Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Goats

When the goats first arrived at our little farm, they were to be secluded and left alone by the dogs. This decision was justified after a few tense occasions between the four of them. All have recovered and we are moving on to living in harmony.

This harmony all started in the early fall when I thought that I might be able to control Cooper vocally (he does go into time-outs as aforementioned). It started out with Cooper in the goat pen, being very excited to meet the goats face to face, and resulted in Annabelle head-butting him in the ribcage. Cooper is not one for confrontation, even though he loves to growl and bark at people, so he has continued to be "fearful" of the goats. Success! On another occasion as it proved that the three of them could get along (no Sakari at this point) they were all out in the pasture together. I told Cooper it was time to go "inside" so he ran to the gate. This action caught Annabelle's attention and she went in for the kill (what I would do to have this on camera) charging at full force towards Cooper and pinning him in the ribcage between her head and the fence. He yelped and cried. He is even more fearful than before.

Meanwhile during Cooper's adventures with the goats, Sakari was either abandoned inside the house or forced to watch on her hind legs from the little back yard. We had tried several times, separately, to let Sakari get to know the goats with a leash on, but she always got a little too excited and nipped at their ears. Resulting in a scolding and sent to be inside, away from the fun, to sulk in her misbehavior. Recently both of us decided it was high time they all get along as it was inconvenient to lock up the goats so the dogs could run around. So, the two of us let Sakari loose with the goats in their pen and kept a close eye on her. Annabelle had built up her confidence from her encounters with Cooper, she had no fear of Sakari, she reared up and worked hard at headbutting Sakari. Let me say, it was entertaining. Sakari was very well behaved and I think that she was able to connect her behavior with the goats and her getting scolded as well that Cooper got to hang out with the goats as he was not aggressive with them, so if she wanted to play with the goats she had to be nice. It is so neat being able to see animals rationalize like that.

Harmony is really coming to our little farm. The dogs and goats can be out in the pasture together, Sakari chasing, Annabelle headbutting, Penelope and Cooper both fearful. They do need to be supervised but all listen very well to vocal commands.

"May your troubles be less and your blessing be more and nothing but happiness come through your door"

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♥ Ashley