The Moo is in heaven here. How does it get any better when the world is your very own salad bowl?

She has free range of the entire farm, all the time. She coexists with the dogs. She coexists with the donkeys. She never gets penned up and she keeps her own schedule.

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She does insist, however, on being completely involved with all weeding and trimming projects. Seriously. You’d better believe she’s going to come running and screaming! when she sees the blue weed bucket.

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Some projects she prefers to tackle on her own. For example, she loves trimming the apple trees.

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She’s our good goat girl. ♥

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As the crow flies, we live about a mile from the Maury River. Monday’s weather was beautiful, so we decided to explore the woods around our house with the goal of finding the river.

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We found it!

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You are witnessing Meggie Moo’s very first time on a riverbank:

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Evidence of otters?

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Evidence of beavers?

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I kid you not. We then turned around to see the Moo doing this:

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I suppose she thought the beaver was on to something…

Moo had plenty of exploring to do:

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And lots to smell:

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What a wonderful day.

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7.31.13 addendum: Okay, my bad. I didn’t take the time to write a narrative for this post, and in doing so, created some confusion. We’ve had Meggie, a.k.a. Meggie Moo, a.k.a. the Moominator, since 2007.

While she is now very sweet, Meggie hasn’t always been this way. I think she’s mellowing with age, and I think she really enjoys being around us now. She still really digs a good scratch.

We got a boatload of rain last Friday, and the barn turnouts ended up under water. It’s because of that we decided to bring Meggie into the backyard with the Hairy Hacienda crew… and she loved it. She’s still in charge… and the girls and Whisky didn’t mind one bit.

If he survives, which we expect he will, he’ll be a golden goat.

It all started last Monday when Leland didn’t join the rest of the goats and the sheep on their morning walk to the pasture. I could tell immediately that he didn’t feel well, but had no idea what was wrong.

By lunchtime, he was on his side, moaning and straining. I was sure he had bloat. I got half a cup of vegetable oil down his throat, along with baking soda and milk of magnesia, and massaged his left side all afternoon. (The rumen of a goat is on the left side;  it acts as a big fermentation vat.  Bacteria and protozoa in the rumen supply enzymes to break down the fiber in the goat’s feed.)

Monday night, we moved Leland to the garage where he would be warm on a blanket and we could keep a constant eye on him. I know he didn’t feel well because he allowed me to sit with him and stroke his fur. By then, he at least seemed more comfortable.

There were calls to and discussions with several local vets, none of whom were helpful. By Thursday, Leland really seemed to be doing better, but we wanted to be sure he was alright. One thing bothered us… we hadn’t seen him pee in several days.

It happens that the vet who sees our dogs knows goats and agreed to see Leland on Friday afternoon.

After a sonogram, the vet was able to confirm that Leland’s bladder was the size of a pumpkin and full of stones. Leland needed to go into surgery to relieve the pressure on his bladder and make adjustments to his boy parts where it was certain that some of the stones were lodged.

The vet attributed Leland’s stones to his diet and his weight. I’m so angry with myself because I should have known – and didn’t – that wethered goats should not be fed grain. And… Leland’s weight… 104 pounds. The vet said that she was being generous when she suggested that he weigh no more than 70 pounds. I was loving him to death!

We brought Leland home on Saturday afternoon with strict instructions to cut out his grain, increase his salt intake to make sure he drinks a lot of water and to feed him nothing other than grass hay.  The hope is that Leland’s bladder stones will pass and dissolve with the changes in his diet. 

For now, he’s still peeing in drops rather than streams. We’re watching him and making sure he knows we love him. Fingers crossed. ♥

I’ve been in such a funk worrying about this boy. I’m sorry for not posting for so long. 😦