Dancing on Two Feet with Angel Wings

Apr
18

Note: To those of you who read my farm animal stories with your young children by your side, please read this post alone before deciding for yourself how or if to share it with children.


Last Saturday was a lovely spring day, made even lovelier by your many kind birthday wishes. The house was clean, the porch swept, the animals munching peacefully in the goat yard, the roosters crowing, new chicks peeping in their brooder, and company on the way. All seemed right in Stringtown Rising Farm world.

At 2 pm, we found Honey down. We’d let him out of the goat house that morning. He’d eaten, browsed around the yard with Clover and Nutmeg. We’d looked at him directly as recently as 1 pm. At 2, he was down, couldn’t get up, and looked as if he might die. And we had no idea why.

Throughout the afternoon, we worked on various theories. Had he sustained some sort of internal injury? (There was no outward sign of injury, broken bones, etc.) We wondered if one of the big sheep had butted him too hard. Honey had a frisky little way of teasing them. Could he have had a stone, suddenly, lodge that quick and put him down? I administered vinegar, just in case, but there was no real sign that a stone was the cause of his distress. (A stone would usually be prefaced by a period of straining and crying, not cause a goat to immediately go down in such a severe state.) Could he have some other type of infection? What sort of infection would cause him to go down so fast with no clue in advance? His behavior throughout the morning had been normal. There are a couple of fairly uncommon conditions called goat polio and listeriosis that can cause goats to become very sick, but in both cases, there are usually advance symptoms and moldy hay/feed/silage is usually the cause (none of which is relevant here).

Our company arrived at the brink of this crisis, and did what they could to help–researching Honey’s symptoms on the internet while we were on the phone for hours. The first two hours were spent desperately pursuing mission impossible. Large animal (farm) vets are few and far between as it is (even in farm country), and on a Saturday afternoon before Easter? If we’d had a cat or a dog or a bird, there were emergency vets available. Not for a goat. In two hours, the closest vet we could find to call us back was in Maryland.

Honey appeared worse every minute. The vet we spoke with in Maryland told us to find some Banamine. Banamine is an anti-inflammatory that is sometimes administered for shock. She told us to call somebody with horses, that anyone with horses would have Banamine. By this time, we had called every vet in the phone book and were facing the panic-inspiring revelation that this was the end-all be-all of professional assistance we were going to get. An alternate title for this post could be “A Cautionary Tale” — a goat is not a cat, and after-hours/emergency care is not always available for farm animals. As one farmer said to me, “This is the ugly side of experience.” Now I know why so many farmers are amateur veterinarians–they have learned what we learned last weekend. And I also know why so many farmers are so generous in offering help in this type of crisis–they have been in our shoes and know how frightening it can be.

We spent the next couple of hours on the phone again–this time calling farmers. We started out calling horse farmers. None of them had Banamine. We called goat farmers. We called sheep farmers. We called farmers we knew and we called farmers we didn’t know. We’d call one person and they’d give us the phone number of someone else. We called friends of strangers. We had one phone line going all the time calling people and another phone line for people to call back where we had left messages. Everyone had stories about their own animals and advice. We went back and forth checking on Honey, looking at this, trying that. A farmer we’d never met before drove out to our farm and brought penicillin, administered the shot, and left us needles so we could give him more. (The penicillin was in case there was some kind of infection at work.)

But in the end, there was nothing we could do. By Easter morning, Honey was gone. This week, after several days of making Clover and Nutmeg GET UP!!! and prove to me they were okay every time they dared to so much as sit down for a minute (I’ve interrupted their naps so many times, they are barely speaking to me), I was able to get Clover in to see a vet for a thorough examination, to be sure there was nothing going on with the goats that I wasn’t seeing, and to discuss Honey. Clover is fine. The vet’s opinion, all things considered, as quickly as Honey was down and out, is that he most likely suffered an internal injury and, also likely, that we could have done nothing at that point to save him.

A popular book for novice goat farmers is Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats. (They also have one for meat goats, as well as guides for other animals.) The chapter on goat health includes this sentence near the beginning: “If an animal gets sick, all you need is the phone number of a veterinarian.” If writing this post makes one new goat owner throw that book against the wall and go out and stock up on emergency supplies, it will (almost) be worth having to write it. Last weekend, we had the phone numbers of dozens of veterinarians. What we needed were the phone numbers of other farmers and our own emergency medical supplies. Even if we couldn’t have saved Honey, we could have been better prepared to try. (Regarding the sheep, we are fencing this weekend to move them to a separate pasture, something we had already been planning. If it was indeed an internal injury caused by a scuffle between Honey and one of the sheep, it was a bizarre, isolated incident. Clover and Nutmeg don’t tangle with the sheep. Honey was a bit more frisky with them, and he did tend to dance around in front of them, taunting them.)

This is, by the way, unrelated to the decision to get Pepsi. As anyone knows who has lost a beloved animal, you can’t replace them. We’d decided to pursue fainting goats just a few days before we lost Honey. Pepsi does give us something to look forward to, though. Life on the farm goes on. I also want to say I’m sorry to bring you such a sad post, but I didn’t think it would be fair to not let you all know what happened to Honey. This is a real farm and these are real animals, and sometimes there is real heartbreak.

Honey was a little goat with seemingly no purpose in life. He didn’t have a “job” on the farm. He didn’t make wool or provide milk or lay eggs. He was wethered (neutered) so he wouldn’t breed, either. He was, in fact, free, a product of buckling overflow who came as an add-on with Clover and Nutmeg. He was, pure and simple, a pet, and he was a delight. He was sweet, somewhat submissive to the domineering does of his world, but he was a playful little thing. He loved to dance on two feet, and oh my, he was a tease.

