Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peehay


The months passed and more goats arrived.  They were breeding faster than rabbits.  Our little herd of fifteen had grown to twenty-two.  Bobby, our neighbor who is the caretaker of the farm next door, told us we should never name farm animals because they are not pets.  Lulu never learned Bobby’s golden rule about naming goats. Lulu named every one of the goats.  Her favorite goat, besides Sugar, was Peehay.  Peehay was named after Lulu observed her peeing on the hay.  She was a pretty white goat with a gentle personality.  I often observed Lulu outside hugging and talking to Peehay.  Peehay would follow Lulu around the pen and nudge her and they’d run off together.  I swear that goat was more dog than goat.  Those two were inseparable.   Then, one day, Peehay became ill.  
Lulu and I went out to the pen to feed the goats like we always did but Peehay didn’t come over to greet us.  She was trying to get up but didn’t seem to have the strength.  Lulu ran to her and tried to pull her up.  My heart sank as I watched my little girl struggling with all her might to bring her listless friend to her feet.  When I reached them, I knew right away that Peehay was terribly sick.  It was clear from the surrounding ground that Peehay had an extremely bad case of diarrhea.  After checking her mouth and seeing white gums, I knew she was also very dehydrated.  
I carried her to another stall and began trying to nurse her back to health.  I called the vet and he told me to give her electrolytes and call him if she didn't get better.  Electrolytes, Milk of Magnesia, deworming…you name it; I tried it.  For two days and two nights we tried everything to help Peehay.  I slept in her stall holding her head in my lap praying that she'd get better.  I kept picturing Lulu and Peehay running through the pasture - not a care in the world.  All night long I sat in the stall petting Peehay's head crying and blubbering over her as I willed her to get well.  I don't think this is the way a farmer should act!  

I called the vet again.  He told me to call the “goat lady".  The goat lady lived just down the street from our farm and was like the witch doctor for goats.  I had heard about her, but had never personally met this woman who was credited with saving half the goat population in our county.  I figured that if anyone could save our little Peehay, it would be the "goat lady".  So, Bill, Lulu and I loaded Peehay into the back of the truck and went to see the goat lady.  As soon as the goat lady saw Peehay, she told me that she didn't think she would be able to save her but she gave her a mega-dose of electrolytes and two shots.  She said that if Peehay made it through the night she might be able to pull through but, alas, all our efforts failed.  Three days after she got sick, Peehay became our first goat tragedy.  

The funeral was simple; attended by Lulu, Katie, Bill and I.  Lulu read a poem she wrote for the funeral.

Peehay
Peehay you were so sweet
Even when you peed on the hay
Peehay you were so cute
Even when you peed on the hay
Peehay you were my friend
Even when you peed on the hay
I loved you everyday 
Even when you peed on the hay
We all said a prayer and Bill dug the hole.  Joe appeared as Bill was lowering Peehay into the hole.  “My brother and me used to have a goat…” he began.