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Welcome to the Family

We all know the emotional benefits of having a pet. But, it's hard to have one when you are paralyzed.

Kittens and puppies are adorable, but they scratch when they play. Bunnies are apt to do the same thing. Any cut, bruise, or abrasion can turn into a major problem because your blood flow is diminished in your lower body. That means healing can take months. It also means the wound can turn into an infection.

Bridget and Hunter have found a solution for Hunter's desire to have a pet - a fainting goat. Well, two fainting goats.

Hunter located the myotonic goats at two different times in two different places. He drove to Floyd County (VA) for one, and his brother-in-law Marcus and his niece Etta drove to North Carolina for the other. Talk about wanting these two goats!!

Once both goats settled into their new home, Hunter, Bridget, and the children began the process of acclimating them to their new surroundings and their new family.


Choosing their names was a priority. My grandchildren love selecting names for their pets. They don't choose ordinary names, although Leia comes as close to ordinary as any name they've chosen. For instance, the kids named their rescue dog Ginger Brownie Sprinkles Cupcake Cake Sergeant Stubbs Neale. Ginger for short. How's that for a name?

Just plain Leia is their sweet girl goat. Yes, she does faint, as her breed suggests; however, she just doesn't faint as often as Drift does. She's also bigger than Drift and doesn't like the harness as much. On the other hand, she does let Ginger guide her into the goat pen, whereas Drift likes his guide to be human.


Bridget says that when she approaches Drift he locks up. Sometimes he faints, sometimes he doesn't. She quickly picks him up, ensconces him in the harness, and carries him over to Hunter. For some reason, the wheelchair doesn't frighten Drift, so rather than faint, he lets Hunter take him around the yard to munch on the grass. Hunter slowly turns the wheels on his chair as Drift slowly chooses which blades of grass are worthy of tasting. It's an outing that brings joy to both of them.

The goats belong to Hunter and Bridget, but he is limited in his ability to care for them. Not because he doesn't want to, but because of his physical restraints. And even on the rainiest and coldest days, you have to make certain your animals have everything they need. That duty primarily belongs to Etta, although lately, Hans has been helping. Fifth-grade Etta has become quite adept at making certain that both goats have plenty of food, hay, and water. She and her mama even move the goat pen to ensure that Leia and Drift have fresh grass.


Leia and Drift have adapted so well to their new home that they start bleating the minute they spot Etta. They know fresh food is on its way. Then they faint. After all, Etta is approaching them.


They bleat and faint even more when Bridget and Etta let them out for their daily romp in the field. It must be hard to find yourself fainting every time you get excited. Even if you are a fainting goat.


Leia and Drift are in for a surprise over the next few months. Unbeknownst to them, my two youngest grandchildren Sebastian and Della have announced the upcoming nuptials of these newest additions to the Neale homestead. After all they told their mama, "They have to get married so Leia can have her babies like Uncle Hunter wants."


Makes perfect sense to me.



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