And sometimes it’s downright miserable.
You may have seen on Instagram a few months back that we adopted a Saanen goat from a local feed store. I was going through, minding my own business, when I saw this loner standing in the middle of the animal corrals. I should have known he was trouble when I saw him do five straight shots of alfalfa with nary a chaser. I was blind to the obvious signs of trouble.
I asked the feed store maiden, “What’s the deal with this goat?” The second sign I should have noticed was the hastily thrown together ‘opportune’ response.
“HIM!?” she asked, pointing at my future nightmare. “Well…he’s, um, free. Yeah. He’s an adoption. Sweeeeeetest little guy. Just needs a good home with a handsome young man such as yourself.” Her attempt to convince me to take the goat was about as thinly veiled in deceit as the hag handing over an apple to Snow White.
My response was one of calculated measure and foresight. “Get me the leash. I’ll load him myself.”
As I am not one to adopt an animal and let it go running around my property naked, I bought it pet clothes. Something fitting to his character. “A spiked collar will do,” I said to myself as I imagined walking my goat through the neighborhood with my German Shepherd Kraken and Doberman Pinscher Bjorne. I would be the talk of the town (well, country road).
So, that’s where it must have started. He got a big goat head. He was promptly named “Rocka Billy” the goat. Coming up with that took me as long as it took to properly hashtag his first Instagram photo. But the little bastard thought from that point on that he was ordained by God to be the goat incarnate version of Billy Idol. Chelsea said he did sort of look like Billy Idol, but I think she was drinking a thimble or two of wine at the time.
We get home and, yes, a walk through the neighborhood was had. Not easy, as goats don’t tend to follow the “heal” and “stay” commands. A few weeks later we got Rocka Billy a friend. Another Saanen we named “Gruff” (as in the fable of the billy goats and the bridge troll).
On May 1st, we left Gruff and Rocka Billy alone on the farm while we went on our road trip. They and the chickens would be looked after by Opa (grandfather Day) every day to make sure a mountain lion or Phoenix didn’t come eat half of them.
It didn’t take long.
A few days of merry bliss, seeing the sights of the American west, camping in places with no cell service, no civilized distraction. Then, a text came through from my neighbor.
“Hey neighbor. Caught your goats standing on Chelsea’s car using it as a ladder to eat the tree. I scared them off as soon as I approached the fence.”
I thanked him and continued with our voyage. “Surely the goats will stop. The neighbor caught them in the act. They’ll know better now.” I treated it with the same intelligence as the parents of Tom Cruise’s character in Risky Business.
In the end, our little car was treated with the same reverence. The only difference is it’s our little family Hyundai…not a Porsche. After trying to wash off the damage, it was assessed by a trusted body shop at about $600.
The little bastards did a Kevin Bacon on our car when we were gone. What do I mean by this? Watch Footloose and wait for the “angry dance.”
And when we got back, do you think there was some sort of guilt in their eyes? NO! Just a look that said, “What? I’m Rocka Billy. It’s what I do. I throw TVs through hotel windows.”
What a dick.