Goose was found starving and emaciated on a property when he was about a week old, abandoned by a man who moved to another country and left his herd of pregnant goats and their kids to fend for themselves. Animal control came, and he, along with his herd, was saved and brought into the Sacramento County shelter! I was living in Ireland at the time, but having volunteered extensively with the shelter previously, they knew I’d be able to provide him the best home possible where he could heal from everything he and his little body had been through. So, the rescue coordinator reached out to me. I switched my flight, came home a month early, adopted little Goose, and our friendship began.
Ever since the day I rescued him, we’ve had a bond that is unlike anything I’ve had with another species of animal. I didn’t know how big he would get, his breed, or much about his health or backstory, but none of that mattered. He instantly became my best buddy, and I took him everywhere with me. We went together to restaurants, breweries, and friend’s houses; he even came to work with me more times than I can count. He rides in the truck like a dog, and is the happiest goat in the world when he knows he gets to come with me on another adventure.
His favorite activity is hiking, though. Well that, and trail riding with the horses. He just loves getting out in nature and exploring. See, goats are awesome because once you become their human, they’ll pretty much follow you wherever you go, so hiking off-leash works for us and he adores it. He hates when he can’t see me, even if I just hide behind a tree five feet away from him. He will BAAAAA and search for me as soon as he realizes I am out of sight! It’s the cutest thing (and so is he).
When I got Goose, he had little horn nubs, but I had no idea how big they’d get or what they’d look like since I didn’t know his breed at the time, so I was excited to see them grow! Well, now his horns are about a foot long and are my favorite, but can be intimidating to those who don’t know him, so I put pool noodle pieces on them when we are around friends! It also helps when he’s around his horse buddies, so they can play more safely. It’s a pretty adorable sight.
Now that he is about 120 pounds and a bit harder to get into the truck for hikes, we walk miles together each week in our neighborhood! People slow their cars, stop their walks, and crane their necks to see if it’s really a giant goat I’m walking, and not some kind of dog. After all, he is taller than i am when he stands up. Then, their smile widens! He really does make everyone’s day that sees him and it’s just the best thing. He is good on a leash, as gentle as an almost 2 year old, 120 pound goat can be, and has the most fun personality out there. I’d even say he has more of a personality than many pups I’ve met, and I’ve fostered and rescued dogs from the animal shelters for the last 8 years!
Goats can live to be about 12-14 years old, like most dogs, so Goose and I hopefully have a long and happy life together ahead of us. When I moved back home from Ireland early, and met that scrawny little goat at just weeks old, I had no idea the kind of impact that he was about to have on my life. I wouldn’t trade the relationship or bond I have with him for the world.
Goats are so full of love, affection, and intriguing personalities. My hope is that Goose can meet many more people and change their minds about how amazing goats, and other mistreated farm animals, can be. He’s already stolen the hearts of countless people, and I know that part of why he is here on this earth with me is to spread joy and love. So, that’s what we will continue to do!
To see more of Goat and Hayley’s adventures you can follow them at @gooseandgraces.
Goat-orgeous pictures: @nicolepollardphotography