He is dancing on two feet with angel wings now…..
img_23738
….way up there, somewhere, in a sky full of cookies.

He was loved.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 18, 2009  

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  1. 4-18
    1:57
    am

    I’m so sorry. It is always heartbreaking when you lose one of your animal babes. :hug: He was very loved and we will miss him and his dancing. I’m sure goat heaven is full of sunshine and tons of cookies, but none as good as yours :snuggle:

  2. 4-18
    2:20
    am

    I’m sorry about Honey. You definitely tried your best to help him.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your stories about Honey and your other animals and I love the photos. I’ve also enjoyed the recipes.

  3. 4-18
    3:07
    am

    I am so sorry to hear this – he was a joy to read about – but like you said he’s in heaven dancing on two feet with cookies all around. Rest in Peace Honey.

  4. 4-18
    3:34
    am

    Aww Suzanne, I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing so openly with us. God bless you. I bet his Mum and sister miss him too.
    Enjoy those heavenly meadows little Honey.

  5. 4-18
    4:09
    am

    Aww, Suzanne, I’m so sorry. You’re right, it’s part of farm life, but…. Thank you for sharing this with us….He will missed, but he’s dancing and eating and taunting from up above

  6. 4-18
    4:12
    am

    Oh, Suzanne, my heart is breaking for you, but I can see him dancing!

  7. 4-18
    4:42
    am

    Oh Suzanne I am so sorry to hear this news about Honey.It brought tears to my eyes.Life really sucks sometimes.

  8. 4-18
    4:44
    am

    Our girls raised Nubian goats for 4-H, then we switched to Boar goats. When the girls went to college we sold the whole shebang. Now that the girls are married and back around home with kiddos of their own, we’ll probably get into the goat business again. We had some harrowing experiences as well. So sorry that you experienced this – especially with company and over a holiday weekend – but as you said – that’s life on a farm. And I for one wouldn’t wanna live anywhere else.
    hugs from PA
    connie

  9. 4-18
    5:08
    am

    Oh Suzanne, I am so sorry to hear about Honey. I have a tear in my eye this morning. But I’m sure as you said he’s up there having cookies in the sky and dancing.

  10. 4-18
    5:14
    am

    Suzanne, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Honey. I could feel your heartbreak while reading your post.If it’s any comfort to you at all, remember that he knew he was loved and you did everything in your power to save him.He had a wonderful, happy life with you and your family.
    Thank you for sharing your grief with us.We love you.

  11. 4-18
    5:14
    am

    So sorry Suzanne, Honey will be missed.

  12. 4-18
    5:15
    am

    I am so sorry for your loss, a pet is a pet, and losing one is so hard. :hug:

    Cece

  13. 4-18
    5:16
    am

    Yes, this is the downside of country life for sure. The joy that Honey brought cannot be replaced. RIP, Honey. Unfortunately, our animal companions cannot tell us what hurts…

  14. 4-18
    5:19
    am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. When we lost a little buckling this year, we didn’t have any idea what happened to him either. We guessed some sort of internal injury, also. It’s hard when you don’t have an answer, and I can totally relate to going out each morning to rouse the others just to check. I held my breath every morning going out to the barn until I could make sure everyone else was okay. I hope your grief turns to happy memories of your sweet goatie boy soon.
    ~Jenny~

  15. 4-18
    5:36
    am

    I am so very sorry!

  16. 4-18
    5:41
    am

    So sorry Suzanne. :hug: Losing a little treasure like Honey is so hard. Such a sweet little goat. We will miss him.

  17. 4-18
    5:58
    am

    Losing Nitro I know how you feel about your Honey. If you have a State Vet School Hospital in your state keep their number handy. Thats were I call with goat problems. They will talk you through things over the phone as much as possible and help you find a vet close to your area if you need to take a goat in. Also a good site to have bookmarked and you can even call or email her and she will help is: http://www.fiascofarm.com/
    So sorry about Honey

  18. 4-18
    6:03
    am

    Oh Suzanne, I am so sorry to hear about Honey. I know you did everything you could. Sometimes farm life can be so hard. I’m glad that Pepsi is coming soon. I have a feeling he will bring you a lot of joy and laughter.

  19. 4-18
    6:07
    am

    Dear Suzanne,
    I am so very sorry. I know what you’re going through. We lost Little Monty in the same way. He was fine one minute and down the next. A very experienced goat momma said that it was most likey a urinary blockage. I make sure my wethers drink lots of water, I put Kool-aid, apple vinegar or sugar in it to make it yummy. They drink so much they pee ALL the time.

    Poor dear little Honey, may there be no fences in heaven.

    Lisa

  20. 4-18
    6:19
    am

    Suzanne, I am so sorry for your loss, well everyones loss. You, your family and the farm are very important to me and all of your followers. Honey will bring so much fun to the others in heaven, they will enjoy him as much as we all did.

  21. 4-18
    6:21
    am

    So sorry to hear about Honey. We do not have a farm. But we have several pets. Its always sad when on of them dies. Even the rodents like pet rats, and hamsters. We get very attatched sometimes. HUGS…

  22. 4-18
    6:32
    am

    So sorry about Honey, Suzanne.

  23. 4-18
    6:36
    am

    Having livestock and no large animal vet nearby, this is the thing I dread the most. There are a thousand things it could have been, so you just can’t always find/fix in time. Parasites can take them down really quickly too. You do what you can; this is life on the farm. Hugs.

