Ready for Goats?
We bought our first two goats in the summer of 2011. Dina was a gentle, mature doe, and Lucky, her baby doe, was a wild little thing, just 5 months old, and completely unaccustomed to humans. I was in the States when I saw the ad on the local (Norwegian) website for all things bought, sold, or given away in Norway: FINN.no (Finn means ‘find’, and what a find Dina was!) I wrote and asked if they could hold them for me until I was back in two weeks time- I didn’t know then that I would come back ill with Lyme’s disease.
I left the States three weeks before David, who stayed to spend some more time with his mom. I arrived back in Norway and started almost immediately on antibiotics, which threw me into full blown symptoms of Lyme. Like the worst flu ever- I could hardly crawl off the couch. The goats were arriving in a week, and I needed some sort of fence. In an amazing stroke of luck, one early morning I searched my trusty Finn website and found an entire electric fence system, including the generator, for sale for only 300 kroner (about 40 dollars). I thought I had misread the price, or it had been misprinted- a system like this should cost more like 3,000. I called, and it wasn’t sold- this is rare for me; most times I call only to be told the coveted item is already gone! The gentleman who answered told me the fence had guarded his roses from deer, but he was 85 years old and no longer tending the garden. Would I like to come out and get the fence?
Off the couch! I dragged myself to the car and drove the half hour to the address. There, the two of us traipsed up the small hill to the garden shed, he, bent over with a cane; me, bent over with Lyme, matching slow, shuffling steps. We dragged out all the stakes and the tangled wire tape, the generator and its grounding wire, and then came to the grounding stake, still buried deep in the ground next to the shed. My old new friend pulled a heavy long handled mallet from the shed and proceeded to attack the stake in gentle swings of the mallet, barely managing a half meter arc. I watched for a moment, and knew this would never loosen the stake; it was like a slow motion slapstick comedy. I took what strength I had left and reached in and ripped the stake out of the ground. ‘Is this really 300 kroner?’ I asked, ‘didn’t you mean 3,000?’ ‘No’, he said, ‘300. I am just glad you have it’.
I managed to get home with the booty, but there was no way I was going to put in stakes alone in this state. I called Alex, my son, and he arrived to save the day, and the week. He set up the generator, pounded in the stakes, strung the wire, and cooked me meals while I lay on the couch and got better. He cleared out the shed and lay the soft wood chips deep on the concrete floor. he built a fenced outdoor area and secured it with chicken wire. At the end of the week we were able to welcome our two new goats to their cozy home. I still can’t believe it all came together. I can’t believe the luck, but also the generosity of the man in the garden who basically gave me my fence. I am so thankful to Alex for all the work he did to set up the fence and the shed and to take care of me.
After three weeks of antibiotics the symptoms waned, and I was able to get around. When David got home from the States, I was better, and we had two new lovely goats! But I worried, would he love them as much as I did? Yes, he does! I love to hear him cooing at Lucky or watch him bend down to give goat kisses to Dina. We were so lucky to get and we are so lucky to have these gentle, loving animals in our life. It just feels like it was meant to be.