Cuzco's Glamour Shot o' the Day
Yeah, he really rallied this winter. He was so slow and tired last fall I wasn't sure if we should put him through another winter, but he seems to prefer the cold. I love it when Cuzco initiates a fight because then I know he's feeling good. Usually Finn is the one to pick a fight with Cuzco, but lately I've seen Cuzco picking fights with Finn and occasionally even Sputnik. Finn is afraid to share Cuzco's side of the feeder. He stands on the side completely opposite to wherever Cuzco is.
The old man's still got it!  Go Cuzco!   Heart
Goatberries Happen!
The new spring grass is soft and green, but Cuzco has a hard time enjoying it any more. There aren't many teeth left in his old head, and he's tired and slow. His swollen old joints ache when he lays down and they ache when he stands up. Moving is slow and painful, and he's starting to lose his balance. Finn never had to battle for Cuzco's position at top of the herd. Cuzco's own body betrayed him and he quietly surrendered the crown without a fight. It's more merciful this way I suppose. Losing to Finn would have been humiliating. At least this way Cuzco decided when to let Finn take over and he never had to be defeated. Finn is not too mean to the old fellow, but he's not too nice to him either. Cuzco has some payback coming to him I'm sure, but thankfully Finn is not a cruel goat. Cuzco has been a good example to the young leaders in our herd.

I called my neighbor to come dig a hole. He'll be here in a few days. As hard as it is, it's Time. Cuzco has missed three walks in the last week, and we have to go slowly and wait for him when he decides to come. I hate looking back only to see him standing near the house staring longingly after us but unable to muster the strength to come. Cuzco has never missed a walk in his life. Even if all the other goats stayed home, he came. The worst weather never stopped him. But Time has little respect for young feelings trapped in an old body. 

Cuzco has been telling me for the last week or two that he is ready. He began by refusing his joint supplement in any form. Lately he's been largely refusing alfalfa pellets, sweet feed, and sunflower seeds. He picks at the new grass, and he still eats the leafy alfalfa I put in his feeder at night, but he doesn't act like he's very interested in most of it. It's like he's too tired to be hungry any more. His eyes are still bright and eager for peanuts and any other junk food I want to feed him, but he's done eating real meals any more. Like my 100-year-old great grandmother, he only wants dessert, and at his age I'm ok with that. I plan to feed him up well on his favorite treats this week. He's entitled to his own plate of garlic cheese knots from the local pizzeria. I'll probably buy him a tub of powdered donuts, and I'll be making him a big bowl of popcorn with butter and cheese dust. We'll try to make these last few days very good for the old fellow. 

I'm sure we could string Cuzco out longer, but at this point he's still relatively happy and he still has his dignity. I cannot have him get to a point where he starts falling or where he can't get himself up in the morning. I don't want Finn or Sputnik to hit him too hard and break something. I'm afraid even a playful knock could do some serious damage, and I don't want Cuzco to suffer. Right now he can still potter around the pasture picking at grass, and he spends many hours laying contentedly in some warm, sunny hollow. I don't want to wait until Time takes even these little pleasures away from him. He's been a good goat for many years and he deserves a good ending. Fifteen is quite a respectable age for any goat. When I think back to how many close calls he's had in his lifetime, I'm amazed he made it this far. What a trooper!   

Dearest Nanno and Phil, I am sending you thoughts of comfort for Cuzco. I have enjoyed your eloquent stories and photos over the years, and with you, lived the heartbreak, joy, and laughter of each new episode of Life with Cuzco. I feel so fortunate to have met him! What a legend! Please know that have given him such an incredible life. Your sentiments are so beautiful. Major hugs to all of you as you help him cross the Rainbow Bridge. It's the last great gift you can give him after your journey through this life together--Saph
Thank you so much Irene. I'm glad you got to meet Cuzco at the Rendy a couple of years ago. He's always been a cranky old fart, but so full of himself. He never wanted strangers to touch him, but he LOVED to be admired. He had to be the center of attention wherever he went, and he couldn't pass a camera without striking a pose. I was hoping he could make it to his old home in Lake City one last time for this year's Rendy, but unfortunately it's not in the cards. Cuzco has many fans in Lake City and they'll be sad to hear of his passing. He was quite famous there in his time. He made the local news on more than one occasion, including the time he took a dive off that cliff and lost his horn. But I guess it's not meant to be. Thanks so much for thinking of us.
Oh man. I was wondering when this was coming. Its a super hard thing to do and one of the big penalties for having so many short lived friends. We all exist in a finite stretch of an infinite timeline though. Cusco is lucky because he had a long and interesting life that the top 1% of 1% of goats would envy. It sounds to me like he doesn't have long regardless. How old is he?

