And about how the little acrobat likes to explore the neighborhood, accompanying people on their walks, eating their roses and their sapling trees, and disappearing from the goat pen for hours on end. And about how we now tie her up to keep her in the goat pen.
When Bella wakes in the morning, she jumps out and nibbles on the cottonwood trees lining the driveway. When she sees movement in our bedroom and knows we are on our way out to feed, she jumps back into the goat pen. If she isn't fast enough, the dogs chase her back when they go out with us. She eats her breakfast, takes her morning nap, and then hops out and heads down the road. ...or she did until a few days ago. Brett constructed a high line and we tie her to that in the mornings. If she would stay on our property, we wouldn't tie her but, more and more, she likes to wander. And she wanders further. We worry about her safety and we receive phone calls form irate community members.
Fern contacted me and offered to take Bella back. Glory Hallelujah!! I love this breeder and I would buy a goat from her again in a heart beat. She doesn't normally take goats back because that compromises the bio-integrity of her breeding farm. But, she worries about Bella who is a beautiful little goat and is willing to make an exception. First, I needed to get blood work done to ensure that Bella won't be dragging any diseases to her farm.
Tuesday morning, we loaded Bella in the back of the car and drove her down to meet our vet (saves on the farm call fee). I know Brett doesn't hold the goats properly around the back haunches but you can't teach an old goat new tricks. She doesn't seem to mind.
She was not pleased with being in a crate in the back of the car and let us know the entire way down the mountain and back.
She was very good while Dr. T took her blood. We had her stand in the back of the car and I wrapped one arm around her chest, the other around her haunches and pulled her tight against me. I scritched and rubbed her during the procedure, telling her she was a brave goat. Brett held her head. She didn't scream at all. I gave her a horse cookie (she loves them) when we finished and then we brought her home.
I triple bagged the blood samples, wrapped them in bubble wrap, and put them with the lab form and an ice pack in an Express mail envelope. The postal guy stamped "HAZMAT" all over the envelope. He held my envelope with two fingers, like it was a bag of poop -- I didn't tell him it was blood; just that it was lab work.
If we have clean lab results by the end of the week, Bella will be living behind a very high fence at the breeder's this weekend.