Johnny

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.

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47 comments on “Johnny

  1. Laura says:

    So sorry you lost Johnny. He did live a good long life. It’s probably quite something to think back on how far you’ve come during your time with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    While the loss is real and the grief natural, he had such a good life with you. When you mentioned that he had fallen and needed help getting up, I wondered. It’s good that you and Cherie always were there for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      He’d gotten very weak, but I was hoping he might rally and make it a while longer. Yesterday he could no longer stand and we knew his time was up. He was a first-rate billy. He had a good life here.

      Like

  3. BeeHappee says:

    Oh…. goodbye smelly giant. Sounds like he had a great life. So nice that you have memories with Johny and your daughter, great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Buck goats can be mean and dangerous. Johnny never was, even in the slightest.
      He did have a gift for making himself aromatic at times. Supposedly that charmed the lady goats. We were always careful not to touch him at those times.

      Like

  4. beeholdn says:

    Goodbye from me too, Johnny, and thank-you.

    And yes, lovely story, Bill; thanks for posting it 🙂

    Like

  5. Joanna says:

    Aww bless! Sad to see them go, but what a life! Glad you had the chance to share it with him

    Like

    • Bill says:

      That’s exactly how we feel. His time was up. That’s just the way it works. But he was an important and treasured part of the organism that is this farm. So he lives on.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. df says:

    I love hearing these backstories, they are truly wonderful. And what a great tribute to a fine creature who clearly had a special place on the farm and in the family.

    Like

  7. Laurie Graves says:

    Yes, a very lovely story. So sorry for your loss.

    Like

  8. avwalters says:

    I never before contemplated the life span of a goat. Somehow, I would have thought they were more durable. Still, Johnny was a goat who took his life’s calling seriously–nice work if you can get it. Raise a glass to celebrate the cycle of life and Johnny’s role in it.

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    • Bill says:

      The lifespan of a Boer buck is 8-10 years. He lived a full life. Does live longer.
      Johnny shouldered his load without complaint, even though it seemed his work was never done.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Bill, so sorry to hear about Johnny. He was the best goat that he could be for as long as he could be. Are you going to keep one of his sons to carry on his legacy? So many male goats don’t have the personality that you said Johnny had. It would be nice to keep that genetic line active. I know a little bit about breeding and also know that it’s not a good idea to breed closely related animals so maybe that’s not an option. I do hope that Johnny’s replacement will be just as gentle as he was.

    Have a great Johnny replacement hunting day.

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    • Bill says:

      We bought a young buck last summer (Maxwell), expecting he would someday take Johnny’s role. But I’m doubtful of his capabilities. Our other buck Abraham, who we bought at the same time, is doing an excellent job, so we’ll probably rotate him between the pastures for a while. Abraham, so far, has a good disposition too.

      Like

  10. He was a lucky buck to belong to you and your family. As the sire of generations of progeny, in a sense his life will flow for many generations. Great story, and sorry for your loss.

    Like

  11. Goodbye Johnny. You will be missed on these blog pages. –Curt

    Like

  12. EllaDee says:

    The last three lines sum it up, the way it should, could be.
    Nice post, and I have retained the image of Johnny as a kid on your daughter’s lap. Lovely.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      He was spoiled (and well-treated) from day one. We’ve always attributed his gentle disposition to the loving care she gave him on the day he was born.

      Like

  13. barnraised says:

    So sorry. What beautiful memories though.

    Like

  14. associatedluke says:

    “Well done, good and faithful servant.” A wonderful and moving tribute. Blessings on your loss.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Thanks Luke. My wife and I have often commented that in the Matthew parable, goats get a bad rap vis a vis sheep. Johnny deserves to be on the right hand.

      Like

  15. Sorry for your loss. Sounds like Johnny was the best way to start you on raising goats.

    Like

  16. FeyGirl says:

    What a gorgeous guy… And what an amazing life he had with you! (And as you say, natural.)

    Like

  17. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Here’s to a life well lived.
    And I bet you’re right about the loving contact of his early days and his gentle personality: )

    Like

  18. Seeking Joyful Simplicity says:

    Oh Bill, I feel your fondness for Johnny. Warm thoughts to you and Cherie.

    Like

  19. rhondajean says:

    What a wonderfully productive animal. It sounds like he was a really friendly face at the farm. It’s a pity every animal can’t live as he did.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Johnny spread his seed generously. Billy goats can be mean and dangerous, but Johnny was always gentle and laid back. He had an honored place on the farm.

      Like

  20. Steve says:

    Johnny Was one fortunate goat.

    Like

  21. Oh, Johnny, we hardly knew ye … but what we knew was so fine … I love that Abraham has stepped up and is fulfilling his duties.

    Like

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