Happy 4th of July!
From sea to shining sea celebrating our nation's birthday is better with packgoats!


(this photo is of Nan & Phil Hassey's goat, Finn)
Goatberries Happen!
We had a 4th of July for the record books. The day was clear and cool and Phil and I took Finn and Pongo to Cuchara for their lovely parade and small-town celebration. Finn has been doing very poorly these last couple of months. Vets can’t find anything wrong with him, but he’s gone off feed and has been dropping weight to the point where he looks like a shadow of his former self. We’re concerned that we may be losing him, but he still wants to go out and do things. We thought perhaps a ride in the truck and change of scenery would lift his spirits. And it certainly did!

We fitted Finn and Pongo out in empty pack saddles for the parade and sat on the sidelines so we could watch most it go by before we stepped in near the end. This way we got to see all the entries and collect a lot of candy, flags, beads, and other decorations for our goats before joining the parade ourselves. WIN! 
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The goats were a huge hit, and people especially loved seeing us feed them the candy they tossed at us. Both goats love Tootsie Rolls. Finn also liked the Sour Patch Kids. [Image: 7-4-24.5-1024x768.jpeg]

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The problem, of course, is that Phil also likes Sour Patch Kids. You know you love your goat when you agree to share your favorite candy with him! [Image: 7-4-24.9-1024x768.jpeg]

Look closely. I think Finn and Phil are making the exact same face in this photo!
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Finn was very tired and spent a lot of time leaning his head against Phil.
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After the parade we found a shady spot to park the goats while we ate some lunch. Loads of people stopped by to meet the boys. We enjoyed telling them that Pongo is Finn’s great-grandson.
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Our friend Jordan joined us for lunch. Finn says, “Can I please have some potato chips?”
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“Of course you can!” (It’s hard to refuse a polite request from such a beautiful goat.)
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“Can I have some Coke too, please?”
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“Well, just a sip.” (I’m not sure he liked it very much, but for that matter, neither do I. I’m more of a Dr. Pepper gal.)
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After lunch, Phil and I tethered the goats in a shady spot with lots of grass while we played mini golf. After that it was time for slushies. Goats LOVE slushies!
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Pongo agrees: It was a banner day! One of the best 4th of July celebrations ever!
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You two and your goats always have such great adventures!

I'm really sorry to hear Finn isn't feeling well. He's such a handsome boy, packgoat and goat ambassador.
Goatberries Happen!
Thanks. He's on his way out and we have no idea why. Three vets haven't found anything they can point their finger at. They did chest x-rays on Tuesday to see if there were any tumors in his thorax. Those are fairly common in goats his age and they press on the heart and/or lungs and cause them to fade. But they got some really good pictures and found no tumors. There could be a tumor in the abdomen, but they can't x-ray that. He'd need an ultrasound and nobody around here has the right equipment for that. If he doesn't improve tomorrow we have an appointment to put him down on Saturday. He was so strong and healthy last fall. It seemed like he had at least a few more years of adventure left in him. I've been giving him a nutrient-dense, appetite-stimulating power-drench that one long-time goat vet swears by, and today I added brewer's yeast as well. I think his rumen is still working but there's not enough food in there for it to actually do anything, so most of his ruminating burps are dry heaves. I gave him a steroid injection this afternoon in a last-ditch effort to bring him back to us. We'll see if it makes any difference tomorrow, but I'm not feeling hopeful at this point.

Pongo has been a little beacon of light. Finn has always been aloof from the other goats and has never liked to share space, but I've been penning him with just Pongo as a companion, and Pongo snuggles right up to Finn without Finn protesting. Finn has sometimes been laying his head on Pongo for a pillow lately, and Pongo doesn't mind at all. He's one of Snowball's babies and she snuggles with all her kids through adulthood. It's sweet to see them together. Finn always prefers to snuggle up to people though. Any time Phil or I go to sit with him, he lays his head against us, even if he has to get into an awkward position to do it. He's always been a sweetheart.

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