I Used to Want Grandkids

JuJuB

But this doeling goat kid has changed my mind.

She’s adorable and I love her. But I’m exhausted!

She lost both ears and one leg to frostbite. Her frostbitten leg atrophied and we thought that would be that. After enough time in the house that we, her vets and I, figured she would live and she went outside with her mama and grandma goats.

I still went out to give her a bottle 3x a day. One of her feedings was straight from her mama. I had to have JJ, her mama goat, on the milk stanchion with her head locked in the headstall and JuJuB on my lap, guiding her mouth directly to the teat.

Neither goat had the instinct to do it on their own. JuJuB was fully convinced I was her mama and was so accustomed to a plastic nipple it took a bit of doing for her to figure out the real thing. JJ had no idea she was feeding her baby. She lost the mothering instinct when I pulled both of her kids off her and brought them inside.

I like to think she would have cared for them if it hadn’t been so cold. We’ll have to wait another season or two to find out.

Her leg came off at the red line. The dried, twisty parts of her ears fell off and healed before she went outside to live.

Three or four days after she was outside with the big goats, I went out to feed her and to milk JJ. When I was finished I gave JuJuB a quick cuddle on my lap. After I put her down, I noticed some wetness on my hand. With a sinking feeling, I thought I had put my hand in some chicken shit. I put my hand to my nose with trepidation. Chicken shit STINKS!

There wasn’t much of an odor, so it wasn’t chicken shit. I kept finding damp spots all over my legs. I finally realized it was blood.

I pulled JuJuB gently out from under the hay rack where she had gone to hide. Poor baby! Her hind leg was quite literally hanging on by a thread.

I carried her back inside and felt grateful for my laziness and procrastination. The giant dog kennel we use as a lamb and kid nursery was still set up. I put down a clean towel and gently laid her down.

I called the vet. They asked me to wrap her leg as best I could, keep her comfortable, and get to the office as soon as possible.

My husband wouldn’t come home until 8pm. I made an appointment for first thing the next morning.

I gave JuJuB some low dose aspirin in her bottle after wrapping her poor little leg and making her as comfortable as possible. She didn’t seem to be experiencing much discomfort, but with goats it can be hard to tell.

The next morning I drove the 36 miles to the vet’s in a blowing snow. Visibility was poor. White knuckling the steering wheel, I went as fast as I safely could – about 65 to 70 miles per hour. JuJuB was in a small crate behind me crying the whole way.

The vets took off her bandage and shaved a bit of her leg hair. I was both worried about the cost of an amputation, and detetmined to find a way to pay for it. I was worried about this sweet little baby. We had put her twin brother down just a few weeks before when he sloughed off his foot.

Ivar and JuJuB were born on Valentine’s day. And let me tell you! They both stole my heart. When were put Ivar down, I felt like JuJuB was my consolation prize. I loved her for both of them.

It turns out the break was clean. There was no need to amputate further. The vet snipped through the thread of skin holding together the two parts of her leg. Removing the dead from the living.

They bandaged her up, gave me a bunch of supplies, antibiotics, and pain meds and sent me home. “She needs to stay inside for the next ten to twelve days if possible. Change her bandage every other day and watch for signs of infection. Text or call if you have any questions.”

Home after the trip to the vet. The bandage job they did looks much nicer than mine ever could.

This was one week ago today.

She’s got 5 more days inside and I’m about to lose my mind. She is so happy and healthy and full of piss and vinegar. She doesn’t want to stay calm and heal.

I wrap her little bandage in a sandwich bag to keep it dry and let her race through the pasture at break neck speeds, playing with the dog and the big goats alike.

She has no idea she is missing a leg. She leaps and twists. She runs up to the wall of the house, springs off in a twisting leap and races across the front yard and tries to do the same to my leg.

She head butts the dog and chases him around.

Joy, the Nanny goat watches JJ, JuJuB, and Tui chase and play.

When she is in her crate she still jumps and hops around, digging at the plastic tray, chewing on the bars, and shouting for me if I leave the room. She is loud as fuck!

She gets a bottle every 3 to 4 hours. She gets taken outside every hour and a half. She gets cuddles every couple of hours before she gets too wiggly and is put back in the kennel. I change out her towels every day. Washing and drying the same 4 towels. She just wads them up and throws then in the corner.

I barely have time to eat, shower, write, or art. Let alone cook or clean. I’ve had to write this in spurts (forgive me if I lose track, ramble, repeat myself, and get things in the wrong order).

JuJuB, Tui, and me

I’m a mess. My house is s mess. I’m sure it was the same when each of my children were born. But my memory has selectively filtered out all the exhaustion and frustration and only remembered the cuddles and laughter.

If this little goat kid is any indication, you can go ahead and keep those grandkids. Maybe, visit once a year. Better yet, let me visit them and leave your house a mess!

I’m exhausted, I smell funny, and grandma needs a drink!

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