to Cocoa, they touched noses and began their little goat play, seeming to remember each other - it was so sweet to see them reunite. I am so glad to adopt Vanilla, Cocoa's mom, and have family back together again. One day I will write about my awesome experiences with animals, both wild and domestic, and how families in animals really do matter.
Morris, who was still with us at the time, seemed to be curious about Vanilla, but Cocoa put himself between the two as if to protect one from the other for some reason, or exercise his dominance - not sure which. Anyway, it was an easy transition, and Vanilla is a sweet and mellow goat - a perfect addition to our barnyard.
Now to yesterday - Monday...Morris seemed to collapse sometime in the night and Miss Melissa met with that scene when she came as usual to feed early in the morning. When I got here, she had moved Morris to the center of the barn on her side and we both said our goodbyes and told her it was okay to move on. I went back up to speak to my Elementary students and they all wanted to say their goodbyes, but by the time we got back to the barn, Morris had passed. The kids still bravely wanted to say their goodbyes and did so. It was a special moment for us all.
The heartbreaking moment came when Miss Melissa and I went to take Morris away at lunchtime. When we put her in the wheelbarrow to move her out, while we were moving away from the barnyard, Cocoa began screaming for his lost friend. He gave off the loudest, most guttural call and wouldn't cease, even as we were out of sight. It was a sound I won't forget, and it truly shows that even goats can mourn the loss of those they love. The upper elementary kids went back and calmed him down and after a while he was comforted.
I am so glad that Vanilla came when she did, or Cocoa would have been very, very lonely until we acquired another goat. The timing, although sad, was perfect, and the circle of life once again went around in our fields of green....
Yours in the spirit of love and loss...