Last week was an ass-kicker. It was a perfect storm of drama, hurt and chaos. It was the kind of week that makes me question everything. In fact, it was the perfect example of Why Not Everyone Can Be A Farmer.
It seemed to me, a couple times in the last seven days, like I might be one of those 'not everyone's'... but a swift pep talk from my husband helped me back on track and instead of being sad, I got angry. For me, angry is good. When I'm mad, I'm productive. Focused. I get stuff done.
On the previous Thursday night, every single yard bird that generally roosts in my barn had disappeared. Just - poof. Gone. A few feathers were scattered about the yard, but all the birds, nearly twenty of them and one duck, had disappeared. We blamed a fox, and made plans to try to trap him.
However. Friday afternoon, next door' dog appeared in our front pasture. Suspicion arrived with him. I sent my German Shepherds down to run him off, and he didn't hang around in the presence of 200lbs of territorial guard dog. Friday night, as we watched and waited, back he came up the front driveway to the barn, looking for seconds. Livid, I wanted to shoot him, but in the spirit of neighborly relations, I resisted. We agreed we would visit the neighbor the next afternoon and speak with him - after all, there were no chickens left to kill.
I got home late Saturday night from picking up my crapped-out truck from a friend's driveway, where I had abandoned it earlier in the week. It was almost dark, and it was raining, so I hurridly called the girls in from the pasture and tucked them up in the barn. I had the baby on my back in the Ergo, and didn't want him to get cold and wet. Sunday morning, when I went out to feed, it became apparent that I was missing a doe. Daisy. My first goat I ever bought, a sweet gold and white blue eyed girl that I had attended the birth of, and had since she was eight weeks old. Fearing the worst, I went down into the pasture, hoping beyond all hope that she had got caught up on a tree branch or something. But you know how sometimes you just know? I found her on the edge of the pond, and it was a sight I hope never to see again. I immediately vaulted the fence and went straight to my neighbor's house.
Short story is, the dog has gone. I don't care where, all I know is it's gone.
The brief head count I did when I brought the girls in on Saturday was apparently insufficient, but as my husband keeps reminding me, it wouldn't have changed a thing. Even if I had gone looking for her that night, she was killed sometime during the day on Saturday. Nothing could have saved her, even if I had found her.
So rest in peace, pretty Daisy. You were full of personality and a fabulous milker. May you live on in your lovely daughter, Petunia.
And my philosophy has changed. Zero tolerance on dogs, whether they are a neighbor's dog or not. Security has been stepped up, but I will be living with this for a long time to come.