Buckle your seatbelts, you’re not going to believe this one!
Within a few weeks after we bought this old farm in 2012, my son, David, bought a couple goats that he wanted for his daughters; I was to keep and care for them, of course! He named them “Oreo” (the black and white mother) and “Babe” (Oreo’s baby). They’ve been beloved (most of the time) fixtures around the farm ever since. To see them running, chewing or just being, always together, is to love them.
Early on, both had a penchant for getting their horns stuck in the old fencing we inherited. It’s because they were afflicted with a human-like syndrome called “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence”! Ever hear of it? For awhile we had a third goat, “Snickers” who would come to get our attention if Oreo or Babe got their heads stuck in the fence until one of us came to the rescue. Snickers’ story will have to wait for another column.
We’ve replaced most of that old fencing but we still have a couple steel cattle panels on the west side of the farm. The cattle love to lay in the shade of a big old pecan tree along that fence and the goats like to graze on whatever is along that fence and occasionally on the other side of it. If they go down too low they can get their horns stuck in the narrower spaces.
That’s why my wife took note of Oreo along the west fence last Thursday as she was doing her chores. And it’s exactly why she went running out to Oreo’s rescue when she saw her in the same location and position a couple hours later. She called for help but I was in town and no one else was within earshot.
What she found when she got to the fence was not pretty. Oreo’s head and horns caught hopelessly in the fence. She wrestled with all her might to free her for quite some time to no avail. Finally, I guess enough adrenaline kicked in for her to pull Oreo’s head and horns with enough force to get her head back through the fence. But by then, Oreo was dehydrated and fell to the ground. Her eyes rolled back in her head, legs out stiff and not breathing!
That’s when Bess went from wife to “Wonder Woman”! Instincts pushed caution aside as she bent over Oreo and began mouth to nose CPR. At first it wasn’t working because all her breath was coming right out Oreo’s mouth. So, again by instinct, she clamped Oreo’s mouth shut with her hand and began mouth to nose CPR again. She kept it up for 4-5 minutes. Finally, Oreo began to breathe just a bit on her own. By that time, my son Max joined her to comfort Oreo long enough for Wonder Woman to run back to the kitchen to rescue an about-to-burn dinner that she left to rescue Oreo. Meanwhile I returned from town to a lot of commotion and got hurried instructions to carry a bucket of water out to Oreo.
As I knelt beside her with a bucket of water I had to hold her head so she could sip some of it. She didn’t even smell, let alone eat, the handful of cattle cubes I brought her that she loves so much.
When we got her stabilized, we went in to gather with our guest family to enjoy the dinner that was rescued from the oven and raised our glasses in a toast: “A breath of fresh air” to my wife; she had surely earned that one!
So, ladies, here’s a question for you. If that husband of yours that you fondly refer to as “Your old goat” stopped breathing, could you give him CPR? Would you? Just a thought!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
PS It was especially gratifying to see Oreo affectionately hovering over Babe Saturday afternoon as we returned to the farm. Life is good. Celebrate it whenever you can!
Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org