Kisses from a mini goat

When I got home from work on Thursday, we discovered our mini-goat, Hondo, had a huge gash on the back of his hind leg.  He couldn’t even walk on it, and he was just beside himself not being able to run about in his usual playful way.  It pained me to see him with such different energy.  He just sat there and sulked.  I didn’t have the heart (or the stomach) to look closely at the wound but my husband did.  He said it looked like the tendon behind the knee was severed completely.   He bandaged it up and said that Hondo would “probably heal” and that we’d just have a hobbling goat.

In true Kellie fashion, my anxiety got the best of me and I tossed & turned all night long thinking of Hondo.  The thought of him in pain made me restless & anxious.  In the morning, I rushed out to the backyard to check on him.  He was in the same spot I had left him the night before, sitting there, spirits low, and depressed.  I gave him kisses & brought him a bowl of feed.

I went to work and worried all morning long.  I finally decided to call around to the vets in town to seek a solution.  I finally got referred to one who had dealt with “farm animals” and he said that I would have to bring him in so that the wound could be examined.  But he was honest with me, he said the possibility of repairing a severed Achilles tendon was a longshot, that the success of such a surgery would be slim and that he’d recommend putting the goat down if the tendon was in fact severed.

I felt my voice get shaky as I agreed to take the goat to his clinic.  I hung up the phone and immediately burst into tears.  Unfortunately I was sitting at my desk at work and my cries weren’t ignorable.  My coworkers tried to console me but I was a wreck.  The thought of having to put my beloved mini-goat to sleep was unimaginable.   He had only been in my life since he was just a baby, just 6 months prior, but he was my absolute favorite on our little Urban Farm.  Any time I would go into the yard, he would get all excited and run over the gate that I would be entering the yard from.  He would follow me all the way to the little barn, he’d rest his head against my leg as I got his feed from the shelf.  He’d lightly chew at the hem on my skirts or dresses (I interpreted those as kisses because he’d never really tear my clothes, he just liked to kinda tease & play).   Any time he would get into the inner yard (the “off limits” yard), he’d always make me carry him back out to the outside “animal” yard because he would refuse to go on his own (I think he just liked me to carry him).

Every morning,  I would wake up to him & his brother bouncing around on the fishermans boat  that we had put in the backyard.  They loved to chase each other onto that boat, and it would make loud hollow booms every time they jumped on it (it was probably really annoying to the neighbors, but I kinda liked it).  Every day when I would park my car in the drive way after work, I would hear him baaaaaa’ing for me, calling for me, begging for dinner.

I left work and went to my house to pick up Hondo for his wound examination.  He sat in the same place in the yard that he was when I left him that morning.  This time, all of the other animals sat around him like they were keeping him company, like they knew something was amiss.  The turkey & the chicken on his right and the other goat on his left.  It brought me to tears again.  I carried him to my car and headed out to the vets office.  The whole car ride Hondo was so sweet, just calm and resting his head on my leg.  His long eyelashes tickling my thigh.  I cried the whole way there, thinking of what might be his fate.

I pulled myself together to check him in at the front desk of the vets office.  But when I brought him inside, he let out a loud baaaaaaa and I lost it again.  Tears filled my eyes, and as the vet called us to the back, all I could see were foggy tear filled silhouettes of people & doorways.   I felt sick with worry.

I comforted & whispered to Hondo as he struggled to get away from them as they were cutting off the bandage that my husband had wrapped his leg in.  They soon confirmed my worst fears, that his hind leg tendon was completely severed.  I sobbed & sobbed uncontrollably, and just then, seeing my complete dismay, the vet said,”Well, lets try one more thing…” and he told his assistant to carry Hondo out the back door. Within a minute he returned and said, “He can walk on 3 legs, so in all actuality, we could amputate at the hip and he may be able to get by with 3 legs, but given the fact that he’s only 8 months old and that he’s likely to get much bigger and that most farm animals and hoofed animals cannot get by on 3 legs, like dogs can, due to their center of gravity, I would recommend for his quality of life that you put him down”…..

I searched my mind for any other possible option but my mind was going blank.  I felt numb.  I didn’t know what to do.  I asked to use the phone so that I could call my husband so that he could help me make the best decision.  After talking it over with him, the only logical decision was to go with the vets recommendation.  It made sense, even though my heart was fighting it.