  24. 4-18
    6:46
    am

    As I’m writing this, my big goofy dog is barking at some non-existent threat out the backdoor. Like Honey, her only job it to make me happy by being her goofy self. I would miss her bunches if something happened to her. They sure work their ways into our hearts. I’m so sorry you lost Honey.

  25. 4-18
    6:46
    am

    I am so sorry about your goat.

    N. found a snake that WE, the parents ran over in the driveway. N. about was hysterical and made me pick it up and take it to the yard, in the shade, and put a clay pot over him–so the cats won’t eat it. N. is 8, but he just doesn’t handle death well. :no: N. was watching an ant on the sidewalk and of course a few minutes later-he is gone. Well, he cried about the damn ant for 3 hours, even through dinner at the restuarant! He still remembers it years after. Death is a trauma to the mind, especially something that you loved and nurtured.

  26. 4-18
    6:49
    am

    Awww, so sad. I’m so sorry.

  27. 4-18
    6:49
    am

    So sorry to hear about Honey… it hard enough when you live so far out, but having it be on a holiday weekend, made it even harder! It’s awful when one of your babies gets hurt and they can’t even tell you what’s going on. Warm hugs to all as you work through your loss.

    Suzanne

  28. 4-18
    6:54
    am

    So sorry to hear about Honey. Thank you for sharing this with us. With tears in my eyes my heart goes out to you. It is so hard to have something like this happen and I find that not having an answer as to why makes it harder. He was very loved and I’m sure has crossed the rainbow bridge.

  29. 4-18
    6:54
    am

    Oh so sorry to read this.. Please CALL Me anytime. All you have to say is i have a goat down, we don’t need to know each other when this happens. If i don’t know i know people who probably do.

    This won’t make you feel any better but alot of people are experiencing this in their herds this year. last year too. Mostly younger yearlings.

    enterotoxaemia is what comes to mind with your girl. hits them fast and kills quickly. For the future…. get some CD Antitoxin (not the toxoid) and keep this on hand. It is ONLY for the onset of Toxic poisonings brought on by stress. acidosis, bloat, clostridiums. when they go down the rumen stops working, they start getting toxic. So even if the goat was down with something else, this will help get rid of any toxicity build up. It buys you time…. and if you buy nothing else get this.

    Get the banamine you now know –so important. You can buy the paste or the injection. Metacam is also something i have used on goats. This is what small animal vets would have on hand, rather than them having banamine. BUT the CD antitoxin is a life saver literally. And even if you don’t think its entero related i still give at ANY SIGN OF DISTRESS in the goat.

    Again, I’m so sorry to hear this. It sadly is an “experience” that we all go thru. And too true. We all must become the keepers of our herd. I have the best vet in the world that “knows goats” but she doesn’t know them like a breeder does. Those ins and outs and tricks that we all pass on to each other truly is a life line.

  30. 4-18
    6:59
    am

    Susan, I am so sorry for your lose. We also lost our “man goat – William” in a similar situation. It is difficult but this experience will make you stronger for the future and your flock/herd. You will be better equipped for the next illness, as we were. As a side note . . . goats need to be wormed as they eat close to the ground. just in case you didn’t know!

  31. 4-18
    7:01
    am

    Aw Suzanne, I am so sorry for your loss. I will miss that sweet little Honey too!

  32. 4-18
    7:03
    am

    I feel your loss Suzanne,being close to nature and farm animals can be a wonderful experience but there are those terrible experiences that you have to deal with on a farm. Honey brought you joy,and you shared him with us,we weep with you and thanks for sharing him with us.

  33. 4-18
    7:03
    am

    I’m so sorry your family lost Honey. It is so painful when you lose an animal you love. Thank you for sharing such a painful experience with us.

  34. 4-18
    7:13
    am

    I’m so sorry to hear about Honey. I know that was a hard day, and a very helpless feeling to know he was in trouble and you could do little to help him. On a farm, all these animals are a special part of your life. It hurts to lose one. Rest well, Honey. You will be remembered.

  35. 4-18
    7:13
    am

    I am so sorry for the loss of Honey. Some ppl will say its just an animal but when they are a pet its like their are one of our children.

  36. 4-18
    7:14
    am

    Yes, they are wormed regularly. Parasites was one of the possible causes we considered and one of the reasons I took Clover to the vet. They did a fecal sample test on her and she’s okay, so we don’t think that Honey would have died because of that (or else Clover would also show signs of significant parasites in her fecal sample as they were kept together). Also, the vet said Honey would have been off his feed that day and he wasn’t.

  37. 4-18
    7:20
    am

    I’m so sorry. Darn, it’s not easy losing one of the farm family. Been there, done that. Honey will be missed!

  38. 4-18
    7:21
    am

    We were very sad to hear the news of Honey. Each pet, farm animalis unique–he will was special and no other will ever replace him. I do believe there is a special place in heaven for him.

  39. 4-18
    7:28
    am

    I am so sorry to hear this. You did everything you could have, and Honey is now no longer suffering. Your sorrow will slowly be replaced by the joy of your other animals and country living. Real life is sometimes hard. Blessings to you and yours.

  40. 4-18
    7:31
    am

    Oh dang, I’m so so sorry. Crying over here in Michigan over you little Honey boy.

  41. 4-18
    7:34
    am

    Aww…Susan. I’m so sorry. :hug:

  42. 4-18
    7:40
    am

    So sorry about your little goat.

  43. 4-18
    7:51
    am

    Oh, I’m so sorry. Life is not always pretty, but at least it is lived.

