I love a good sandwich as much as the next person, but Iím starting to think my goats and livestock guard dogs love them even more. They will make a sandwich out of anything, including me.
The other day I saw something out in the field and I couldnít quite make it out what it was. It was running through the field, up and old slide, and heading for the woods. The goats were at attention watching it.
It was either a coon or ground hog or very large cat, or a pup. If it was a cat or a pup, I was concerned. Our three livestock guard dogs were out there and might kill anything that gets in with their goats, excluding people of course. With people they make them stay put until either Lee or I get out there and tell them itís okay.
I sure didnít want somebodyís cat or pup to get killed and I grabbed up my cane and headed out along the hill and down through the goats, checking to see where the livestock guard dogs were. Being a hot day, they were snoozing in the shade and hadnít seen what the goats and I had seen. My new knee was working slow but well enough and wasnít complaining too badly traveling over the rough ground.
As I got down to the flat and headed out to the field to check things out, the goats perked up. Oh boy, a road trip. They loved to walk out with me or Lee to the fields. Now, I usually drive the Kubota RTV because I canít walk too far yet. Today was different, I had taken off without thinking to possibly protect someoneís cat or pup.
Before I could say, ďGolly Moses, what have I done?Ē I was surrounded by goats. They were thrilled to see me and to show their appreciation, they kept coming up to me to pet me on the side, rub up against me like a happy cat and if they could, they would have purred too. Only thing, one was coming up on one side of me and another goat was coming up on the other side and I was sandwiched in between.
It wouldnít have been so bad with three or four goats, but there were well over sixty in this herd and all happy to see me. I was having a time trying to walk with my cane and not be turned into sandwich paste.
Well, by this time the dogs had woke up and were excited to see we all were going on a road trip. They moved between the goats and the oldest of the three, a brother and sister, got on either side of me and petted me the way the goats had been doing. Now I was getting squeezed between two big dogs, moving me from side to side as I tried to struggle along to get on out to the field. They were so happy. They didnít mind it a bit when I gave up struggling to walk on my own and started using them as a walker. One hand on each big back, putting my weight on them as I hobbled along. They were thrilled getting the attention. Now, that worked out pretty good being sandwiched by the big dogs, but soon the goats moved in again, moving the dogs away so everyone could get a chance at making a sandwich out of me, too.
I finally got to the creek and stopped, trying to decide if I really wanted to attempt a creek crossing with this knee and then walk up a hill into the woods. My knee was protesting loudly now and I couldnít see anything and the big dogs evidently didnít see anything. But, I stood a while longer just in case I would have to call the big dogs off.
The goats were milling around me now, wondering why we werenít going farther. This wasnít much of a road trip to them. I put the cane beside my new knee to keep from anyone bumping into it. I kept studying the landscape and while I did, the more wildish of the goats sneaked up on me and poked me with their noses and then would step back, you know, just in case I might suddenly feel the need to pounce on them and worm them. They were trying to say Hello in their wildish way, plus make me continue the road trip, without getting wormed.
Things looked quiet and no way was I able to cross a creek and climb a hill, so I turned and headed back to the house. The goats and dogs were very disappointed. No road trip. But, they happily consoled themselves by taking turns making a sandwich out of me all the way out of the field.
Feeling sufficiently flattened and tenderized, I shut the gate and thankfully hobbled to the house. It was time to ice the knee and tell it I was sorry. But, sometimes a goat farmer has to do what a goat farmer has to do, become a goat farmer sandwich to make sure things are okay out in the pasture.