Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chortle - Adventures with Animals


Pronunciation: \ chȯr-təl \
Function: verb
Etymology: blend of chuckle and snort; coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass
Date: 1871
1. to sing or chant exultantly
2. to laugh or chuckle in satisfaction or exultation

It began early one Tuesday morning when I was dropping off food before work at the house. On Tuesday evenings I go to the house in country and make dinner for the boys. (With Jacob in the Air Force and Jared 24, I guess at some point I need to stop saying “the boys.”) It’s a way for me to stay connected and they do it for the free food.

As I got out of the car I heard what sounded like a goat bleating. I quickly dismissed it, thinking it must simply be some odd bird upset in the early morning. But then I noticed that the dog door that leads from the mudroom/laundry room to the outside was nailed shut.

I woke Jared and he explained that we were now providing foster care for a goat. A friend of Jared’s had the goat in the bustling Willamina metropolis and was told by law enforcement that it wasn’t an approved domestic animal for the city limits. We, with 16 acres in the county, have no such restrictions. Worried about the dogs (Indie a large mixed bread and the ever annoying pug) not accessing the yard, I was assured by my son that this arrangement was only temporary.

By the following week my boys, along with the two brothers who own the goat, had acclimated the dogs to the goat – to some extent. As long as Marty the pug was not around the goat and Indie tolerated each other. Once, however, you added the pug, it became a circus of running, barking dogs and leaping, bleating goat. Great exercise yes, but not a permanent solution.

All was going well with Indie and the goat sharing the yard and doggie door as long as Marty stayed inside. Granted the goat leaves droppings everywhere – including the laundry room floor and the dog bed, but there was no major head butting going on. That was until I needed to do laundry and walk outside to get reception on my cell phone.

The goat was resting on the dog bed when Marty came through the house door. Hearing the barking Indie joined the melee. I was outside and when I mistakenly opened the door to separate the combatants they all ran out - goat down the driveway followed by both dogs. Flipping my phone open I dialed Jared to tell him I had lost the goat.

Interestingly enough it was the goat that came when I called. He came through the door and into the house chased by both dogs. I yelled to Jared I had to go and follwed the parade into the house. All three went straight through the kitchen and living room to my bedroom. The goat ended up standing on my bed followed by both dogs.

The goat was going nowhere. So, after locking the pug in the bathroom and getting Indie outside with a dog bone I returned to push, pull and coax the goat off the bed and into the kitchen. That is where he pooped all over my freshly mopped floor.

Goat sitting – at least where the goat uses the dog door – isn’t really working for me.

What Worked for Me Today
Remembering to Laugh - and recalling a myriad of odd animal adventures in our family.

Men Who Stare At Goats - available streaming on Netflix

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