  44. 4-18
    7:52
    am

    So sorry for the loss of Honey. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it had to happen on your birthday of all days. The angst of not knowing what to do and not being able to get him to a vet…well, I can only imagine how horrible that was. Now, all those farmers willing to help, especially the one who came out with the penicillin, one you had never met before, that is truly heartwarming. Thank you for letting us know about Honey. Sad, but those of us who enjoy reading about your precious animals, I’d bet most of us would want to know. God bless you, your family and your farm!

  45. 4-18
    7:52
    am

    I don’t comment very often, but I just want to say I am so sorry about Honey.

  46. 4-18
    7:53
    am

    Yes, that’s the downside of keeping livestock. You will lose some to illness and injury. You’re learning the best way – through experience, and you will someday help others just like that farmer that drove out with penicillin. I don’t believe that children should be shielded from this type of information. It’s life – and life also includes death. Certainly farm kids are raised with the reality. Also, you have a small herd and they’re almost like pets, but when your livelihood and existence depend upon raising those animals you view them in a different light.

    – Suzanne – the other suzanne

  47. 4-18
    7:53
    am

    I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you.

  48. 4-18
    7:54
    am

    I am so sorry that you Honey passed. Not many animals are as well loved and cared for as yours. He was a very blessed little goat. Better one day on your happy farm than the long sad lives some have.

  49. 4-18
    7:56
    am

    Oh.. Suzanne and Princess…I am sure you all are just heartbroken. I am so sorry to hear of your loss of little Honey this morning. Remember what the bible says, God made them after his kind, Meaning he has them with him..so guess what…nothing we love is lost forever……..you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  50. 4-18
    7:57
    am

    I’m so sorry Suzanne. It’s always hard when an animal dies. At least Honey was well loved and pampered in his short life. (((((hugs)))))

  51. 4-18
    7:57
    am

    Tears from Missouri we too live on a farm, I cried as I read your post, I too have lost some very loved farm animals, my heart goes out to you and your famiy. Poor Coco they get very up set when one of their babies leave them.

  52. 4-18
    8:01
    am

    Oh Suzanne, I am so sorry to hear about Honey. Although you and your critters are far away, I feel as though you are truly neighbors. It makes me grateful for our big & small animal vets here who take call just like physicians do, and will work for their patients day or night–in the office or in the pasture. Honey is indeed dancing with angel wings!

  53. 4-18
    8:05
    am

    Suzanne, I am so sorry to hear about your horrible experience and the passing of Honey. Last year when I started with goats, I lost two kids. Both were very sudden, with no pre warning signs at all.
    Hannah just slumped in my arms and I though she had a stroke or something. We got her to our vet (then we had a farm animal vet in that practice), and they gave her Nuflour, a potent antibiotic, and thiame to help with the rumen. They knew she had something neurological going on and suspected Listeriosis and suggested we take her to Virginia Tech Veterinary School Hosp. I did, and they weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Unfortunately, they deal more with horses, cattle, and alpacas, and rarely see a goat. In the end, I had a huge bill and after Hannah’s necropsy, it was still “suspected Listeriosis” but not confirmed. So, in essence we really didn’t know what had happened. Two weeks later, a wether kid suddenly had a seizure and died right away.

    By this time I told one of the breeders I purchased a goat from, that I was just going to quit and not have goats at all. She gave me a pep talk and reminded me the reality in farming is that you
    will lose some animals, in spite of your best efforts. I was also told that most vets know very little about goats and to search the internet and learn from other goat owners what works.

    A week after the second kid (Elwood) died, Herbie, Hannah’s brother went down. I thought here we go again, just like Hannah. I remember someone had told me to try tetanus antitoxin, so figuring that he was going to die anyway, I gave him an injection. We watched him for several hours, and by that afternoon he was up on his feet eating and running around like normal!

    We had changed out all the hay and feed after each of the goats died in case it was contaminated with listeria, but even then Herbie gets sick! I still don’t know what was wrong with him, but the injection seemed to work.

    I talked with my vet and he was more than willing to write prescriptions for me. I have Epinephrine, Nuflour, and BoSe on hand. Non prescription items are CD antitoxin. Tetanus antitoxin, penicillen, B-complex, Calcium paste, Vitamin AD&E paste, Bloat
    treatments, and electolytes. I pretty much rely on myself or other goat people for advice. I got the prescription drugs from PBS Animal Health and some at TSC or the local feed store.

    Some of the meds are expensive, especially the Nuflour, but the expiration date was 2 years from when I bought it, and I look at it as insurance. I’d rather have it on hand in case I need it and the vet’s office is closed, etc. Plus it is quite a drive to the vet
    anyway, and being able to treat ASAP can make a big difference.

    So Suzanne, I have been where you are, and know it isn’t easy to go through. Honey is in heaven frolicking and playing with other goats
    and having a grand time! We will miss honey! Hugs to you.

  54. 4-18
    8:07
    am

    You did all you could; I’m sorry about the outcome. I suppose to have him posted would have been unrealistic because of the lack of vets close by, but it would have given you a definitive answer.

    I had our huge breeding bull lay down “wrong” during the night last week and he couldn’t get his feet underneath himself to get up. He bloated and died in just a few hours. I found him at 6 in the morning – what a shock! You just never know…we all try our best to be good animal husbandrymen (sp?) and yet many things are out of our hands.

    Now, let Clover get some sleep!! 8-) She needs her beauty rest.

