I have tried and finally succeeded in getting a quick video of old Else coming out of the barn in the morning. The elder, crippled goat has seemed to come to life after winter -–who of us hasn't?–and I get such a good feeling when I see how content she looks coming out to go to the orchard pasture where she, Opie and Sir Tripod Goat spend much of the summer.
Else's front leg is getting more and more bent. She reminds me a bit of Stevie, our beloved very crippled goat we had out West, in the way she moves that front leg. She arrived really thin but has put on weight by feeding her twice a day away from other animals, with minerals. For her age and breed though, she's doing okay.
When I come upon her as I did later this morning after chores, sunning, it just gives me great inner peace. I can't save the world from destructive powers out of my control, I can't win every argument with the angry masses online [and I don't try], I guess I'll never have a book deal and my waistline has a plan of its own, but I can work in inside the fences of Apifera that protect us all from The Noisy But Necessary Road to Everywhere [aka Maine Route 32], trying to make an old goat comfortable, giving her a feeling of safety and permanence. Each day and night her routine is, well, routine. I have always understood the importance to animals, and us humans too, of an understood routine. Sure you go out of the routine sometimes, but a daily knowledge of what is going to happen, and not happen, brings calm to the animal and barnyard. That knowledge has worked well for me all these years. It also means when something goes wrong, the entire barnyard knows.
If you like the work we are doing hoping old/special needs animals, please consider a donation to our non profit. Thank you!