A Different Kind

Of

Christmas Miracle

By

Bonnie M. Wells



My First Goat:

I called the little black goat Shoney, because he was a 'little fat boy!' He was absolutely adorable.... while he was young!

By the time Shoney had 'matured' he decided he hated everyone and everything on the place except me. I had no trouble leading him around or doing whatever needed done with him, but my husband, grandchildren and anyone else that ventured into the back yard was in grave danger from his horns. And, even though he was one of the small goats, he had matured out to be a magnificent animal that could have inflicted bodily harm. So, although I hated to do it, eventually I was forced to agree that he needed to be on a farm with other goats, and so he was given to a woman who owns several of the small goats. I knew he'd be happy, but I missed my goat.

My granddaughter Mariah feeding Shoney.

My Second Goat:

April 2005: I eagerly awaited the arrival of a little black and white female goat.

Already, new bottles, baby blankets and toys had been purchased. "One would think we were expecting a 'real' baby around this place," I joked to my friends.

She wasn't quite a month old when she was placed into my arms, and the second she looked into my face and cried ....'maaaaa' .... I knew she was going to be as spoiled as any other animal I'd ever raised.

And she was. She liked to ride in the wheel-barrow, and so I spent the summer hauling her around with me as I worked.

She stayed in the house at night, and fit perfectly into a small dog crate -- for awhile. Then she moved into a medium sized crate and eventually into one of my larger ones. Still, she refused to eat anything except her 'bottle' and almost always she wanted me to sit in the rocking chair or out in the swing, and hold her while she drank her bottle and took her nap!

I named her Sheshone, [pronounced - she and shoney] primarily because we were all so accustomed to the name 'Shoney' that every time anyone said anything about her, we called her Shoney. Guess the entire family still missed our first goat.

However, when she was past four months old and still refusing to drink water from a pan, and insisting that I drop everything and rush to her side with a bottle of cold water every hour or so, I began to wonder if I hadn't created a monster!

She wouldn't eat unless I was standing by her side! And if I did manage to get out of her sight, the entire neighborhood had to listen to her terrified screams of "MAAAAAAAAAAA"! Heaven help us all if it started to get dark and she was still out in the yard. Yep, I'd created a real monster!

Sheshone / July 2005

She continued to stay in the house at night - in her large crate by this time, and she continued to drink her bottle ... right up until late August -- at which time my pet rooster [Slick Chic] taught her to drink from a pan!

The second I saw her take a drink on her own, I tossed her bottles into the trash can! Little did I know I should have kept them!

Slick Chic / 2005


A Herding Goat!

By the end of September I had Sheshone convinced that she could stay in the kennel area with the rabbit, chicken, ferrets and cats.

She still insisted on sleeping in her crate at night, and to be honest, I think the other animals were pleased to be rid of her for a few hours. She really could be a pain ..... and talk about bossy!

Even my German Shepherds had to mind her! It's hard to tell what people thought when they saw a goat herding dogs instead of the dogs bringing the goat in .. but that's how it was!

Then, Disaster Struck!

Although it was officially November, the weather was still quite nice. I'd been cleaning out flower planters and putting them away for the winter, raking leaves that continued to fall, and just trying to get as much outside work done as possible before the weather turned bad.

I'd fed all the animals on Friday evening and got them situated for the night. Sheshone was in her crate - as usual. I decided to go over to the kennel basement and let everyone out for awhile so they could enjoy the nice day too.

As I opened the door and started into the basement, I sensed a subdued atmosphere .... very unusual with that many animals. Chick was silent; the cats didn't come rushing to greet me, and Sheshone was standing in her crate instead of laying down as usual.

I flipped on a couple more lights and just as I was turning toward Sheshone's crate she let out the most mournful 'mmmaaaaaaa' that I'd ever heard.

She wasn't 'standing' up in her crate, the side of the crate was holding her up!!!

I gathered her into my arms and carried her out front where Mike was changing oil in the truck.

She could not walk and could barely stand. I'd never seen an animal any sicker than my little goat was, and I didn't know what to do.

Thus began a nightmare that would continue through Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Within 24 hours Sheshone was delirious, and having convulsions. I had no choice, the goat had to go inside my house so I could give her around the clock attention and care. I threw rugs and blankets on the floor in the utility room, lit the fire in that area, and prepared to fight for her life ..... and what a fight it was!

Nine days after she went down, a veterinarian came to my home and gave her a couple of shots, but he said he didn't hold out much hope for her, as he thought 'the damage' had already been done.

Well, damaged or not, I was going to give it a run for the roses because until the final breath escaped her, she was alive and worth fighting for.

Fruith Pharmacy in Belpre became very familiar with me and my goat at this time. I made daily trips into the pharmacy to buy baby bottles, feeding droppers, and anything else that anyone suggested.

She couldn't eat, so I bought Pedialite and injected it under her skin every 30 minutes - around the clock! Yeah, at the end of the second week the goat wasn't the only thing sick!

Baby food and small amounts of water in a syringe came next, but even then she could not stand, or even raise herself up. The convulsions had left her blind and deaf, and her face was so beat up from smashing her head into the floor with each attack, that I didn't think it would ever look normal again.

At the end of the fourth week she was still alive, and I thought she was 'improving,' - which was a thought that no one else on earth shared! Mike had already gone down back and dug her grave! I wasn't willing to give up this soon though - not while I could still think [or imagine] there was improvement.

Along about this time I began picking Sheshone up and standing her on her feet for a few seconds at a time, and gradually she got to the point that I could actually let go of her and she'd stand there for a few seconds before her legs buckled and down she went.