  55. 4-18
    8:11
    am

    We are all so sorry to hear about Honey. We especially loved seeing him dance. What a joy and it always reminded us to dance thru the day no matter how good or bad it is.

    The greatest joy that we have in your blog is the absolute love that you have for your animals……no matter how naughty they are :)

    We shall miss Honey as if he was our very own. Thanks for including us in your daily life of caring for all these beautiful creatures.

    God bless.

  56. 4-18
    8:17
    am

    He will be missed, Suzanne. Hugs. :heart:

  57. 4-18
    8:22
    am

    may you find peace…

  58. 4-18
    8:26
    am

    I am so so so sorry for your loss. You are correct in saying life goes on…still doesn’t make the loss any easier though. You are in my prayers for peace.

  59. 4-18
    8:28
    am

    I’m so sorry to hear about Honey. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    For what it’s worth, in memory of Honey, I will now make sure that before I even get my goats, I will have (and will always have) a fully stocked emergency goat kit. I will make it a top priority. Thank you for sharing this with us. *hugs*

  60. 4-18
    8:32
    am

    Aww. I’m so sorry about Honey. :hug:

  61. 4-18
    8:43
    am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure Honey is dancing in heaven right now. We will miss him.

  62. 4-18
    8:43
    am

    I’m sorry for your loss! Honey was a sweet boy and he’ll be missed.

  63. 4-18
    8:45
    am

    What a tearful post – I am so very sorry, Suzanne. I know you will all miss that delightful little imp. What a hard weekend for all of you, trying so desperately to get help for him. Your goat-owning readers will have given you the best support you could have for now – solid advice on being prepared for the future. We all love – and lose – our animal friends whether domestic or farm and it is never easy. I’m very saddened by the fact that large animal vets with the experience you needed last week are so hard to find.

    Here’s to you, Honey! :heart: :purpleflower:

  64. 4-18
    8:46
    am

    Suzanne, my heart is broken for your family. I will give all my boys an extra hug everyday in case something like that happens to one of them. And your posting this brought out a lot of people with great information. I have banamine on hand but I plan to stock up on the other items recommended by your readers. Luckily for me, the world renowned UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is 30 minutes away from me. Those people know goats. They have taken wonderful care of our goats. In fact, as a precaution, I am scheduling check-up for all three of my guys.

    Hugs

  65. 4-18
    8:59
    am

    My husband will wonder why I have been crying this morning and I’ll tell him “because Honey died.”

    A line from a hymn I like comes to mind…”Bind us together Lord with ties that cannot be broken.”

  66. 4-18
    9:04
    am

    i have tears in my eyes thinking of little honey. it does make me think ahead, and even tho i have only dogs, cats, and ferrets, i am going to learn more and have more emergency supplies. he was a blessed little baby, and is now romping in heaven. :hug:

  67. 4-18
    9:05
    am

    Suzanne: So sorry to heard about the loss of your goat. Ironically, the day before Easter we were, too, dealing with a similar situation. Our parakeet seemed to have a stroke. Right side went limp. Left side fine. She was dead on Easter morning. We decided she might have been egg bound. Maybe it had something to do with the full moon two days earlier. Honey couldn’t have been egg bound but maybe he had a stroke.

    Part of the beauty and pain of being on a farm is how close one is to nature. You see firsthand all plants and animals at every stage of life– from beginning to END…….. Your story reminds us of why we need to be self sufficient. Where is a goat vet when you need one. In this internet era, you’d think there would be somebody “on call” at least virtually!!!!

    As always, thanks for sharing.

  68. 4-18
    9:08
    am

    I am so sorry for your loss, Suzanne. I found myself crying so much I had to get up and go pet my cats. I love reading about your farm and all the animals that have come into your life. Honey seemed to be such a sweet little boy. Thank you for sharing him with us. He is missed.

  69. 4-18
    9:18
    am

    I held it together until the end of your post, but when I saw the picture and thought about Honey dancing on two legs in a Heaven full of cookies, I am shedding tears. It is so hard to see our beloved animal friends cross that Rainbow Bridge. Take comfort in knowing that you provided Honey with all the love and good care possible. God Bless.

  70. 4-18
    9:18
    am

    We love you Honey! Please accept my sincere sympathy!!

  71. 4-18
    9:23
    am

    Hugs Suzanne,so sorry.

  72. 4-18
    9:28
    am

    I know how you feel. We too have learned things the hard way. It doesn’t get easier when you lose an amimal. We raised camels and zebras and only had the internet to help. We learned alot and the vets here would help us if WE told them what to do in alot of cases. Its all part of farming you have the good times and you have the bad times. I milked a llama to feed a cria only for it to live only 3 days but you do what you have to do.

    My heart goes out to you.

    I believe God gives us animals to care for the best we can and he understands and provides another just like Pepsi that will win your heart I know.

  73. 4-18
    9:29
    am

    Suazanne,

    I am so sorry that your family lost Honey. In a small way, I feel like I lost him, too. (Might explain my tears. Then again, hormones might, too.) I love reading your farm animal stories and I love, love, love the pictures. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

    :hug:

    Looking forward to meeting Pepsi. :happyfeet:

    Hugs,
    Heather

  74. 4-18
    9:30
    am

    That would be SUZANNE, but I think you already knew that. ;)

  75. 4-18
    9:48
    am

    So sorry Miss Suzanne…it is so difficult when they go…but they do bring us so much joy, in the end it is worth it to have your heart break a little.

  76. 4-18
    9:49
    am

    Ohhh,well…you took good care of Honey,he was happy and he was a pet that brought everyone a little joy into our lives. I’ll miss him also.