They left me out back with Hondo to tell him goodbye.  I sat on a bucket and cried.  I kissed his face over & over again.  I couldn’t believe that this was it, the last time I would be in the presence of his little spunky spirit and hold his sweet goat face in my hands.   I tried to tell myself, “it’s JUST a goat” but my heart ached with overwhelming sadness.  I thought of how I would tell my toddlers that Hondo wasn’t ever coming back home.  I thought of how lonely his goat brother, Pecos, would be without him.

It took me a long time to leave the vets office after everything was done.  I tried to collect myself in my car by listening to music.  When I finally got on the highway, I looked down and I had Hondo’s hairs all over my skirt.  I pressed my hands to my face to smell him again.   My sweet Hondo.  I will miss you.

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Kids Kick Your Ass

Whether you’re old, young, gay, straight, single, or married, the options & possibilities to have children seem to be within everyone’s reach, now more than ever before.  Even so, the choice should not be taken lightly because plain and simple – kids kick your ass.

That may sound harsh & negative but it’s the truth.  Even well adjusted, patient, intelligent, educated, “successful” people STILL get their asses kicked by having kids.  Don’t get me wrong, I would cut off my right arm or stand in the path of a freight train for my kids but that still doesn’t negate the truth of the matter.  There is no amount of advice or preparation that can make the first few years of parenthood any easier to handle.

If it’s not the sleep deprivation that knocks you out in the first year, it will be the toddler years for the next few.  When I heard the old cutesy “terrible two’s” statement, it never really registered in my brain as being something real & tangible.  I was in denial….  MAJOR denial.  The terrible two’s (and the 3’s, & sometimes the 4’s) are a lesson in pure patience & love.  In no other relationship in your life would you reason with a person who was so…what’s the word I’m looking for… DELUSIONAL?  IRRATIONAL?  HORMONAL?  UNCOMPROMISING? … INSANE?

Normally, if I had someone in my life that was disrespectful, emotionally & physically abusive, or moody, I would wish that person well and take the first road out of crazy town.  If your boss assigned a coworker a job that she wasn’t thrilled about so she threw her cup of coffee in his face and started crying, I think she’d be getting the pink slip before the meeting even ended.  Or if you suggested your boyfriend take a bath and he screamed, slapped you across the face & told you that he hated you, I think he’d be single soon.  Or if you tried to take the phone from a friend at 2am so that she didn’t do any tipsy texting, and she threw herself on the ground in the middle of the street kicking and screaming, I think you’d flag the closest cab and say “peace out”.

Aside from maybe that last one, you would never have or maintain relationships with such crazy, irrational people.  Yet, with your own kids, you are forced to.  You have to try to reason with someone who has no reasoning ability… no logic… nor common sense.  You have to try to negotiate with someone who will not compromise.  You have to try to calm an irrational crazy person who would easily pass the test to be considered legally mentally insane.  But they’re not, they are “just in their terrible two’s” and they live in the same house with you, every single day for YEARS, and you have to take care of them.  It’s kind-of absurd to think about.

People always told me that having kids would change my life but I didn’t really *hear* them.  Before I had kids, I’d see parents out with their kids, they’d seem to be annoyed or frustrated and short with their children and I’d always feel bad for their kids.  I’d say to myself, ‘gosh, when I have kids, I’m going to be the best parent ever, I’m going to be energetic, I’m going to be engaging, I’m never going to sit them in front of the TV, I’m going to quit work & stay home with them, I’m going love & kiss them every chance I get, I’m never going to hurt their feelings or get mad at them.  I’m going to glow with appreciation for them at every second of the day”.  Let’s just say I was very naive & IDEALISTIC.  Now, when I’m out with my kids, we parents give each other understanding nods & smiles.  We KNOW.  We’re beat down, we’re tired, we’ve been cleaning up somebody else’s bodily fluids and dealing with crazy little people for YEARS!!!  We’re Parents. We have finally given in to our new roles, we couldn’t beat them, so we joined them.  We now play Baby Einstein music in our cars, Elmo movies on “date night” at home, and tote our kids around to watch them in the hilarious “hearding kittens” experience that is known as preschool soccer.

