Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dani the Extraordinarily Loud Goat

When Willie went over to Dan the Goat Man's house to get Shaggy and Ronnie, there was this itty bitty, teeny tiny little newborn goat that he got to hold. He thought it was the cutest little critter ever. Whenever it would drink milk from its mother it would stop every few gulps and holler with satisfaction, as though that milk were the best thing that had ever happened in the history of forever. This was when he first met Dani. We got Shaggy and Ronnie in October, and when springtime rolled around we had a little extra cash from taxes. Naturally, we decided to head over to Dan's house to find a new friend. Ronnie would have her kids soon, and we didn't want Shaggy to get lonesome while she took care of them.
When we got there Dan had a special little goat that he wanted us to look at. She was a winter goat, and had spent much of the time indoors in a bin, as part of the family. When they brought out this fluffy little ball of fuzz, they called her Frankie, but it was the same goat that Willie had held back in October. She was happy and excited to meet new friends, and was hollering the whole time. Dan said she was hollering for her mother, but we would find out later that she didn't particularly need a reason, if only to hear her own voice.
Squeaky clean, baby!

We brought her home, and within a few weeks I gave her a warm bath. Seemed such a shame to allow a white goat to be dirty. She was not impressed.

Dani eating hay very timidly.
Playing "Keep Shaggy off the Wall"
The other two goats were none too kind to her, even though Shaggy was her half-brother. She was always getting kicked out of the house by Ronnie, who had decided that she would be the herd queen. Ronnie seemed to delight in kicking baby Dani out, especially in the rain, and baby Dani would stand outside and cry and cry! Of course this made my heart melt. It got to the point where I just couldn't stand it anymore. I donned my rain gear and trudged out to the goat house. I shoved little Dani into the house and shoved Ronnie back out. I kept her out in the rain for a few minutes, then started to walk back to my own house. As I walked I heard Dani cry again. I turned and repeated my exercise until I could walk all the way inside without Ronnie kicking her out. After several exercises such as this, Ronnie learned that I was the boss, and the boss wanted Dani inside.
Stepping on her brother the "lap goat"

A couple of months after Dani came to live with us, Ronnie had kids. During the time that Ronnie was occupied with raising her kids, Dani and Shaggy were able to develop a friendship. As one might expect it was one of a cool older brother and an annoying little sister. Dani thought she could claim the high perches, bite ears, and climb all over her brother. Shaggy did not care much for these ideas, and countered with head butts and ear bites aplenty. They had tallest goat competitions, and tried to sneak over to hang out with the baby goats. Whenever Shaggy was getting ear or tail scratches, Dani would clamber over top of him, whenever he was busy being a lap goat, she would sneak in an ear bite. They had races and head butting matches, Dani played "Keep Shaggy off the Wall," and they just generally loved being best friends.
Showing baby Toki how to be "bad"
Once Ronnie allowed her kids to play with the other goats, Dani struck up a friendship with baby Toki as well. Dani proceeded to teach Toki how to be a "bad" goat. Climbing to the top of the woodpile or the haystack, sticking their heads in the grain bin while I was scooping out food, sneaking out the gate to eat weeds and leaves in the side yard. Eventually their buddy-buddy relationship started to head down a more amorous avenue, and it became apparent that little Toki would need to be fixed. I loaded up baby Toki and his friend Dani, and off we went to Dan's house.
Giving baby Wolfie a nibble

While Dan performed the operation on Toki, Dan's daughter took Dani to meet the baby pygmy goats. She headbutted every single one of them. Dan's wife Gloria brought one of the babies to hang out with us. Her name was Wolfie, and Dani wasted no time biting her ear to show that she's the boss.

Get out of the grain, Dani!

When the babies were old enough to be weaned, Ronnie went on vacation for a month. While she was away, Dani tried her hand (or hoof) at being queen goat. The results, in a word, were detrimental. The goats stayed up all night and when they did sleep, they slept out in the open, or up on the steps. She led them in bouts of yelling, daily. She was a hellion.

Keeping Jezebel off "her" new tire

We were all very grateful when Ronnie came back, although we knew that Dani had done her best. Every now and then Ronnie still lets her have boss duties, but Ronnie is definitely the "in charge" goat.

Look how pretty she is!

As her brother got sicker, Dani continued to be his friend and look out for him. All of the goats would go out to visit him and see how he was doing, and Dani would pal around with him and have mock fights with him. She loved her brother. After Shaggy passed, I came home from work and buried him. While I was working, I stopped to rest and I was very sad. Dani came to visit me. She just put her head on me, and was my friend. Even though she is loud, and is often up to shenanigans, she is my best friend. She is in trouble more often than not, but she always wants to be involved in whatever is going on, especially if it involves scratches and hanging out with her friend.
As Dani's friend, I find it only too fitting to share some embarrassing videos of her for the amusement of all who desire to view them. There's a couple of swears, so view at your own discretion.