Tank the Trail Finder: Love in four-legged form

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  • Tank is always looking for an opportunity to plant a kiss on Ella.

  • 1

    Tank and I celebrate reaching the top of West Fork Mountain with a snuggle.

  • 2

    Photos by Molly Geiger Ella and her “goat bro” found that they share a love of huckleberries as well as hiking over the summer.

  • Tank is always looking for an opportunity to plant a kiss on Ella.

  • 1

    Tank and I celebrate reaching the top of West Fork Mountain with a snuggle.

  • 2

    Photos by Molly Geiger Ella and her “goat bro” found that they share a love of huckleberries as well as hiking over the summer.

Ahhhh, Valentine’s Day. It is the day that we as a nation celebrate love and romance, often with heart shaped boxes of chocolates, candle lit dinners, and roses.

I personally love to celebrate love. It is after all, what makes the world go ‘round and what makes life worth living. However, as we celebrate Valentine’s day, I feel that some of the most consistent and unconditional love that we ever experience is often overlooked. It is the love of our four legged companions that are with us day in and day out. They are the ones who comfort us without saying a word and love us without condition. Often our pets are our greatest “adventure buddies,” as well as our favorite couch potatoes!

Just about a year ago, as my Valentine’s day present, my husband and I welcomed a new “kid” into our family.

That’s right, a four legged goat kid named Tank.

He was a diaper wearing, hoofed fuzz ball, with a bottomless pit of a tummy.

It was truly similar to the experience of having a new baby since he needed a warm bottle every few hours, and plenty of diaper changes.

He despised sleeping alone, so Ella snuggled with him and shared her favorite fuzzy pink princess blanket.

Before long she was calling him her “goat bro.”

Just like most little girls, Ella would dance in the living room, and Tank would hop around kicking up his heels with joy.

Let’s face it, it’s fun to be a kid!

Indeed, our family was considered a little strange, but we were overwhelming happy with our new addition.

Tank became our constant companion, and the bond was stronger than I could have ever imagined.

Not only did he fill the goat shaped space in our hearts, but he also was exactly what we needed in a hiking partner.

His tireless enthusiasm to be out on the trail led us over 987 miles of dirt last year.

He made simple camp outs an adventure and offered comic relief on what would have otherwise been gruelingly steep climbs.

Although we didn’t know it before his presence in our lives, his warm snuggles by the campfire, and sweet goat kisses were just what we needed.

We simply cannot imagine our lives without him and our adventures in the great outdoors are forever changed by his companionship.

Although not everyone has a two-legged kid as well as a goat kid, many can relate to the love we feel for our critter companions.

In fact, most will openly admit that they fill a void that only an animal can.

For some, their animals perform services that enable them to live productive and happy lives.

For those who are single, they are what makes a house a home.

For those who cannot have a child, they provide the chance to be a parent; and for the only children of the world like Ella, they are the sibling they have dreamed of.

So as we bask in the afterglow of the holiday that celebrates love, take a moment to reflect on the love that has been given by our animal companions.

They are truly remarkable, and enrich our lives by showing us love without saying a word, yet being the best listeners we will ever know. For me personally, I am thankful for all the hoof prints that have been left on the trails, as well as our hearts.

• • •

As always, we love to hear from you and welcome any comments or questions you may have. You can contact us via email at goattrekn@gmail.com, or follow our daily adventures by liking our Facebook page Goat Trek’n! Happy trails!

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