Sunday, June 3, 2012

Barn Potato < Athlete Goat

 I continually monitor LeeRoy's health and I've felt like he's doing fine. I work with two goat experts
1) a pack goat specialist and 2) an all around goat expert. However because of other people' negative comments/ emails I started to doubt my training and ability to asses my own goat. Its funny because I imagine this is what parents feel like when other people try to tell them how to take care of their kids.

On Sunday afternoon I took LeeRoy to a vet out in Woodburn for a check up. I searched all over Oregon for a Veterinarian that deals specifically with goats so I could get the most conclusive assessment of LeeRoy's health and ability to do this walk. Through a series of phone calls and referrals, I found who I was looking for, Dr. Laurie.  Not only does she work as a goat vet but she also raises dairy goats and show goats that travel all over the United States.

I have to say, I was blown away by her wealth of knowledge in the pack goat arena. She came out to look at him, ran fecal tests, checked his heart, coat, eyes, teeth and even went over his stride. I asked her to check for any flaws or possible future problems I could face having LeeRoy. We went over each leg/ hoof individually paying close attention to anything that could hinder his walking. After the checkup she said that he is not perfect but well built and is able to finish this walk, no problem and live a healthy life.

My biggest concern about LeeRoy was his fluctuating weight over the last month. It seems to be the biggest thing other people question me on as well. She explained it to me this way.... there are barn goats and there are working goats. Barn goats have big bellies because they eat and sleep with little activity where as working goat are lean/ thin goats resemble deer in the wild. If LeeRoy had a big belly like a barn goat, he wouldn't be healthy enough to do this walk. He looks more athletic, like a cross country runner not like a sumo wrestler. Hearing this took a huge weight off my shoulders and gave me confidence about my care of LeeRoy thus far. The tests she ran came back negative for parasites, a clean bill of health.

With that said, there are people that are contacting me with their opinions/concerns who have limited understanding of pack goats and LeeRoy specifically. I would like to address them for the last time, that I am fully aware of all of LeeRoy's limitations and will continue to monitor his health through the entire length of our journey. Your emails are more of a hindrance then help and I will no longer be responding to them.


  1. Hang in there, Steven. You are a good Dad!! And LeRoy is the perfect companion for you. I'm glad you were able to contact a vet with such knowledge to ease your concerns. When it comes down to it, LeRoy is just an animal (albeit a good companion) and God gave us the animals to use. Don't let people bother you. Your love for LeRoy will guide you in his best interest.

    Love, Aunt Lisa

  2. Ughhhhhh! Good choice to stop responding to those negative emails. Love following your journey!

  3. What you're doing is beautiful. Just keep being observant, caring, and confident; that's the best for you and LeRoy both. (goats sense stress and uncertainty in people, and it stresses them when their leader is stressed)

    Having cared for goats, I understand the self-doubts that arise when an animal can't tell you how he's doing, if he's happy. At least not with words. I'm still learning to listen to the non-words.

    I've figured out that God wants me to go on a journey with a goat too (in northern Spain). I'm really scared and my mind keeps giving me reasons why I will fail, and looking for easy ways out. Your stories of trust and openness are helping me learn to trust and be open as well. Thank you.

    May you find much love and support along your journey.