Jack was a 2000, 2001, or 2002 model. He loved apples, especially homegrown apples and crabapples that fell from the tree hanging over his pen. Jack's job title was Weed Eater.
Jack wreaked havoc on most plants, especially domestic fruit trees. He and his relatives also destroyed leafy spurge, a noxious weed. Our weed whackers grazed inside a portable, electrified pen.
We learned that Jack & Co. often did not need an electric pen after they spent several unintended hours wandering loose around the property. They had no intention of ever running away, let alone getting out of sight of humans. Jack and his younger roommate, Legolas, both Nubian Goats, delighted visitors who got nibbled by the welcoming committee at Poudre River Stables.
This fall Jack assisted in the reconstruction of the south wall of our barn due to the 2011 October snow storm, which sent tree limbs crashing down around us. Whoever planted poplars two feet away from the barn had a very bad idea. Jack enjoyed helping with most projects by attempting to eat whatever was available, wood scraps, McDonald's wrappers, gloves.
Jack had some bad scares in his life, the worst one the Weekend of Horror in which his brother, Lawrence, was mauled by a dog off of the Poudre River Bike Trail. Jack saved himself by jumping up on a stump out of the dog’s reach. (To this day, our horse Billy, who witnessed the whole thing, does not like white dogs.) Then there was the time lightning struck the lower pasture. Jack and Lawrence ran, taking the portable pen with them, and wrapped it and them around a tree.
Last week, Jack lay down in the goat house.
He sounded like he had the occasional smoker's cough, but his appetite was good, and his plumbing worked.
Jack looked up and bleated whenever I came into his house. He butted my hands and nibbled at my pockets in search of dried willow or Ranch-Way Critter Candy. He drank warm diluted Gatorade three or four times a day, and just about took my hand off when I slipped him bites of the occasional apple. For you goat experts out there, we did try antibiotics and Vitamins B12 and B1.
Nestled under the heat lamp amid bales of hay, he never got up.
Dr. Landes and Gregg helped me say goodbye to Jack yesterday.
Thank you, Jodie, Patti, and Mark for our Jack, who was quite a bit more than just an old goat.