The knock at the door startled Cherie.  It was a cold wintry morning, I was in Florida working, and she wasn’t expecting company.

At the backdoor was the man who was building a new pasture fence for us.

“Ma’am,” he said, “Your goat is having a baby.”

A friend had given us two young does who he assured us had not been bred. He was wrong about that. That cold morning ten years ago, one of those does delivered a little male kid we named Johnny.

Johnny was the first goat born on our farm. He was listless when born and back then we had no experience with goat births, wintertime or otherwise. Johnny spent most of his first day of life in our daughter Peyton’s lap.

Despite the rocky start, he grew up to be a handsome virile buck.

Johnny’s reign atop our herd was never challenged.  He sired nearly 300 kids in his life and never once was he even the least bit aggressive to humans.  He was a gentle (albeit often smelly) giant.

Johnny in his prime.  June, 2013.

Johnny in his prime. June, 2013.

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to Johnny.

He lived a full, natural and happy life.

He will be missed.