We get a lot of joy from our animals, from their companionship, to their antics, to the attention that they give to us. There’s also the joy of touch – for them and for us. Back when I thought I wasn’t riding anymore I got two goat brothers, Pip and Caper. I had missed the care of a hoofed animal with a coat. I pulled my horse grooming kit out of storage and they let me know what they liked, which is a vigorous scratch, on their heads, their backs, their bellies, between their legs – just about everywhere. But, unlike a horse, my goats have little patience for a multitude of brushes. I have found their favorite tool.
Yes, the barn broom. Chore time takes longer. I sweep the ground and I sweep the goats, and try to get back to cleaning the barn. The goats think that tidiness is over-rated, but sweeping is not.
Goats are active participants in their grooming sessions. A long handled, wide-based broom makes it easier on me.
I have returned to horses and have a tote full of grooming tools for Tonka. I’ve tried and discarded some. In his own way, he’s as particular as the goats.
I am a firm (some who know me would say that’s a mild term) believer in having a well-groomed horse. Most importantly, it cements your relationship with your horse.
But back to joy – one of the things that brings me joy is a shiny coat on a beautiful horse.
When I arrive at the barn, I often see this.
My black and white paint is dull brown from dust. But I know it’s superficial.
Underneath he glows. Like this. (No shine product used! That’s a healthy coat.)
Even if I’m just going out on the trail, I groom Tonka until the shine is back.
I’ve written about how to groom a horse here. I don’t need to provide you with a tutorial for goats. All you have to do is get a broom.
Brilliant, love this, I am surprised the boys don’t eat the broom. Tonka always looks so handsome….:)
Jan, if I leave the broom on the ground, they do eat it. Especially the label on the handle! All of my tools are kept organized and hanging in the barn out of the reach of the goats.
Note the beaming smile on the groom’s face too!
Absolutely! I started the post mentioning JOY. It’s our interactions with our animals that can make our relationships joyful. With goats, just about anything I do with them makes everyone happy.
Clearly, wherever goats are, is where the party is. I am pet-less at the moment, and one of the things I miss the most is the pure fun they bring. I owned dwarf goats years ago and have owned a number of Jack Russels. They have a lot of similarities. While JRTs are not what I would call “easy” dogs, they do think everything is an excuse to have fun. Every time they’re leashed up, they’re convinced they’re about to embark on the MOST exciting adventure. Every time I climbed into bed, they were certain that it was the start of the MOST fantastic cuddle fest ever. Every person who rang the doorbell was sure to bring the MOST incredible new smells and news. Every time they were loaded into my Jeep, they were certain that it would be the MOST fantastic trip ever, and they would immediately line up in the front passenger seat, standing with their front paws on the dash, bottoms wiggling so hard they could barely balance. Every time I put a dish of their food down on their mat, they were just certain –CERTAIN, I tell you– that it would contain the MOST delicious meal EVER.
To me, there are lessons for us in this. Unfailing optimism tends to predispose any experience to be an enjoyable one. Excited anticipation usually leads to a great time. I find it almost impossible to feel sad or even apathetic around such unmitigated, unapologetic, and exuberantly expressed joy. And the silliness. Good grief, it’s like living in a clown car. Animals are just The Best.
JRTs are on my short list of dogs to have. And bull terriers. But I always end up with the rescue mutts, which have made me plenty joyful. As far as goats go – I know only my two wethers, and according to them goats never, ever, have a bad day. They’re the most optimistic animals that I know. They would have loved meeting your JRTs. I can only imagine the ensuing party.
It’s lovely to see the goat boys again. I love the last photo of their heads on the broom. They look in heaven! Tonker’s shiny coat is so beautiful. Lovely photos as always.
Amei te encontrar, Terry, eu estava com saudades. Parabéns, e boa sorte!
Um destes dias, vamos encontrar!