Everybody has a story: Duplex goat was too good for billy



My daughter Karen had been in high school at Mountain View for two years, but hadn’t really found anything to get involved with until she joined FFA (Future Farmers of America) class, requiring her to pick a project.

Karen decided she wanted to raise a goat for her project. I really don’t know how I let this happen, except my heart went out to her for not being able to find her niche in school. So we needed to get a goat. Keep in mind, we are not country folks with land. We lived in a duplex. But goat shopping we went.

We found a local goat farmer in the paper, and that is how we came to be the parents of Tasha, “the duplex goat.” She was so cute and still on the bottle. Being a Toggenburg (that’s a type of goat the color of deer, with ears that stand upright) she looked just like a baby deer without spots.

We bought some bales of straw and made a box for her in the garage, which was attached to the duplex so we had access to her from inside. This came in handy with the frequent feedings she needed. Karen would bring her in the house, and we even managed to potty train her to the garage and

not to eat my house plants. She would run and jump on the beds, bucking. Our friends would come to visit, and Tasha would show off for them, jumping on the furniture and eating potato chips.

As it turned out, there was a vacant house next to us sitting on an acre, and the owners lived in Hood River and came into town to cut the lawn one to two times a week. We asked if we could fence the back yard for Tasha and maintain the rest of the property for them in return, and they agreed, so now Tasha had a nice field and place to run and play.

We all went on a family camping trip one weekend and had to take Tasha because she was still on the bottle but not as often. Through our weekend, we did different activities, and Karen chose to stay in camp while we went for a ride. While we were gone the game warden saw Karen playing with Tasha and thought she was a deer! He questioned Karen about where she found Tasha, and Karen to listen to a lecture about keeping wild animals. She had to tell him it wasn’t a deer but her goat.

Karen entered Tasha at the Clark County Fair, where she took grand champion. Her second year of showing, she had to be in milk so we took Tasha to visit a good looking billy. But she took one look (or smell) of that billy goat and didn’t want anything to do with him. We had to take her a couple more times as she didn’t take — we think she felt a duplex goat was too good for him. Perhaps she didn’t know she was a goat. After all, she spent the first part of her life eating chips, running through the house and jumping on furniture.

Karen kept Tasha through her junior year of high school, but then needed to move onto a project that could actually earn some money. So we had to find another home for Tasha. As it turned out Karen’s FFA teacher agreed to take her where she would be surrounded by swayback horses and happy cows and never had to worry about nasty old billy goats.

We hope she’s still happy.

EVERYBODY HAS A STORY welcomes nonfiction contributions, 1,000 words maximum, and relevant photographs. E-mail is the best way to send materials so we don’t have to retype your words or borrow original photos. Send to neighbors@columbian.com or P.O. Box 180, Vancouver WA 98666. Call Scott Hewitt, 360-735-4525, with questions.