For his many deeds I hereby knight Cusco. From hence forth, he shall be known as SIR Cusco.

(PS... Since he's a goat he does not qualify for beatification-- Thats reserved for sheep only, so I'm told)
I haven’t been apart of the community for long but I wanted to give my condolences, and share my respect, for not everyone has the courage to do what is best for our beloved pets. Through my journey to finding pack goats, the “glamour shots” of Cuzco have been a huge inspiration and influence. Rest in Paradise, Cuzco.
Today we stroll the neighborhood, someday we'll climb mountains together..  Heart
Dear Nanno and Phil, I am very sorry to hear that Cuzco has declined. I admire your decision for choosing the time while, as you say, he still has his dignity. Somehow I already feel I know him a little through all the wonderful stories and photos - but wish I had met him. As GoldenTree has said, Cuzco is an amazing inspiration. When I first joined the forum and saw those photos of Cuzco starting out driving when he was young, right through to the latter years, I knew instantly that that's what I wanted to do with my goats. What a great role model.

If I had to choose when I leave this Earth, I would probably decide that Spring is a good time to depart. Rest well Cuzco. We are thinking of you all.
Happiness is a baby goat snoring in your lap
Nan and Phil,

From the first description and photos I read/saw of your adventures, Cuzco has played a huge part in my wanting to become a goatpacker and enjoy adventures with my own goats.

Getting to meet him at your home, watch him as he enjoyed the campfire and him staring at Phil as he played the fiddle – they are priceless memories for me.  Cuzco is a goat whose legend will live on forever.

Your photos and eloquent descriptions of Cuzco, his personality and adventures have opened my eyes to see that goats are so much more than beasts of burden, meat, or pets.  I have a closer relationship with my goats because of Cuzco's adventures.

Cuzco has always had a regal bearing.  He exudes the attitude, “Look at ME!  Don’t you wish you could be this wonderful?!”

I am sorry to hear Cuzco’s time with you is ending.  It is never easy to lose a beloved family member.  I pray the memories you have of Cuzco will help you.  You are giving him the ultimate gift even though it is difficult.

Hugs and prayers. Heart
Goatberries Happen!
Thanks for all your kind thoughts everyone. Cuzco does love his campfires! I'm glad you mentioned that Taffy because it's supposed to be very nice weather all weekend. It would be good to have one in Cuzco's honor. For once in his life he can have all the leftover hot dog buns, and I'll even give him a whole Hershey's chocolate bar if he wants it (usually he only gets one or two little squares). It will be "Cuzco's Campfire".

I bought him a fresh tub of powdered donuts this afternoon. Usually he only gets them when they're close to expiration and on sale half price (in other words, rarely). Phil and I gave him a few this afternoon. He dropped one in his eagerness to snatch it out of my fingers (grabbing things quickly is tricky for him now that he no longer has teeth in the front). It rolled toward the edge of the patio where the dog was waiting with eager jaws. But Cuzco never lets a donut escape! He dove for that thing like a striking cobra, and unfortunately he was too quick for his own reflexes. His knees buckled and he crashed face-first into the pavement, but by golly he got that donut! I don't think he cared that he did a face plant. He jumped right back up for another one and then licked my fingers afterwards.

He also felt good enough to go for a walk today. I think those sugary donuts gave him an energy boost because he was more or less able to keep up with us this time. Good ol' fella. I'm glad he's still game for a walk. Not being able to go is heartbreaking for all of us.

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