Aside from a few freakish storms, spring has undeniably sprung.
Crocus are popping up in the garden and tender green weeds are once again part of Tank and Kiff’s diet.
Both of them seem to know that winter is over because their attitude is definitely more jovial and playful.
Games of “headbutting” and “king of the hill” fill hours of their day and entertain us as well.
There has been no shortage of laughter around our place!
This is also the time of year that “goaty” friends of mine have barns full of cute baby goat kids that run around bouncing off of everything as if they had springs for legs.
It is a particularly dangerous season for me because every time I hold a baby goat, it makes me want another.
Their tiny hooves, sweet goat kisses, and love of snuggles give me a serious case of baby fever!
While I know that the future of the little does are secure, because they will have a place as a milker, I tend to be drawn to the sweet boys because they have a far more uncertain place on farms.
I watch them play and hope that they all will become future herd sires, pack goats, or pets.
Sadly, the only other option is that they are sent to the meat market.
This is the fate for many male goats who could have had a very different destiny.
Tank was a lucky “kid”, and was deemed as suitable “pack goat” material shortly after birth.
However, had Kiff not been adopted into our little hiking herd, his destiny would have been very different.
Let’s put it this way, he was already residing on a farm owned by “the meat lady.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way looking down on those who eat goat meat.
In fact, I can tell you that it is quite delicious, Kosher, and enjoyed by almost 70% of the world’s population.
However, when I look into Kiff’s big brown eyes and think about his intelligent and caring nature, it makes me so pleased that we were able to provide him with the goat equivalent of a Cinderella story.
He has a completely joyous and happy attitude every single day and at times I wonder if he knows he was saved.
It seems that he rejoices- celebrating the fact that he has a “furever” home, and now holds the proud titles of “pack goat” and beloved companion.
Although Tank and Kiff are a perfect fit for our hiking adventures, goats aren’t for everyone.
Luckily companionship comes in many forms, and as long as you are out enjoying nature with friends, you probably aren’t getting it wrong.
We were recently reminded of this while out on the trail with a friend who adopted a fun loving Boxer mix dog named Marty from Shoshone Pet Rescue.
Although Marty has a heart of gold, she too had an uncertain future due to her “Pitbull” appearance.
Luckily, when our friend James was looking to change his solitary existence, he fell in love with her happy-go-lucky attitude and boundless energy (which by the way, inadvertently turned him to into a hiker).
Just like the goats, Marty demands to hike, which leaves no room for the human in her life to slack off.
Hiking more has led to improved health and happiness for not just the rescued, but the rescuer as well.
All of this leads me to a question- When you change an animal’s destiny, is your own changed just as dramatically?
My personal experience says yes, and I think many would agree.
So this spring, if you are looking for a perfect hiking companion who always has room in their schedule and is eager to go, consider beginning your search at your nearest animal shelter.
If you have room in your life for cloven hoofed capers, email me!
I have friends who have little boys who want to grow up to be pack goats!
As always, we love to hear from you and welcome any comments or questions you may have. You can contact us via email at email@example.com, or follow our daily adventures by liking our Facebook page Goat Trek’n! Happy trails!