Our new farm hand, Irwin—who, as it turns out, is actually Winnie—isn’t very good at her job. I think it comes from being a cat. Possibly it’s my fault because I let her start coming inside. Now that’s where she prefers to spend most of her time, playing with the big kitties and terrorizing my curtains.
But that’s okay because she hired an intern: Ollie the Wonder Dog. He’s a misshapen little mutt, part Corgi maybe? He’s short and long with a head that’s too big for his body. He’s mostly black with a patch of white on his chest. He’s cute without being pretty. And he loves his farm chores.
Ollie the Wonder Dog loves the goats. A few days ago, while Solomon’s head was stuck in the fence, Ollie took advantage of the situation and licked the heck out of Solomon’s face. As if being stuck in the fence, with his head under the hay feeder and his butt in the air, wasn’t indignity enough.
Beulah Acres currently has four baby goats. They’re about Ollie’s size, and just as playful as he is, except that their mamas are very protective. Iris and Edith stand guard over their babies, snorting when Ollie comes near and lowering their heads so they can head-butt him. Ollie’s rather oblivious to the threats. But he can’t squeeze through their fence anyway, so those babies are off limits.
Our newest mama goat is a terrible mother. I’m fairly certain Bernadette would stand by and let a hyena eat her baby. Which is good news for Ollie. He can lick baby Titus (or Crockpot, depending upon whom you ask) all he wants. He can’t fit through the fence, but he can stick his head in—and he doesn’t have to worry about an angry mama head-butting him. And, since we have to supplement Titus’ diet with bottle feeding, this gives Ollie an opportunity to not only score some goat milk, but also to get closer to his new friend. When we get Titus/Crockpot out of the fence, Ollie practically falls over his short little legs trying to get to the baby so he can slobber all over his face.
But Ollie’s best goat friend is Pearl. It isn’t so much that Pearl likes Ollie—it’s that Ollie can squeeze through her fence and get inside her pasture. Pearl is one of our more playful goats. She’s a white lamancha, full of mischief and ornery as heck. She’s curious about the dog—in fact, Pearl’s curious about most things. Her personality is rather catlike. Ollie barks at her, trying to get her to play chase. He’s succeeded a couple of times.
He has also made her angry a couple of times. A few days ago, he was chasing the chickens—a habit we’re trying to break—and they ran into Pearl’s barn trying to get away from him. Pearl put herself between Ollie and the chickens. And when Ollie tried to get past her, she head-butted him. Needless to say, the chickens hung close to Pearl for a while after that. (Incidentally, the hens are about the same size as Ollie, and the rooster is much bigger than he is.)
I suppose no farm is complete without a farm dog. Ours might have stubby little legs, but he is a Wonder Dog, and not all farms can brag about that.