Buddy by Elissa Branum / Your Momma

How that name makes me cry now.
But in love!

Buddy, the most gentle goat! Buddy, the most loyal, loving friend! Buddy, who left too soon.

Buddy wasn’t like a goat.
He was more like a dog,
or even a baby.

Buddy was born on Feburary 21, 2007. His mother, Iris, required vet assistance in giving birth. Of three kids (baby goats),
only one survived. Buddy.

Iris died a day later on Feburary 22, 2007. So, there we were, with a day-old, orphan buck (male) kid. We tried to adopt him onto another doe (female) who kidded (gave birth) soon after Iris died. Of course, it didn’t work. Buddy was meant to be MINE. So I pulled out the emergency kid bottle and our “Great Journey” began.

At first, I had trouble getting Buddy to nurse strongly. I guess he was just weak. For a while, I feared that he would join his mother. But he struggled on! Finally, he won the battle for his life.
But maybe not the war…

“Buddy” his name became. It suited him because he really, truly was my buddy. When I first fed him, Buddy nursed in my lap. Then he could stand. Finally, Buddy was doing tricks like rearing and shaking hands for his bottle. Everyone liked Buddy. My whole family. Guests that fed him. He was truly “the hit of the party.” My little 2-year-old sister loved to
“mu fee Buddy” as she called it.

Buddy is a hero. Several sickly young goats leared to eat from a bottle and found loving homes, thanks to Buddy. Also one day, Buddy was left behind by the herd (group of goats) and refused to go anywhere unless I went with him. So I led him (he would follow me ANYWHERE) back to the herd. That was when I saw my sister looking at a brush pile. She had seen something white. I did, too. It was a young kid stuck in a brush pile. We got her out, thanks to Buddy.

Buddy and I had a unique relationship. I have loved and lost a lot of pets for a 12-year-old like me, but this was SO different. I guess we were kind of like mother and son. Not too many pets not only tolerate your love for them, but also really, truly love you back. Buddy was a gift from God.

Not only was Buddy my friend and “son”, but I had hoped we had a future together, too. I was planning on showing him at my local county fair, then training him to pull a cart (yes, goats pull carts). Unfortunatly, that all changed one fateful day…

Strangely, it was the day Buddy was 1 month, 2 weeks and 3 days old. April 7, 2007, the day before Easter. Saturday morning, everything was normal. I milked the goats, prepared Buddy’s bottle, and fed Buddy. He was his normal, happy, hungry, hoppy self. He did some tricks, ate his bottle, nibled at the milk goats’ food, and then I returned him to his pen. As I watched him walk off, how was I to know that this was the last time that I would see him happy EVER AGAIN?

Saturday afternoon, I was a little late giving Buddy his bottle, so when I heard him crying, I thought it was in hunger. I realize now that it must have been in pain…”Okay, Buddy, I’ll get your bottle,” I thought and went out and prepared his bottle. “Buddy! Buuddy!” I called. All the other goats came running. But were was Buddy… I was hit with sudden alarm when I heard a feeble cry… Buddy was at the bottom of the hill and he didn’t look good… all the rest was a blur. Mom called the vet and he said he would see him, even though it was Saturday… I rode in the back of the car with Buddy to the vet’s office… the vet gave my poor, darling Buddy about 50 shots… the shots didn’t seem to work… I could hear them saying “Come on Buddy! Come on!”… the next thing I knew I was leaning over a lifeless form, with tears pouring uncontrolably down my cheeks, crying “Oh, Buddy, Buddy, Buddy!”

We buried him in a small pasture inhabited by another young goat. We wrapped him in one of Mom’s pretty flowered bed sheets with his favorite blue bottle. I put some nice flowers on top of him.

“Why, Why, Why did he leave me so soon, God?”

It is difficult for me to understand why Buddy joined his mother so soon. I am left with a numb, empty feeling nagging at me. However, I have learned that you have to live in the moment, not worrying about the past or future. So, I chose two other young goats to focus my time on: Lora, Buddy’s best goat friend, and Amy AKA Amelia Bedila, a sweet 3 week old who was born the day Buddy turned 1 month.

I also put together a bag of things that reminded me of him.

Oh, Buddy I still love you, even though I can’t cuddle with you anymore. You were an ANGEL before you even got to heaven. No wonder it was love at first sight with you! I am glad that you are with your goat momma now. Please try not too miss me too much. I can’t wait to see you skipping to me again, this time over Streets of Gold to meet me at the Gate of Pearls!


Until then, loving you always,
Elissa Branum