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     March 15, 2006 was a very busy day on SleepyGoat Farm. By 1 PM, 3 goats had given birth and we were already watching 6 babies. Tissa, a 7-year-old milker, was the last to go into labor that day; she had one large stillborn and another live boy, also very big. It had been a difficult birth for her. As we were cleaning her up, out came an intact small sac full of a tiny, barely-breathing little being. She could not
have weighed more than a pound. We suctioned the mucus out of the baby's mouth, dried her and tried to get her back to her mother, but Tissa seemed uncertain about whether or not she wanted to accept her. At one time she licked the baby, but, at other times, she tried to cover her up with hay. After about 2 hours, it was obvious that not only was Tissa not going to accept the frail little animal, but the baby showed no signs of standing up, something baby goats usually do within the first hour of birth. We carried the tiny handful of goat to the house.
     We named her Sedro-Wooley (we named 2006 goats after places in Washington State). We started feeding her carefully with fresh colostrum from her mother with a syringe and small tube, a few drops at a time, every 10-15 minutes during the day and part of each night. She slept between Jon and me for
the first few nights, getting fed every 4 hours, able only to hold up and move her head and squirm her body but not able to coordinate her legs to move. Her front legs did not move at all, and her hind legs made only ineffective movements. Her breathing was always noisy and more so when she slept. We were
sure she would not live, but, for some reason, we all became very attached to her. Harriet took care of her during most of the day and some nights. Darlene also pitched in and kept her. She had to be carried for the first month of her life because she could not walk or stand. After a week, she was taking 10-20 cc of milk about every 4 hours; we supplemented it with as many vitamins as we could get into it. By 6 weeks she was able to suck on a bottle and was sleeping through the night. She was bright-eyed and alert.
     She was also spunky but showed an unusual patience for a baby goat; she would lie in her box and wait for us to pick her up and feed her, watching silently, not crying and bellowing as
baby goats usually do. She had an uncommon presence about her. We kept her in a large plastic box, the kind one stores blankets in, where she would remain quiet, watching us with interest. Eventually she was able to get up onto her hind legs but her front feet were weak
and uncoordinated. Her shoulder blades stuck out, reflecting the smallness of her front parts, including her lung cage. She learned to control her hind legs before she could control her front legs. Her breathing was never normal, but she continued to grow and develop, although much more slowly than the other goats born around the same time.
      Goats normally have a jumping, twisting movement, which we call a cavort; it makes you think they are actually jumping for the joy of life and one always laughs when it happens. Babies are especially good at doing it and some of them become adept at bouncing off walls or other objects, almost turning flips. They are usually cavorting by 2 weeks. Sedro-
Wooley did not make any attempt to cavort until she was about 6 weeks old, and then it was only a partial cavort. During that time she was a constant companion of at least one of us, usually Harriet, who carried her everywhere she went. When Harriet was away from the farm, Jon & Della or Darleen kept her.
     She continued to be considerably smaller and weaker than the other kids born on the same day. We had to keep her separate from the other kids because their play was too rough for her. When they knocked her over, she had trouble getting up and became weaker. Despite many attempts to integrate her into the goat society with the other babies, she had to live on the ‘human' side of the barn. She played with Harriet's chihuahua in the house and roamed around the barn and near the cheese house. She seemed to make friends easily with Schwee Scheww, the cat. Whenever we sat outside the cheese house taking a break, she and the cat always came up and let it be known they wanted to sit in our laps, a request always granted. She loved coffee with milk. She was good company. She cried only when she was hungry and often sat patiently by the gate until we opened it for her to get out. At first she seemed to want to play with the other goats, but eventually she stopped trying to get to them and was content to play with the cat, little dogs and us.
     Liza, our second goat, born in 1990, also lived on the human side of the barn because her bad arthritic knees kept her relatively immobile; she had to be fed and watered separately and hobbled slowly and
painfully everywhere she went. Liza and Sedro-Wooley became barn companions. During the hot weather, both would lie down in front of the fan for hours. Sedro-Wooley breathed better in front of the fan.
      Once the weather got warmer, Sedro-Wooley was able to stay in the barn at night with Liza. We looked forward to seeing her every morning. When we called her name from afar, she would answer, get up and come to the gate to be picked up and petted and fed. Event though we had numerous other chores, taking care of Sedro-Wooley was such a pleasure for each one of us. Sedro-Wooley stole the heart of everyone
on

the farm and everyone who visited the farm. Many wanted to buy her but we always said, “NO!” very emphatically. Several people started coming by on a regular basis to see how the “baby was doin'.”

Sedro-Wooley became a celebrity.
      So, it was with sadness than we watched her start to weaken in August. She did not want to walk as far, spent most of her time in the barn, started coughing and wanted to stay in front of the fan.
      Liza died on 12 September. Sedro-Wooley came and lay down beside Liza as Liza took her last breath. Three days later, on 15 September, when she was 6 months old, her breathing became more and more shallow and she died in Harriet's arms, calmly and sweetly.

About a week after Sedro-Wooley was buried, Jon had a dream: A short, stocky but normal-looking, pleasant man appeared. He was dressed in tan pants and a white shirt with large red lines forming large squares through it, making it into a very attractive shirt. He had a wonderful face, full of grace and happiness, and intense, penetrating, brown eyes. He had shocks of brown hair sticking out from under a baseball cap. He had on loafers and green-colored socks. He said, “I was known to you as Sedro-Wooley. I was born a goat but had great difficulty and could not be a goat. It was this struggle which helped me to develop. Your kindness made this struggle pleasant. As a result, I was able to learn about being a human being and given the extra-ordinary opportunity to become a human being; for this, my soul is and will be eternally grateful to all of you.”

     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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