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From My Window

Issue Date: March 24, 2021

Goat on the Run!

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,




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Last week Wausau Police got an unusual call from an animal hospital located well within city limits. Clinic staff had captured a stray near the clinic " not unusual, except that this on the loose rascal was a goat. A little white goat, with an orange ear tag.

The vet staff had heard there was a loose goat near the clinic and two of the vet technicians and a veterinarian were able to wrangle it, after considerable effort, using a jacket as a sort of lasso. They were not at all set up to accommodate the goat, nor was the local humane society. So the police went and got the goat (I am assuming it rode in a police car!) and put it in a large cage outside the station while efforts got underway to find the owner.

Urban chickens are a thing, but urban goats are not. Social media postings from the police and humane society about the stray goat got more than 1300 responses, with many people pleading to adopt the goat if the owner did not claim it. The local TV stations put the cute little goat in heavy news rotation, and Mayor Katie Rosenberg went to the police station to officially welcome the visitor to the city.

There was no immediate claim of ownership so someone with a farm took the goat to better quarters to hold for now.

This is the kind of thing that is just plain fun. The goat was safely captured and not hit by a car, there is no doubt it will find a home if not claimed by owner, and while I am not a big fan of goats, this one, with a fluffy white coat, big ears and eyes, was really winsome.

I had a wandering goat experience myself last fall. After I left the animal shelter where I volunteer, my car approached a farm I know to have four pygmy goats. Just before I got to their driveway a goat, trailing a dog leash, sprinted across the road in front of me and headed for the woods. (Of course, I felt like it had to have been a dog I saw, and looked a second time before it registered my first thought was correct. And it was a leash, with a hand loop, not a tether or tie it was dragging.) I stopped and got out but the goat was already out of sight in the thick brush. And the four resident goats I am familiar with at this farm watched all this activity with interest from inside their pen.

I went to the house and pounded on the door but no one responded. No name on the mailbox; I had no idea who the residents were. I left a note on the door, and when I got home I put a post on the shelter's volunteer webpage, hoping someone else knew who lived there. Bingo! One of the other shelter volunteers had found and returned a wandering goat to a nearby farm, (not this one,) by enticing it into her car not long before, and said she could give them a call and let them know. It appears this goat may be a frequent traveler, possibly enjoying visiting its four friends at the farm I saw it near. The owner of that farm now probably wonders who left a note on their door about a loose goat when all of theirs were home.

I had a mental picture of putting a loose goat into my car"..Yes, I guess I am probably capable of doing that. Car is older and already full of dog hair so no sanitation concerns.

A farm a few miles from me has had no escapees that I know of, but they raise "Boer" goats " a breed of "meat" vs. dairy goats. I am charmed by the name of their little farm " "Never Boer-d Acres."

Then yesterday another development. The Humane Society of Marathon County reported on their website that a pig was loose in Wausau. I am not kidding, and this is not an April Fool's joke. The pig was reported crossing highway K and headed toward the Fleet Farm area. Descriptions revealed the pig was relatively small and pink. Perhaps the pig was interested in purchasing feed at the Fleet Farm. As you can imagine there was plenty of on-line commentary about bad fences at Old McDonald's farm, and offers to take the pig if it was captured and hold a "pig roast."

A little bit of lightheartedness is never a bad thing on local news. And it is a nice reminder that the closest "big city" to me is still small enough that it is occasionally visited by fugitive livestock.

Gratitude: Last week I was able to get my first Covid vaccination. Friends and family asked the next day how I felt, wondering if I had any negative reactions. I was able to tell them my arm and the rest of me felt normal, except for a truly profound sense of gratitude and relief.

Follow Up: Last week I wrote about Red Ball sneakers and mentioned I didn't know how much they cost when I was a child but I guessed less than five dollars. Way less"..a column reader probably around my age who grew up out East, a real coal miner's daughter who now lives near Pembine, said she remembers paying 25 cents for a pair.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


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