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Tuesday, November 08 2016

He leered at me with a smile that was supposed to be charming but the charm was lost by the beads of urine on his nose.

I just wanted a walk. A simple walk. I live in a wild and beautiful place that rivals any state park, and yet I can't enjoy it on foot because of the damned animals. Not the wildlife. Oh no! There are copperheads, rattlesnakes, coyotes, bobcats, feral hogs, and at least one cougar, but am I worried about them?

Not in the least. No. I can't take a walk because of my own animals.

Hunting season officially opened this weekend, thus I have to lock up my young Livestock Guardian Dogs. They simply cannot grasp the idea of seasonal visitors who set up camp right along our fence line, and cook sausage and bacon, and all manner of delicious food. These are temporary neighbors who offer an exciting relief from the boring ho-hum daily grind of barking at buzzards, bobcats, and coyotes.

It is simply impossible to leave the dogs loose to guard the livestock without having at least one (Judge) abandon his post for a vacation with the neighbors, who thought he was cute at first, but since he:

1) crapped on their front porch
2) raided the garbage they left out
3) hiked his leg on their deer feeder

I'm sure he has more than worn out his welcome.

So the boys are in lockdown. The sheep have to be kept at the house, and the Boys have to be in pens or in the barn. That's a lot of confined energy. Since I'm fat, out of shape, (round is a shape) in need of exercise, I decided to start walking the boys on leash after chores. I'd have safe companions and they could burn a little steam.

Because the buck pen was sloppy due to rain, I'd left the bucks out last night with Briar. Instead of returning them to their pen this morning, I tossed them across the fence into the lease pasture where they could trim trees along the fence line when they finished breakfast.

After chores I leashed the Anatolians and headed out for my walk. Since the horses were still finishing up their breakfast at the gate, the plan was to slip out through the lease pasture, walk down the fence, and then slip back into our place from another gate. That was the plan. That didn't happen.

I opened the gate to walk through with the Anatolians and the spotted buck bulled his way past me to get into the yard with the sheep. He then proceeded to try to rape my ewes. I slammed the gate in the brown buck's face and turned to watch the chaos in the barn yard. It was like a pervert on a merry-go-round. Suave is not in the vocabulary of a billy goat.

I slammed the kennel door shut on confused Anatolians and raced off in pursuit of a spotted buck who couldn't understand why none of my ewes were interested in a relationship with a total stranger from another species, who landed on their backs like a child having a pillow fight while bouncing on a newly made bed. After several futile attempts to catch the bastard, I seriously considered shooting him. Seriously.

There was a gun in my back pocket, because, well, one never knows when a copperhead will rudely enter your morning. Shooting the buck was a dancing temptation in front of me. I own both his parents, so he can easily be replaced. A buck in full rut can be a nasty, obnoxious creature who pees on his face and tries to screw anything that will stand still. If I'd already bred him this season, I think I would have shot him right there in the yard as he knocked down my churro ewes. I was that mad.

It was time for a Border Collie. There is nothing like having a Border Collie grab a back leg to make even the most horny of bucks change his way of thinking. Lily penned the buck. I caught my breath, put the Border Collie back in the barn, and tried to start my walk again.

With leashes on the Anatolians, I started through the gate once more. The brown buck trotted toward me with a smile. I stomped past him. One does not want to encourage the attention of a billy goat. Especially a friendly one coated in urine.

"Hey, would you like a little company?"

"NO! Go away!"

Not quite as obnoxious as his son, Jethro, the brown buck, still wasn't going to put off by my rude behavior, so he opted to amble along behind the dogs. With a happy bobble, he followed us down the fence, his long ears swaying with each joyful step. We were taking a walk! Together! He was a happy camper.

Disgusted. I was not a happy camper. One cannot enjoy the smell of the forest with a billy goat in tow, particularly when the goat wants to rub his urine-soaked body against you.  We made it to the gate and the dogs and I slipped back through, leaving the buck to himself on the other side. Not to be discouraged, he called behind us,

"Hey! Hey! You guys go on ahead, I'll catch up with you as soon as I cross the hill and go around the pond. Don't worry. I'll catch up with you!"

I ignored him. His bell jangled in the distance as he sought a way to keep up with us. And true to his word, he joined us on the other side. The cattails around the pond parted to reveal his bright eyes. He reminded me of Joe Pesci in the Lethal Weapon movies.