  77. 4-18
    9:50
    am

    I am so sorry that you lost Honey. I know that no words can help your pain and that of your children. He was very sweet and loved.

  78. 4-18
    10:00
    am

    I come from an ancestry of farmers, but two generations have soften up the tough skin generated by having animals and losing them. I love reading your stories of your farm and you cute little animals, and shed a tear today for Honey. Knowing the reality of lose does not make it easier. Wishing you and your little animals peace.

  79. 4-18
    10:00
    am

    I feel like I’ve lost a member of MY family (and I’m sure you’re feeling a bit the same). Poor Honey… poor you and yours. But he had a great life while he was with you. You did good.

  80. 4-18
    10:07
    am

    I am so sorry to hear about Honey passing. What a sad post this morning to be reading. He will be missed for his dancing and just the enjoyment of watching him growing. Maybe the family member of yours with the grocery store/everything store could stock up and keep on hand various things/medicines needed for the local farmers. It’s just a thought anyway.

  81. 4-18
    10:13
    am

    Oh I am so, so, sorry!

  82. 4-18
    10:17
    am

    Thank you for telling this story. I will be the first to admit that I come here for the animals and their funny stories. However, life isn’t all fun and games is it? I’m so sorry he died but you gave me a chance to know him and I appreciate it very much.

  83. 4-18
    10:19
    am

    So sorry for your loss. If you have trouble getting what you need from a vet try this site http://www.vetserv-usa.com/. Shelly

  84. 4-18
    10:20
    am

    I’m so sorry. That is sad, but thank you for telling us. As you said, it’s part of life.

  85. 4-18
    10:28
    am

    I am so sorry to hear about Honey. As others have said, that kind of experience will be part of farming.But, as you know, there is immense happiness, too. Honey had the very best life a goat could have. Somewhere, on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, he is frolicking and kicking up his heels with many other little goats, including mine.
    My first thought, too, was enterotoxemia (also known as overeating disease). I didn’t know there was a CD antitoxin but we also vaccinated for that with their first shots and then yearly. We lost two to tetanus, until we learned to vaccinate for tetanus when they were disbudded. I always felt so bad that my animals suffered while I was learning. But even very experienced farmers still lose animals. Be at peace, Suzanne. And know that Honey is, too. My heart breaks for you.

  86. 4-18
    11:27
    am

    ((((((((((((((Family)))))))))))))))
    I’m so sorry. Having raised, loved and lost my fair share of beloved animals in my life, I understand your pain. We loved them so much, and it hurts to feel to helpless when they get hurt or sick.
    Honey was a delight to your family, and may your memories of him only be happy ones. And may Pepsi help heal the ache in your heart. No,… Pepsi can’t replace Honey, but he can help you heal.

    God Bless you all!
    Donna Mc
    GA

  87. 4-18
    11:47
    am

    Oh Suzanne, I have tears rolling down my cheeks. He was a delightful little guy and you are so blessed to have had him. You will be in my prayers.

  88. 4-18
    11:58
    am

    Ah, Suzanne. I am so very sorry. I just now got here. Mother is in the hospital again, and I am home for a minute. Thank you for letting us share your sorrow. That, to me, is the hallmark of true friendship. God’s Peace.

  89. 4-18
    12:03
    pm

    :hissyfit: My hear breaks for you and every one else who loved Honey. I never thought I would cry over a goat and especially not a goat that didn’t belong to me. But you make them all feel like family. I hope there are lots and lots of cookies in heaven. :wave:

  90. 4-18
    12:06
    pm

    Suzanne,
    I am so sorry to hear about Honey. I have lost more animals in the past year than I have over my entire lifetime so I can completely understand what you are going thru right at this moment. It just never gets easier (not that we would really want it to right?)
    Honey had a kickin’ life. What a better place to spend it than on the Stringtown Rising farm. I know if I was a farm animal I would want to be living on YOUR farm.
    Much love and peace to you, your kids, 52 and all of your wonderful animals.

  91. 4-18
    12:09
    pm

    Ohhhh, I am so sorry to hear about little Honey! :hissyfit: :o That is so sad!!!!!! Just hated to hear that!

    Happy belated birthday Suzanne. I am glad you at least had a good one. :hug:

  92. 4-18
    12:38
    pm

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Honey. What a sweet little guy. That is indeed the hardest part of owning animals. He was well loved and spoiled while here. :)

  93. 4-18
    1:41
    pm

    I’m glad my husband is napping because I’m sitting her sobbing. I’m so sorry for your loss. It never gets any easier. I’m still hurting for the little kitten that I was not able to save even with vet help. Honey will be missed :cry: :cry: :cry:

  94. 4-18
    2:40
    pm

    So sorry for your loss…you say that Honey really had no purpose on the farm, but maybe he was put there for this purpose, to prepare you for the next emergency or illness. Sounds to me like he was an angel in disguise. Take care. :sheep:

  95. 4-18
    2:58
    pm

    Condolences on the loss of Honey.

  96. 4-18
    3:38
    pm

    I’m so, so sorry about your loss. All of us loved the stories and photos of this cute little fellow. At least you know that he had a wonderful life, short as it might be. Have to go blow my nose because it and my eyes are pouring and my dogs are crowding around trying to figure what’s wrong with mom. Sending you much love from NC.

  97. 4-18
    3:41
    pm

    Suzanne and family, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I know how much you all care for your animals and it breaks my heart, too. We will all miss him.

  98. 4-18
    3:54
    pm

    So sorry!

  99. 4-18
    4:01
    pm

    Thank you, for sharing your story. Sorry to hear about your loss.

