In 2000, our dream came true! We bought the new home for Forgotten Felines and Fidos in Germansville. It was everything we wanted and more! We had 27 + acres of property, including a pond which the deer came up and drank from. It included a 2 story house, a few out building which were not usable and a GOAT named Rosey!!!The seller explained that Rosey’s house was buried under a snow drift, and as soon as things melted they would be back for her. None of us had ever dealt with a goat, but they explained that they had a bale of hay for her and she would be fine. We had not planned on coming here everyday at first, but now we had a goat who needed fresh water! So someone was here everyday. Rosey was very wooly (we found out she was a cashmere goat) but there didn’t seem to be much under the wool. She was extremely friendly—she had been bottle fed inside the house when she was a kid, and actually thought the house was hers!
One weekend we had a “clean up” party and we met Russ the man who farmed part of the property. He informed us that when the people came back for Rosey they were taking her to the auction! By then we were attached to her and I mentioned that if anyone was eating goat burgers it would be us!! Yeah, right. So we nicely informed the former owners that they would never see Rosey again. She was 8 years old and had 8 years to go!!
Rosey was a real treat. We knew nothing about goats. After her hay ran out she proceeded to prune all the trees in the front of the house. Michele, who was the co-caretaker found Germansville Feed and we bought goat chow which she loved. She filled out nicely!! We put carrots on the top, but found out quickly that Rosey was a junk food junkie! Goats are supposedly great at cleaning poison ivy-not Rosey. She ate weeds on the vine, but only if we picked them and fed them to her.
We began neutering cats up here and at one point someone brought a cat (of course Rosey meet everyone at their car and led them to the proper door). The people pointed at Rosey and said “what is this?’ I explained that she was a goat and they proceed to tell us that they were goat breeders and what had we done to her -oops! We told them that she came with the property and we were doing the best we could. We they got a lecture on proper feeding, supplements, hoof trimming, and vaccinations.
Michele had a black lab mix dog named Shadow who was wonderful. She could be left outside and never stray. Somehow Rosey and she bonded and hung out together. Michele was away for a few weeks and I had Shadow out and was packing cats to go for adoption. At one point I realized that there was no dog or goat to be seen! I ran upstairs and looked out the window and there was one black dog and one white goat at the end of our 1/4 mile driveway ready to turn down Mountain Rd-the local drag strip. I jumped in my SUV and headed out. Fortunately, both loved riding in the car so both jumped in the back to return home. Shadow was grounded for one day!
In October2000, we began construction on our pole barn. At the same time we were converting our oversized two car garage into an adoption area. Glenn the excavator started to dig. I was cleaning upstairs and saw something large and white on the neighbors deck on Mountain Rd. This neighbor fought us moving in and had said that if any of our animals were on his property he would shoot them. It was Rosey !! No sooner did the excavating begin that I told Glenn to shut it down due to a run away goat. Once again I drove up there and finally convinced Rosey it was safe to come home. She did good until she saw Glenn but I caught her trying to beak out of my back window! The only place she could go was in our garage/adoption area where we were installing floors. I must tell you it’s not pleasant to see new floors when a goat was locked in for two days! When builders Bob and Ray started on the barn, Rosey was there with them every step of the way-especially at lunch time. She thought the whole barn was hers! What a sorry day it was when they put the doors on and Rosey was locked out!
As I mentioned Rosey loved cars either in or on. As we began to have more people up here it became an issue as to whether she would jump in or on their cars. We picked up some free fencing and our new neighbor gave us a goat that she didn’t like named Rockey. Pretty soon the two were locked up together. They playednicely and then Rosey would look at me as if to say “I’m done now-leave me out with Shadow and people”. She accepted this but she didn’t like it. I ended getting two more young goats and she was fine with them. We had a new house built for themwhat else could they want.
The goats loved Christmas. Whenwe were done with the trees for the cats-they got to eat them!! Yes we believe in recycling!
Spring was great for goats. Rosey now sported a very dingy off white coat and I wouldn’t even mention what the back end looked like. That’s where the bare Christmas trees come in handy. The boys used them to scratch where it itched, but Rosey used the trees to blow her coat. By the time she was done it looked like an enchanted forest with clumps of cashmere hanging for the branches, and once again Rosey was a pure white short haired goat. The birds loved the cashmere and we had the luckiest birds around they had nests lined with cashmere!
Rosey taught us a lot about goats– especially during her free roaming period. First off never grab a goat by the horns as this constutes ‘goat play”. She would rear up on her hind legs, snort and lunge. At that point never run– four legs are faster then two. You wouldn’t believe how fast volunteers moved from one building to another!! Also, you never said “bad goat, Rosey.” She didn’t think she did bad, so if she blamed for it... She would never hurt anyone, but she was intimidating. And if she accidentally caught your shin bone with her horns-oh yeah!
But she had a gentler side where she'd come up next to you and give you goat kisses.
In the last year you could see her showing her age. Getting up went slower and arthritis was beginning to set in. We tried injections but they didn't seem to help. She made it through last winter but spring was really tough for her. The bad thing about goats, if one is weakening the younger ones tend to pick on them. I broke up many times the boys were chasing her. I know that I would have to make a decision. One day during surgery I kept looking out at the goat pen. Rosey was having a very rough time getting around. I knew it wasn't going to get better-after all she was at least 19 years old. When we finished surgery I asked our vet if he was willing to take a walk with Rosey and me. As the three of us walked up the hill he grabbed her horn as a term of endearment. As lousy as Rosey felt, she pulled her head back as I said" never touch her horns."
Rosey is at peace now, frolicking in an alfalfa field. No one can ever have goat burgers. As she was leaving us I mentioned how many lawsuits she could have caused us-but she didn't. We have a ton of Rosey Goat stories each one funnier then the last-just ask us someday. But on May 17, 2011 Rosey's story ended. I'll never meet another one like her and I miss her so much as I know she misses her family here too. There's still times when I look out the front windows I expect to see a goat standing on the sill looking in. I am really glad she came with the property- it made it feel more like home.