I hate this time of year. Not because the babies are here, but because they have to leave. I can handle kids leaving. I don't get too attached to them, as I know they are off to do great things at new homes. But when I have to let an adult go, that's really hard for me. And I know it's hard for them too.
A couple of weeks ago I sold two does, one was five or six, the other was a coming two year old. This is the only home they'd known. My family's touch was the only one that they had ever felt. They went to a great home, but they had become my friends. As a professional, I try to steel myself away from the pain, but this time it was extra hard.
My livestock guardian dog, Pippi, often howls when she hears the goats cry. I have always thought it was because the cries hurt her ears, but this time was different. As the goats cried going down the driveway, no doubt frightened from the stress of moving, Pippi followed them down the driveway, howling as she walked. It was the first time I'd ever seen her do this, and it broke my heart to hear.
Today I got a call from someone who is considering purchasing a doe with two of her daughters, to start a new herd for herself. That's a perfect situation for a family, both a human one and a goat one, but it means that the doe who I had always assumed would live her life out here, was going to disappear from my life. That always takes some time to wrap my head around.
This sale may not go through, and if it doesn't, that's fine. But if it does, it is the life of a goat farmer. I just dread the day when the rest of my goats has to leave. Hopefully that's a long time away, but it's in my mind that someday my farm will not hear the cries of kids and the songs of bucks. It makes me love my existing herd all the more, regardless of how long they live here.