The publication a few weeks ago reminded me of some “Little Devils” we have had over the years. All the while I was growing up, there were never any dogies raised. I don’t know why my grandparents didn’t have any, though I have heard many stories of them in the past. My second horse was a dogie named Rascal. I don’t remember much about him except he trotted smooth and you could catch him anywhere. As for my parents, the house and yard were off limits for anything except dogs. And they could tear or mess up more than almost anything. We did raise a fawn one time; he was a buck and really “trimmed” Momma’s flowers!
I never raised any, but I did try a few times. I guess I don’t have enough patience or love, whatever you choose to call it. In first Corinthians 13 the first characteristic of love is patience. Then Jennifer came along and patience is her long suit. It has to be to live with me!! I asked her if she wanted me to bring in the lambs and kids that lost their mommas and she said she did. This started a chain of events that has lasted 20 years. She can make almost anything live, though she still loses some. She can sit cross-legged on the floor in the kitchen for hours trying to get one to nurse. She’ll get up every four hours or so all night helping them along. Some refuse to take a bottle, others just seem to get sicker, and Jennifer asks me to put them down. I have taken that job because it hurts me less to put one down than it does to see Jennifer cry. We have since built structures and several dogie pens in the yard and water lot behind the house. Each year we lose all the plants around the house and our pomegranate trees have browse lines a giraffe may have trouble reaching!
We have one old dogie now, who is almost 13 years old. When I brought her in, Connor, who was 3 at the time, pronounced “Her name is Zert; short for Dessert!” Dessert has been nothing but trouble ever since. She had a bout of pink eye when she was only a couple weeks old that left her blind in one eye. She had another round of pink eye (in the good eye) 8 years ago and it was sheer luck that I found her when I did. She was a long way off from any roads and any water, obviously blind as a bat, and severely dehydrated. Jennifer and I took out by way of four- wheeler off down a point and somehow managed between the two of us to give her a four- wheeler ride back to the truck and trailer, got her home and nursed back to health. A year later I found her limping something awful, stressed and in hard shape. Apparently, she’d hung her right front leg in a tree and finally managed to get out, shattering her shoulder in the process. She was heavy bred at the time. I brought her in again in hopes of at least getting her to survive long enough to have her kid. The fracture in her leg was compound, Jennifer did a lot of draining and cleaning abscesses, and antibiotics and all sorts of newfangled splints and slings, and we still had to assist in the birth of Rhett and Scarlett. Zert wasn’t ever able to feed them and we saved Scarlett but Rhett didn’t make it. But, here we are seven years later and ol’ Zerty is still out there in the pasture hobbling around on three legs.
Sometimes, after they go back to the pasture, they turn back into a goat or sheep, but most of the time they remain half human. If we’re “sooking” the goats along with pick-up or Ranger, Earlene would rather ride in the passenger’s lap than walk with the rest of the herd and just this week a yearling name Jolee walked a cattle guard while the gate over it was open only about a foot. It took 30 minutes to coax her back across. Nothing is sacred: corn, church clothes, dog food, deer feed, human hair, even pick-ups. We had a pair we raised 12 or 14 years ago who thought the place to sleep was on top of the cab of the Nutritional Dispensing Unit, which was a half-ton Dodge without a tailgate that we purchased from the county after it was worn out. They started by jumping on the back bumper—following my then-two-year-old daughter. In short order they were jumping from the bed of the truck up onto the top of the cab. Which demonstrated to my then-two-year-old daughter that she could climb up onto the top of the cab. Then, all three of them—two goats and one child—would use the windshield as a slide and jump off the front bumper. They left skid marks like house cats or coons on that windshield. We broke a radio antenna and a windshield wiper after those goats got to about 50 pounds (the child had been admonished and dissuaded from any more mountain climbing on the pick-up). I chased them with a broom, even connected a time or two. I threw a rock once but chipped the paint on the fender well. We finally took them to the herd. Those two were KeeKee and Duffy. After Connor wasn’t allowed to chase them on the pick-up anymore, one day she brought them into the living room--with carpet—off limits to goats, unbeknownst to Jennifer. Jennifer was in another part of the house but heard Connor singing in the living room, then it got quiet, that dangerous kind of quiet. Jennifer asked Connor what she was doing, to which the reply came, “I colorin’ goats!” Jennifer found KeeKee and Duffy standing patiently on the small entry way that was tile, with their sides colored fairly solidly with permanent blue marker. I wish we could buy chalk that lasts as long as those markers did!
We’ve taken dogies to funerals, weddings, track meets, church. If they were on a frequent feed schedule, they went with us. We gave away a dark red, powerful built kid at the regional track meet in Levelland; and she was blind in both eyes. Her name was Rose. I think the name made the deal! I had to dispatch one on the side of the road, 349 north of Midland right past the cemetery entrance one time. Jennifer had tried to revive it but it only got worse on a Mother’s Day weekend trip to Lubbock. Once while on a trip, Connor looked in the back of the truck and said she didn’t see the black lamb. Somehow the pet crate she was in had come open. We found her dead about 10 miles back up the road. SAD!
One time, Jennifer came in the house and heard then-four-year old Connor saying “I am not going to let you out until you stop all that hollerin’.” Jennifer asked Connor who she was talking to, and Connor said, “Laverne.” “Where exactly is Laverne?” Jennifer asked. Connor said, “In the dryer.” Jennifer raced to the dryer—which was NOT on--and opened it to find the 20-pound goat happily standing there. She didn’t even offer to jump out, but never did stop bleating!
Those dogies are disasters! They cause more trouble than anything you can imagine and they sure don’t make any money. Each year we say “NO MORE,” but we are to start kidding on the 8th of April and I got some stuff from the freezer a couple nights ago and there was a new, full bag of milk replacer. I guess I’ll bring in a few more, without a word spoken.