"Hey! Hey guys! I found you! See? See? I told you. I told you I'd catch up!"

I growled and ignored him. We reached the fork and struck out north toward the creek. The buck stood at the fence and called.

"Hey! Hey! Uhm... there's a barbed wire fence in the way. I can't really go there. Well. Maybe I can. I guess I might can climb through the wire. Give me a second. Oh crap! That hurts. Well. Hang on. Wait. Don't go. I'm coming with. Wait!"

I left him.

Soon the forest was silent except for my boots squishing into the red mud and the bell ringing  on the dog's collar. That's when I rounded the bend to see the cattle coming through the creek in my direction. Nothing can ruin a walk with dogs faster than a cow trying to stomp your dog.

We shrank into the forest before they saw us. So much for my walk. I turned around and headed back home. Much to the relief of the billy goat pacing the fence, we emerged from the forest beside him. With his world now back in balance, Jethro bounced down the trail on the other side of the fence. I was still trying to salvage my walk in the opposite direction of the cows, when we ran into the horses.

Montoya stood in the road ahead of us. Delighted. What a pleasant surprise! Mom. Out here. In the middle of nowhere. Perhaps Mom has more breakfast with her.

Sigh. No. No close encounters with horses either. Like cows, the horses aren't big fans of dogs. I plowed forward and slipped through the gate into the lease pasture before the horses could get too close. No worries. They would just follow us down the fence. The cattle trailed behind the horses. Jethro was beside himself with pleasure. We had finally joined him again. As he walked with the dogs beside me, he would stop and look back over his shoulder with a coy grin.

"Hey! I'm cute. I'm sexy! Really. Don't you think I'm sexy?"

I slapped the end of the leash across his ass. "Get out of my way, you stupid goat!"

"Ooooh! S & M! Okay! Not really my thing, but I'm game. I can play that if you want!"

I ignored him and stomped off. He angled in front of me, but then had second thoughts.

"Where's your little black and white dog?"

I ignored him.

"She's not here, is she? Ahhhh . . . she's NOT HERE, is she?" He leered at me.

I put an Anatolian Shepherd between us and kept walking. The buck stopped to pee on his face and then trotted to catch up with us.

"Hey! Hey! Hey! Food Lady! Wanna screw!"

"Go $#@! yourself."

"Already done that!"

He leered at me with a smile that was supposed to be charming but the charm was lost by the beads of urine on his nose. I walked faster and made mental note to never again leave the house without a Border Collie. So there we were. What should have been a peaceful walk was instead a barnyard parade. I was flanked in the protective custody of two Anatolians while a horny billy goat leered at me,  four horses followed us down the fence line, and cattle trailed along bringing up the rear.

The buck was clearly disappointed when we arrived at the barnyard gate and his walk was over. As I stuffed the Anatolians back into the goat pen it was hard to ignore her stare tapping me on the shoulder. The Border Collie's eyebrow was arched across her forehead like Spock as she silently accused me.

Why do I fight it? Without a Border Collie there is chaos.  Why do I ever leave the house without a Border Collie to provide order and stability in this world?

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:08 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
My "unfondest" memory of childhood and the smells associated with it was Billy goat. A very large Sannen that belonged to a family friends milking herd. Put me off drinking goats milk until 30 yrs later I had my own Sannen [rescue] I had to milk. Very funny cartoon pic in my minds eye reminded me of my paddock walks of dogs, horses, cats geese and alpaca [one of which was a buck] and his sheep harem. Spring is well and truly here now.
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 11/08/2016 - 03:54 PM
I'm having buck issues too! One of mine completely trashed their pen and escaped. I had to catch him 3 times before he stayed caught. I put him in a horse stall in the barn so I could fix his pen. He broke a water pipe in the barn. I went to take the truck to get supplies to fix the pen and the water pipe, but the truck battery had died. I put the battery in the van to take it in and started down the road. A half mile from home, the van overheated. At that point, I said "OK God, what did I do?" When I finally made it to Lowes for parts, I was heard mumbling to a very nice associate "If you don't have goats, don't get them. If you have goats already, you may want to rethink your life choices."
Posted by Patty on 11/08/2016 - 08:43 PM

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