  100. 4-18
    4:15
    pm

    Just letting you know how sorry I am about your loss. It is always so sad to loose an animal, especially one we care about.

    It does not get easier with tme, either.

  101. 4-18
    4:20
    pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Honey. He can romp & play with my Nacho now.

  102. 4-18
    4:45
    pm

    So sorry. If no one has told you yet, get Banamine and some Bute, and the needles and syringes to go with it.

  103. 4-18
    5:25
    pm

    Suzanne,
    I am so sorry to hear about Honey. He will be missed. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    dianne

  104. 4-18
    5:29
    pm

    This gave me tears. I am so sorry and I know its frustrating to not know what happened to cause this. He knows he was loved. I was raised on a chicken farm and I cried when my pet rooster died. Yep…a mean old rooster was my PET. (along with the various cats and dogs we had) They may just be animals to a lot of people but some of us really have affection for them.
    Will you have to get another wethered goat to keep your buck company?

  105. 4-18
    5:34
    pm

    My heart is breaking. I’ve followed your blog long before you brought Honey home and even got to be a part of naming him. I’ll miss the fun pictures and stories that you always share of him. How are Nutmeg and Clover handling his absence?

  106. 4-18
    6:39
    pm

    Very sorry to hear about Honey.

  107. 4-18
    7:05
    pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. We too have pet goats and have been in your position. I have never felt more helpless in my life!

    Rys

  108. 4-18
    7:44
    pm

    I just want to say that I really enjoy your site and I am so sorry for your loss. We lost one of our young pygmies about a month ago and my son still misses her and talks about her. We have new babies on the way but she will never be replaced.

  109. 4-18
    7:46
    pm

    God Bless Honey

  110. 4-18
    7:52
    pm

    I’m so sorry! It is so scary owning animals, things can go so wrong so fast. We also have a wether pet that we absolutely adore. I’d be heartbroken if we lost him.

  111. 4-18
    8:12
    pm

    Oh, Suzanne, I’m so sorry to hear about Honey. I can’t have goats in my little subdivision yard, so I live vicariously through you and yours. I feel like I’ve lost him too, and am wiping away my tears for your loss….and ours. ((((hugs))))

  112. 4-18
    8:33
    pm

    :no: thank you for warning us at the beginning of the post. Like “brace yourself”. It is the part of a farm that causes me not to have one. Hugg and thanks for sharing.

  113. 4-18
    8:50
    pm

    Suzanne, I’m so sorry. Yes, it’s part of the farm life, but it sure is a crummy part of farm life. :no:

  114. 4-18
    8:55
    pm

    I am so sorry to read about Honey. What a sad day that must have been. Just know that your little goat had a good life, and thanks to your photos and stories, you will always have good memories of him.

    How are Clover and Nutmeg reacting to him not being around?

  115. 4-18
    9:03
    pm

    I am sorry to hear about Honey. He had a good life with you and will be remembered through the stories you shared.

  116. 4-18
    9:21
    pm

    any chance he could have eaten poultry feed? Most goat folks with chickens don’t feed their chickens poultry feed but feed ’em goat feed. Poultry feed is poisoness to goats so they don’t take any chances and the poultry gets along fine on gaot feed.

    join
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ND_Mini_Goats_Dairy/

    experienced goat folks are far better resources than Vets for goats

  117. 4-18
    9:23
    pm

    Dear Suzanne, we are so very sorry to hear of your loss of Honey. It is the very worst part of owning a farm. We have a hobby farm and raise donkeys, and this past winter we lost a 9 month old, April-Michele. I know how hurt you are feeling, and words just don’t heal sometimes. Just know you have hundreds of warm hearted folks out there who are sharing your pain.

  118. 4-18
    10:31
    pm

    Pepsi is a VERY beautiful goat, but he’ll never be Honey. I was a bit in shock when I ready your post. Take comfort in the fact that, as I’m posting the 118th reply, there are 118 of us out here morning for Honey with you. What a famous goat, and what a loved goat. You have my sympathies. :hug:

  119. 4-18
    10:35
    pm

    I’m so sorry.

  120. 4-18
    11:04
    pm

    Oh Suzanne, I’m so sorry about Honey.

  121. 4-19
    2:47
    am

    Oh no……… I’m just catching up with the blog.. I’m so sorry to hear this. Sending (((((hugs))))) to you and the family.

  122. 4-19
    3:37
    am

    I am very sorry for your loss. Just in case . . . . http://www.fiascofarm.com is an amazing site that is full of information about stocking you medicine cabinet, dosages and just about anything else “goat”, that you can think of.

  123. 4-19
    4:44
    am

    Suzanne,

    Did not get to your post til today.
    So sorry to hear about your loss of Honey
    It’s hard to loose an animal that was loved.
    Peace to you.

    Anne

  124. 4-19
    5:43
    am

    Joanna, no, he couldn’t have gotten any poultry feed, but I’m glad you mentioned that because I didn’t know that about poultry feed being poison to goats. That’s good to know! (Our chickens are fed in the chicken yard, which is shut up and completely separate from the goats.)

  125. 4-19
    6:41
    am

    Heartbreaking. So very sorry for you all.

  126. 4-19
    6:57
    am

    So sorry to hear about Honey!.
    I know your pain, I have a friend in our area, who does deal with goats in her practice. Slowly but surely every vet in the area has figured that out and tell people to call her.
    I didn’t read all of the comments. But one thing you will want on hand is activated charcaol. It’s not fun to give them, but it may save their life if they have poisoned themselves.
    Good luck w/ your Honorary Vet degree.
    p.s. Goats are giant wusses about needles. They act like you are killing them.