Her feeding and watering routine continued with an eye dropper, but by this time she was taking an entire bottle of baby food, and a bottle of juice at each feeding. The around the clock surveillance had pretty much ended, while every two hour feedings had taken their place. I didn't see much difference in this and a new born baby ..... except my 'baby years' were far behind me, and I now found it exhausting work!

Greetings

Needless to say, the Christmas season of 2005 was the most hectic that I'd ever seen in my life. Somehow I managed to stay on top of the housework, the shopping, gift wrapping, house decorating and everything except the outdoor decorating that was so customary for me. The storage building was absolutely packed with outdoor decorations, including enough swag and icicle lights to deck the entire property .... it all stayed in the building.

My grandchildren had been taking turns trying to help with Sheshone, but there really wasn't much they could do except check on her once in a while to make sure she hadn't gotten herself stuck in a corner - which she managed to do a few times.

The goat had not 'spoken' to me since that fateful Saturday when I'd gathered her into my arms and carried her to the front yard. I kept telling Mike that she was 'improving' - and in many ways she was - but she could still not see or hear, and although I didn't want to admit it, I was afraid she never would be able to do either again.

By this time she was standing pretty well on her own, and of course trying to move around, but crashed into everything because she couldn't see! I'd modified an old tracking harness [for the dogs] and put it on her, so that I could tie her with a short leash, so she couldn't hurt herself anymore. The harness served as a wonderful 'anchor' for the 'modified adult sized diapers' that Sheshone had to wear, and it was a good 'handle' with which to pick her up and make her behave when she became unruly - which happened quite often at this point in her 'recovery!'

She was usually as good as gold until diaper changing time. Then she threw a tantrum like I'd never seen before! She did NOT want her diapers changed, and those horns of hers were really becoming a problem as far as my rib cage was concerned! She would throw that head back and jab me every time as I straddled her and tried to unfasten the snaps that held the diaper in place.

At the beginning of the seventh week of her sickness, she responded with a weak 'ma' as I entered the room and softly spoke to her .... "How's my 'Fuzzy Face' today?" I asked, and the answer was very low, but unmistakable! She could hear!!! I was right, she was improving daily!

I tried re-introducing her to her goat chow and some hay, but she'd have no part of that. She liked that baby food, and by this time I had her back on a baby bottle ..... and she liked that too! I was doomed. I had a goat that was going to eat canned baby food, and drink from a baby bottle the rest of it's life! Well, someone else was going to have to feed it because at this rate, my 'life' wasn't going to last much longer! Mike could just put me in that big hole he'd dug!

Christmas Eve 2005

For the past two weeks, I'd been 'exercising' Sheshone several times each day. I'd wrap blankets around her and take her outside on the leash and force her to walk around. Sometimes I had to pull her along, and other times I had to push her!

Inside the house I took her up the steps at least twice each day. Then I had to carry her back down them because she was still unstable and still couldn't see very well - although I knew her sight was returning too! I was pretty sure she could make out shadows, and solid areas [walls] but she was very skittish and jumped at everything so I couldn't take a chance on her coming down the steps, and perhaps causing both of us to take a good fall.

On Christmas Eve - seven weeks after she had gone down for the count - I bundled Sheshone up in her blankets and took her outside for the second time that day. Each time we walked past the stack of hay that lay at the side of the deck, and each time I tried to talk her into tasting it. But, this time was different - this time she walked directly over to the hay and snatched a mouthful of it! I was thrilled. She was actually eating 'her' food instead of people food!

My house was full of guests, as I always prepare Christmas Eve dinner, so naturally, everyone had to pile outside to see the miracle --- and make no mistake about it, it was certainly a miracle.

I can't begin to tell you how many people had called; how many emails I'd received; and how many people all across this nation there were praying for my goat! But I can tell you, I appreciated each and every one of them, and the Lord must have decided that he had to do something before I keeled over from exhaustion!

I put her back into the kennel basement a few days later, but still had to keep her tied since she still couldn't see real well.

The 'bottled water' continued though, even after she began to eat on her own. She flatly refused to take a drink from a pan. It had to be hand delivered in a baby bottle! This continued until New Years Eve, at which time she once again permitted my pet rooster [Slick Chic] to show her how to drink from a pan!! I was amazed.

They remain great buddies. The rooster will attack any German Shepherd on the place if it comes within three feet of the goat. And Sheshone remains as bossy as ever.

She has made a full recovery, knows her name and responds to everything .... however, she still likes to have her chin scratched and be called 'Fuzzy Face.' Her little tail wiggles with delight and she tosses her head up and down when I ask her --- "Are you mommy's fuzzy face?"

She's a sweetheart, and I sincerely thank all those who were so patient with me just one year ago. Their prayers and words of encouragement and concern will never be forgotten. Thank you, and may your Christmas be the best ever ...... / Bonnie

Sheshone -'Fuzzy Face' / December 2006


The newest addition to our 'fuzzy family' - Sheshone's friend - AKC Reg. German Shepherd Dog - Karma von Granville. He turned 1 year old on October 10th and looks as if he may mature out to be an excellent representative of the breed:

2009 Update: Karma now resides with Wayne Vineyard an hour or so from my home. He is happy and Wayne is thrilled to have him.

Sheshone is still with me and still as sweet as ever. I hope to add another female goat to the family sometime next spring. I purchased a nice male to breed to Sheshone, however, I'm afraid she is too spoiled and besides that he was entirely too mean to her. I gave him away on December 8th {in celebration of another 'old goats' birthday!} and his new owner promised me a little girl from one of her many female goats. I look forward to raising another female, but want no more males.


Bonnie M. Wells



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Page posted/updated: December 21st, 2006 / December 10, 2009 // BMW