I have to say that God has a HUGE sense of humor to send me the gift of having children in my 30’s.  It has definitely been a learning curve.  It’s been a struggle at times to re-purpose my life and realize what is most important.  I’m only human.  It was hard to get my ass kicked… humbled… broken down.  I think this is almost like a near death experience, like those people who come back from a near tragic experience and then make the most out of every day of their life from that point on.  I think having toddlers is like that, you feel so far removed from your center sometimes.  They take, take, take, from you physically & emotionally that you get a sense of your life flashing before your eyes in a way.  What was once yours, a calm logical mind, a clean house, nice unbroken things, clean walls, minimal loads of laundry, a backseat free of mystery sticky stuff (I could go on & on), is threatened by this mini person.  And yet you wouldn’t trade the experience for anything else in the world.  Ever.  It’s strange.

They had a dinner at my son’s preschool a few weeks ago for parents to have a “night off” of cooking dinner.  I looked around at all the other parent’s, and everyone seemed… well, broken down.  We were all eating dinner quietly, letting our kids run buck wild around room chasing each other.  We didn’t care because we were all in the same boat, happy to get a hot meal with other ass-kicked parents who didn’t give us evil eye for our out of control children & vice-versa.  In a restaurant, it would have been a different story, we would have been half way home already with our lukewarm meal in a doggie bag to eat home.

There is a point where you just let go and accept your new life of being unselfish, and loving how freeing it is.  Kids force you to be in the present moment, to smell the roses (or the poo rather).  It’s THE hardest, most unappreciated job in the world, but its the BEST, most fulfilling job at the same time (I’m not sure how that oxymoron statement could even exist but it does).  People always comment on how busy or active we seem “for having kids”.  I think that is what is great about parenthood, it puts life into perspective and makes you really savor every single moment (even the moments that you don’t really want to savor).  I think having kids makes me appreciate my life so much more.

Ratings for Killings

After the Aurora movie theater shooting and all of the shootings in the weeks since then, I feel compelled to write this.  I am sick & tired of the media making TV stars out of these tragedies.  I’m sick & tired of the shooters name & photo being on every single channel.  I’m sick and tired of the “Special Reports” on these killers & the tragic event.   15 people being shot to death shouldn’t be entertainment.

Yes, we should know what is going on in the world or in our neighborhoods, but what I have a real problem with is the fact that the News media dwells on these tragic events to gain ratings.  Of course, if one News channel chose not to make a spectacle over death & human tragedy, a majority of people would probably change the channel to find the play-by-play on another channel.  In the past I might have been one of those people.  The coverage of the death of Princess Diana had me watching the TV in tears for days.   The coverage of the September 11th tragedy had me glued to every single news station for weeks.  I was mesmerized by the sheer magnitude & tragic circumstances of those events.

But since then, I’ve developed a real problem with the way that these mass shootings or human tragedies are covered.  I don’t want human desperation & destruction to be prime time entertainment.  I don’t want the death of somebody’s daughter or son or mother to be used for media ratings.  I don’t want to be watching real life tragedy like it’s a Hollywood movie.  I don’t want some shooters face to be made famous on my television every night.

I’m not making any excuses for the crazies that commit these horrific crimes but I do think the media makes it too easy to be the star of your own nightly news special.  Heck, if you want to be the star of your own reality show for a week or two, just commit a huge horrific crime & you’ve got it.  We are desensitizing ourselves for ratings & entertainment.  I might just go out on a limb here and say that I BLAME the media for being part of the cause of these mass shootings.  I have no doubt that if our media wasn’t doing 2 hour news specials analyzing these tragedies & the shooters lives & why they “snapped”,  that many of these shootings might not have been so extreme & outrageous.

Yes, people are going nuts.  Yes, times are rough.  Yes, people snap & decide they want to kill people.  It seems to be a fact of life these days.  But with a society so obsessed with movies, TV, Hollywood, celebrities, The Kardashians, and wanting to be FAMOUS, it’s no wonder that these crazies decide to go out with a bang and take everyone with them so that they are sure to make the evening news for a week or two.  It makes me sick.  I’m sick of the media turning these killers into celebrities and perpetuating the cycle of fame in exchange for killing.  It wish it would stop.  I wish every News media company would vow to stop making these shooters famous and to not make immediate entertainment out of horrific tragedy.

It’s no wonder that the feed we watch on TV is recreating itself in our communities more & more.  We need to quit selling so much of the sick & twisted and start selling the good & positive.

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