“Attack” Dog

Our goats are almost always good for a laugh. They bring a lot of joy and humor to the farm. We have two Nubian does. One is the calm, logical, confidant type – her name is Belle. She is the leader and protector in everything. She never loses her head. The other, Solace, is the skittish, nervous, not-at-all-confidant type, who constantly loses her head. She counts on Belle to guide her and keep her “safe.” It is fun to see them interact, and there are times it is clear that Belle is comforting Solace and helping her know it is all OK.

The goats know their milking routine well. We open the gate and they march over to the milking parlor, Belle in front, Solace following, with Little Miss behind them. The door is already open and Belle walks right in and jumps up on her stanchion on the far side, and Solace jumps up on her stanchion on the closer side. When Little Miss is done milking them, she lets Solace out first and Solace jumps down and waits for Belle to be let out and then Belle leads them both back to the barnyard.

The other day, after milking, Little Miss opened Solace’s head catch so she could get down off the stanchion. She started to back out, then spooked, jumped straight up in the air and ran for her life out of the milking parlor and all the way back to the barnyard all alone, freaking out the entire way. Little Miss let Belle out and she calmly walked back to the barnyard and comforted Solace. We had no idea what had spooked Solace so badly, but went on with our day and forgot about it.

The next time we went to milk, as the goats approached the door of the milking parlor, Belle stopped suddenly and put all her hackles up (Did you know goats can do that? They can put all the hair on their spine and across their shoulders up kind of like an angry dog). She stomped her front foot in an aggressive way at the “danger” she was seeing and she would not move forward. Little Miss was with them and walked up next to Belle to see what the trouble was. Everything became hilariously clear – Solace freaking out the day before, and now Belle getting aggressive and stand-offish.

While Little Miss had been milking the day before, Daniel had been bringing in grain and dog food and putting it away. He had set the dog food bag down between the stanchions to dump into the bin later. There, on the dog food bag, “looking” over the stanchion at the goats was the big face of a “smiling” yellow lab that was printed on the bag.

They thought it was a real dog! Before, as Solace had backed out, she saw the “attack” dog right next to her stanchion looking at her and took off. But Belle didn’t see it because it was between the stanchions. But then, when they were walking into the milking parlor the next time, Belle saw the “attack” dog looking at her from the stanchion and refused to go into the barn. LOL. It was very funny and gave us all a good laugh at the silly-ness of those goats.

We are more careful where we set the dog food bags now. 🙂

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