She hadn’t been sick and she wasn’t old. When we closed her up last night, she was munching her apples and all was right with the world.
This morning, Dave got up to do the chores. Within minutes of him heading out, my cell phone rang; he was calling to tell me that something was wrong with Cindy. I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and ran down to the pen. She was lying on the floor, visibly uncomfortable. Dave said he couldn’t get her to get up on the milking stand.
Then, she got up and walked down to the big pine tree at the bottom of her pen. She seemed bloated. We knew that goats can get bloat and that it can be serious, so we gave her some vegetable oil to try to break up the gas. In the meantime, we called the vet, who said she’d come right out.
The vet arrived about an hour later and did a thorough exam. She ran a tube down Cindy’s throat into her stomach. Sucking on the tube, the vet drew out some fluid, but not as much as she’d hoped. She didn’t think Cindy was suffering from bloat, she worried it might be something more. She gave her a painkiller and some penicillin and then drew some blood to see if she could determine what was wrong.
She’d been gone about 30 minutes when Cindy took a dramatic turn for the worse. She hadn’t budged from her spot near the pine tree and now her breathing was labored, her legs were in a straddle position, she was screaming (yes, screaming), and starting to drool. I called the vet back and explained what was going on. She told me that she’d run Cindy’s blood work and it looked as though Cindy was suffering from Chlamydiosis. I could hear in the vet’s voice that this was not good. I could see from the dying goat in front of me that this was not good. Apparently chlamydiosis creates a rapidly-spreading toxicity in goats that can’t be stopped once it starts. It could have (potentially) been prevented using an immunization specifically for it, but once she got it, it was effectively a death sentence. The vet asked if I would like her to come back to put Cindy out of her pain; I told her that I would.
Over the next 45 minutes or so, I just held Cindy and kissed her and cried. I hadn’t realized how much I loved this creature. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. I couldn’t imagine WHY this was happening.
The vet returned and gave her an injection and within seconds she was freed from her pain.
Cindy smelled like delicious milk and had beautiful, soft hair.
Cindy had eyelashes a drag queen would kill for.
Cindy taught us how to milk her and gave us loads of milk for months.
Cindy will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
Every time we let her out of her pen for a walk around the farm, she would invariably end up munching apples and leaves from this tree. We would shoo her away, enticing her back to her shed with a fallen apple or two (or three); now we will let her spend all of her time here.
Our time will be spent missing her.
When you milk a goat (and probably any creature, for that matter), you develop a sort of bond that is unlike anything else. Tomorrow morning, there will be no goat who needs milking and that will take some getting used to.
Thanks for everything, Cindy. We really loved you.