  127. 4-19
    7:38
    am

    I reccomend chocolate in great quanity for all goat owners. 24 hours later and I am still crying about Honey. Now y’all know I am a silly city gal and every one of you who posted true goat help and understanding is 10 X’s the woman I will ever be. Thank you all for your lovely comments, and Suzanne I can only share my heart, no words of wisdom other than “chocolate”.

  128. 4-19
    7:51
    am

    God Bless you Honey!

    So sorry that you had to go through this Suzanne.

    Hugs!

  129. 4-19
    7:55
    am

    Thank you all so much for being here and sharing our loss. It helps. :snuggle:

  130. 4-19
    8:02
    am

    Suzanne, it’s so difficult to lose a family pet or livestock. It’s been a week and you must still be heartbroken. One can feel it in the story you share.
    You did they very best and Honey knows it. You gave him a wonderful life full of love, devotion and yummy cookies. I bet this is what he would write in his comment!
    These little guys provide you such fun and promise. They inspire you and us. Thanks for opening up and telling your readers about the less glamorous, and often frustrating, side of farm life. Keep inspiring us!

  131. 4-19
    9:37
    am

    I’m still raw right now from the loss of a seventeen-year-old cat and, very, very unexpectedly, an eleven-year-old dog. Happened in less than four months and we’re just reeling. Animals bring so much joy, but they break your heart, too.

    My condolences to all of you. I will miss hearing about him.

  132. 4-19
    9:53
    am

    Suzanne,
    My heart truly breaks for you. I got my first goats last May-my first time with farm animals too. After losing my goat, Houdini, so quickly, I almost gave up the farm–it hurt so much. Glad I didn’t. Clover was lucky for time spent on your farm!

    Beth in PA

  133. 4-19
    9:56
    am

    I’m sorry – I meant Honey was lucky. Clover is too!

  134. 4-19
    10:30
    am

    Sorry to hear about Honey. Hopefully he is busy being frisky up in heaven.

  135. 4-19
    10:38
    am

    Honey will be much missed by all of us in our home. Hugs to you and all your family as you mourn him. And cookies of comfort to Clover and Nutmeg. (maybe Clover will deliver a new baby to your home soon.) We will love Pepsi when he arrives, but Honey will never be replaced.

  136. 4-19
    12:01
    pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Honey. Big hugs to you and yours. I know that our four-legged friends can’t be replaced, but I’m looking forward to hearing all about Pepsi!

  137. 4-19
    2:02
    pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Honey. You must have been so frustrated. Looks like there’s a gap in the market there.

    It’s so hard losing animals they give you so much but take part of you with them when they go bless them.

  138. 4-19
    3:03
    pm

    something else to watch out for…wild cherry trees.if a branch breaks off with leaves on it, or a tree gets cut or falls while it still has leaves on it, the wilting leaves will kill a goat fast. we lost 3 in 1 day before we knew the tree had falle, so sorry about Honey.

  139. 4-19
    6:03
    pm

    :hug: I’m sorry, too. It is hard to not know why…

  140. 4-19
    8:11
    pm

    I’m so sorry, you guys. :( HUGS.

  141. 4-20
    7:31
    am

    Oh Suzanne… I’m so very sorry… to me this is hardest part of farming so far…

  142. 4-20
    9:13
    am

    Just catching up on your blog .. ohhh, what sad news, I am so sorry. {{{{big hugs}}}}

  143. 4-20
    9:23
    am

    That is so sad. I was attached to Honey from just reading about your farm; I can’t even imagine how sad this made you.

  144. 4-20
    1:14
    pm

    There are so many things that make farm life hard, but nothing compares to experiences like this. We’ve been there as well and we’ll both be there again unfortunately I’m sure. Thanks for sharing your story so others can learn from the experience as well. Believe it or not, the farmer “network” isn’t what it use to be – it is getting harder and harder to find and call on fellow farmers for help, knowledge and experience in times like these. Thanks for sharing your difficult story and broadening our “farmer network”. Hang in there. :)

  145. 4-20
    2:02
    pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Honey and I cried even though I didn’t know him. Your story was so sad and bittersweet. Eight hours later, I’m still at work with my tear streaked make-up, puffy eyes and I dare anyone to ask. I’m sure he has wings and a halo too. :cry:

  146. 4-20
    2:55
    pm

    I am so sorry!

    The Retirement Chronicles

  147. 4-20
    5:45
    pm

    Suzanne, I am so very sorry for your loss. Honey was beautiful and I will miss hearing about him…but he was loved. I could tell. I, too have been forced to become an amateur vet. Great advice there. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt moment with us and also your sweet little Honey. Warm hugs to you and your family!

  148. 4-20
    11:53
    pm

    I will miss hearing about Honey and his antics. I’m so sorry, I know you did everything you could for him. Thanks for letting us know what happened, must of been a hard post to write.

  149. 4-22
    3:46
    am

    HONEEEEEEYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! //sob sob//

  150. 5-5
    7:06
    am

    I am sorry that I missed this post; but, I appreciate you pointing it out. I really liked the story about Honey when the other goats were gone. He was so cute! We lost a calf this year; similar reason. We didn’t get help soon enough. But, we learned a lot and next time we’ll know what to do. Still, it was hard.

  151. 5-19
    7:26
    am

    :hissyfit: oh i’m really srry about honey.i fell so sad now!!but sure hes happy now in goat heaven…. :wave:

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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