A few weeks ago on the Goat Berries Facebook page, I posted this photo of Tori Spelling and her son Liam walking their pet goat in Los Angeles and noted that this is *exactly* what I wear when I’m out with the girls. Ahem.
I wasn’t going to even mention Tori and her goat here, but then this morning I saw some more news regarding Tori and Juliet (the goat) attending an event for The Fabulous Beekman Boys.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love that goats are becoming more appreciated because of some high-profile caretakers, but I also hope the romanticism of owning a goat doesn’t become confounded with the hard work it entails and just how much you need to know about these animals to take proper care of them. And by the way, as loyal Goat Berries readers know, you shouldn’t just take *one* in. Goat 101 tells us that goats like to live at least in pairs.
I’m a little afraid that some well-intentioned goat-loving people will see the cuteness (and let’s be honest, the cuteness factor of pygmy goats in particular is off the charts) and step into Easter Chick Syndrome, whereby people gift adorable little chicks to their kids, erm children, but don’t think much beyond what happens when the chick grows beyond fuzzy cuteness — if the chick gets that far, assuming the parents have done research on how to take care of the little one.
Anyway, hopefully my fears are unfounded, but it was just a little something I was thinking about this morning, which in turn reminded me of some photos I took of P walking Pasqualina and our ex-goat Margherita back when they were kids.
I could be biased, but Tori and Juliet have got *nothing* on P and the girls:
P.S. The title is a reference to Right Said Fred’s classic I’m Too Sexy — yes, I know you didn’t miss the reference, but I couldn’t miss the chance to include a link so you, too, could shake your little tush.
Last week I noticed that Pasqualina was beginning to have fuzzies on her neck. At first I thought she just had some pieces from the hay stuck in her fur (it’s been known to happen), but as I looked closer, I realized it was her soft, winter undercoat going bye-bye for the spring.
I don’t know if we were so occupied with goat birth last year at this time that I just didn’t notice, but Pasqualina definitely had some major goat hair shedding this year — which gave me a great excuse to get in there and give her a good brushing. I got several full brushes worth of undercoat, which I set free in the Sunday breeze; too bad I don’t know how to spin wool, right?
It was obvious that Pinta also has some shedding once I got to brushing her, but it wasn’t anywhere near as clumpy as Pasqualina’s; they definitely do have different types of hair — Pinta takes after her father — but I’m wondering now whether maybe the first year, their undercoats just aren’t as thick, and Pinta’s will be heavier next winter?
Always learning as a goat ma, that’s for sure.
A year ago, we were welcoming Pinta into the world — you can read about it in great detail at her birth story.
Here’s a look at her at about two weeks old:
And here she is now:
Yes, that’s her little heart still visible on her side!
Yesterday, Pinters celebrated one year on the planet with her caprine ma, her human ma, and a banana:
Oh, and lots and lots of petties.
My friend Paul (he of the recent GoatSpotting) posted this video on my Facebook wall, and there was just no way I could keep it to maaaaaahself.*
Turn up the sound and rock out to this goat symphony — although probably not a good idea if you’re at work in an office. People might think you’re maaaaaaaad.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a GoatSpotting, but I have quite a few darling goaties in the queue for you to enjoy in upcoming posts — remember if you have any goats or goat-related item you’ve spotted out and about, please do send along the photo!
I actually spotted this goat on my friend Paul’s Facebook page after he spotted her in a Wisconsin barn:
What a cutie, eh?
Do you have another caption for this photo? Please share!
And thanks Paul!
My grandmother was fond of using old-fashioned sayings and proverbs, and as a result, I developed a strong appreciation of them. It’s always fun finding out where a familiar saying came from too, which is why I recently looked into where the phrase “get your goat” came from (for the record, I started the draft of this post in December, way before The Huffington Post talked about this).
As commonly used, “get your goat” means to make someone angry or annoyed, but who on Earth would equate a goat with anger or annoyance? They’re so sweet and gentle! Exhibit A:
As it turns out, there’s no clear consensus on the phrase’s origins, but both proposed explanations I’ve found revolve around the idea that goats were kept with other animals to help keep them calm.
The Phrase Finder concludes that the saying is distinctly American dating back to 1909 and sticks by the “commonly repeated story which purports to explain the phrase’s origin is that goats were placed with racehorses to keep them calm. When ne’er-do-wells who wanted the horse to race badly removed it, i.e. they ‘got someone’s goat’, the horse became unsettled and ran badly.” The site admits, though that there’s no evidence to support this etymological tale.
That said, Ye Olde English Sayings discusses the origins of “getting your goat” with reference to “an old English (Welsh?) belief that keeping a goat in the barn would have a calming effect on the cows, hence producing more milk. When one wanted to antagonize/terrorize one’s enemy, you would abscond with their goat rendering their milk cows less- to non-productive.”
Whether the phrase is English or American, the common thread is “goats as the great calmers of nature.”
*After I published this, my mom reminded me that in The Sopranos episode where Tony has bought the racehorse Pie-O-My, the trainers keep a goat in the pen with her to calm her down before races — it *must* be true if Tony Soprano says so, right?!
Do you buy it? Were goats the original horse whisperers and/or cow whisperers?
Does anyone have experience with the calming nature of goats on their other animals?