MY SPECIAL ANGEL
You came into my life in a most unexpected manner. On a trip to town to celebrate Kathy's birthday with dinner at a friend's, I passed what I thought was a stray cat along side the road. I turned around to make sure it wasn't injured. When I stopped and got out of the car, you walked out of the ditch and came right to me. It was obvious you had just recently been born because your umbilical cord was still attached. I picked you up and looked for your mother. The usual herd was nowhere to be found. No one was home at the house. I could not leave you there so put you in the car and headed on to dinner. We cleaned you up, got you warm, and I went into town for a baby bottle and some goat milk. You took the bottle with no problem and curled up in a blanket falling asleep quickly. Finding you this way seemed a message from heaven so I named you "Angel". I quickly learned the meaning of "imprinting". I was now your "Mom". I fixed you a warm, safe place in the bathroom. You were definitely like having a newborn baby in the house: Bottle feeding every 3-4 hours and changing the papers on the floor. When you were not sleeping, you wanted to be held or at the least be near me. Thankfully, I was retired and did not have to go to a traditional job. You went everywhere with me, first in a box in the backseat then a large kennel. You walked very well on a leash but mostly just ran after me. As you got a little bigger and started playing more, you learned to wear pampers to avoid messing in the house. I know my friends thought I was nuts but I loved having you with me. When you were about 6 months old, it was time to transition to the barn with the other goats. You spent the days with them at first, sleeping in the house at night. Finally the barn became your home. You did much better with the transition than I did. I missed your constant company but you were growing up and I had to allow you to be a goat. By this time, I was working again and not in a position to have you with me all the time but you were happy in the barn and your yard. When I was able, we all took walks and spent time together. The years passed. Your barn friends got older and one by one crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I retired again in 2011 and again had more time at home. Again you became a constant companion quickly claiming a place on the carport with the dogs when we were all outside. I would open the barn door in the morning and you would head to the house after your breakfast. I finally got you a comfy bed and blanket just like the dogs. You were great friends. At dinnertime, you headed back to the barn for the night. When I got sick and started radiation, you and the boys stayed by my side. What a peaceful feeling. As I got well, you started to slow down and seemed not to feel well. Dr. Jenifer was here frequently and we tried a number of treatments to help you feel better. You seemed to get better then a couple weeks later would slip back. I had always promised you, I would not let you suffer but that you needed to let me know when it was your time to cross the bridge. During this time the last of your barn companions, Casey, crossed the bridge. I know I made a comment to Dr. Jenifer, unfortunately in your presence, that it would be a "very bad day for me when you passed". You tried very hard not to show you were not feeling well. After a few more good days followed by not so good days, a decision was made to take you to Oregon State University Veterinary Hospital. The staff was wonderful and you were so patient with the students and all the poking, prodding, and tests. I was able to be with you the whole time. When they all left the exam room to review all the tests, they brought you some hay and alfalfa. You ate like you always had for the first time in a couple weeks. You seemed more comfortable and peaceful. Unfortunately, the tests came back showing you had an untreatable cancer in your abdomen. I brought you home with pain medication knowing it was time to help you make the trip across the Rainbow Bridge. You were there for me when I was not well and now it was up to me to make good on my promise not to allow you to suffer. Arrangements were made for Dr. Jenifer to come the next day. We had a wonderful day together. The sun came out and you wanted to take walks like you had in the past. You made sure I knew with certainty, it was your time. When Dr. Jenifer arrived, you seemed at peace standing close to me. She gave you a little sedation and you lay right down in my arms. Our friends surrounded us and you passed peacefully across the bridge to run free as you did when you first arrived. I know there was quite a gang waiting for you and I know you will all be waiting for me when it is my time to leave this earth.