Saying Goodbye to Pops

It has taken me too long to write this news. Partly because my eyes still well up trying to write a paragraph. But also because I have gone back and tried to deconstruct what we did and didn’t do, how things might have been different if I had just done one more thing. Two besties have left us now. First Otis, our Boer goat, who passed in his sleep, and now his best friend and absolute goofball, Pops. Pops came to us with recurring Urinary Calculi issues. It’s like a kidney stone, only male goats get it in their urethra, and it can be fatal if you can’t push the stone out or cut the urethra to remove it. On the average farm, goats are laid to rest with their first stone. But two more times, once at 1 a.m. with my 72 year old mother assisting, our vets performed surgery in the barn to remove a stone. We had our grass and hay tested by Texas A&M. We were careful to keep a specific ratio of Calcium to Phosphorous in Pops’ diet by making very specific meals. One year had passed since his last bout. But this last time... we had no length of urethra left to remove. It was a Saturday morning and when I came down the hill, I could hear him screaming in the corner of a stall. He didn’t want to be touched. We knew it was bad.

Our poor veterinarian. After giving Pops enough medicine to sleep, he had to sit through 20 minutes of sobbing and pleading, and unorthodox Hail Marry ideas. Are you sure? Are you sure? But what if we try this other idea... and on and on. I was completely beside myself. This cannot be IT. Last time, after we cut out a stone, we paid a young boy in the neighborhood to sit on a folding chair in our field for 8 hours to specifically watch Pops and make sure he peed. It had to be a strong stream, too, to know Pops was out of the woods. The boy came running in, “He peed! Pops peed a huge streaming river!” It was a good day.

But today was not that day. I gave him a last big hug from everyone. Told him to say Hi to Otis for us. Told him I believe in reincarnation, and if he’ll just come back - I’ll take him in any form. I’m on the lookout now. Every bird, mouse, rabbit, turtle, pig, pony, possum...