Thursday, March 19, 2009


I have never been around goats before. Go-tee belongs to my housemate, Neally, who raised her since she was twelve hours old. She has lived at my house for several months now but I have only recently begun a relationship with her. I mean, I feed her every morning and we exchange pleasantries but I never really connected with her until just recently. Once, when she first got here, I went into her pen to get her water bucket and she was rubbing on my leg with her head and neck. She whacked me hard with her horn right on my kneecap. She didn’t mean to but it hurt quite a bit. From then on I tended her from over the fence ~ it was quite a civil arrangement. She leans against the gate as I rub on her sides and scratch her neck around her collar.

So it was an enormous shock last week when my housemate pounded on my door and said, “they killed my goat”. I ran down the side walk and looked and there were two dogs in the goat pen; a Rottweiler and a pit bull. They were just setting there, quietly looking at us, apparently unable to get out. Go-tee’s body was in the corner.

I ran in and called 911. They dispatched an animal control officer. It took almost an hour for her to get here, but Debbie was wonderful. She gave the dogs some treats. They seemed happy to see her and you could tell they had no idea that they had done anything wrong. She put collars around their necks and they wagged their tails as she checked their sex and looked for identification. Debbie easily got them into two cages in the back of her truck. As she worked, she explained the process to us. The dogs would be impounded and the owners would be charged with “dogs at large” and some sort of property damage. The dogs could not be released back to their owners until a formal proceeding had taken place, and maybe not even then. The dog’s owners would not have our names or addresses. Neally stepped back and I helped Debbie get pictures of Go-tee. It was hard for both of us and I saw tears in her eyes as she wondered out loud how frightening it must have been.

This is a lose-lose-lose situation. Go-tee lost her life. Neally lost her friend. Debbie told us there was a good chance that the dogs would be euthanized. It is easy to see that they are nice dogs, well taken care of, very friendly. But she said that once they have killed like this, they often get a taste for it. I can only guess that the people the dogs belong to will be devastated. It could easily have been a freak accident that the two got out of their yard; we have never seen these dogs running around before. Neally and I are dog people; she works with dogs every day. We do not wish these dogs ill. We don’t know their owners; we can only guess how this will impact them. Go-tee is going to be buried under a tree at her old house. This was a shitty day in paradise.

Conclusion. It has been 10 days since the incident. There was a knock on my door and a man standing on my front porch who introduced himself as a neighbor “down the way”. He said “I understand that you had some trouble with some dogs and your goat.” I nodded this to be true.

“Well , I just thought that you would like to know that those two dogs attacked my goats this morning and I killed them; they’re dead.” He said that Debbie had been the officer that had responded to his call as well. I still have several questions about how the dogs were released back to their owners, and what happens next. But for the dogs, and Go-tee, the story is finished.

* annette

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