Back on May 1st, the day we moved to Prineville, we also got a goat. He was a gift for our 10-year-old son, Elijah, whose birthday was the week before. Blackjack was extremely loved and cared for. In many ways, he was like a dog. We would lead him around the yard on a leash. At first we kept him in a kennel in the house, but after a while made a nice place for him in the barn.

This last Saturday, July 2nd, as I was getting ready to close up the Book & Bean, I got a call from Papa Joe that Blackjack had been shot with a BB gun and I needed to get home and take him to the vet. Joe was out enjoying his first afternoon off since we bought the store. Josiah was home with the boys. The girls and I were at the store.

Since it was a holiday day weekend, it took several hours for us to figure out what to do with Blackjack. All the vets I called were gone for the weekend or they didn’t see goats. During that time we were able to discover many things. One, the bleeding was coming from a half inch gash in his back. Also, we found at least 5 wounds from a BB gun. And, a seven-year-old neighbor boy had taken a loaded gun and used Blackjack as his target. His aunt, who was not there when it happened, was a vet tech.

The aunt was great. She got us into a vet, attended to Blackjack’s care, and paid for all expenses. Blackjack had an x-ray and we found two BBs were still in him. Also, the gash needed several stitches. We were sent home with pain meds and instructions on how to give his antibiotics.

Over the next few days, Blackjack was lively. Other than his shaved areas, he looked great and healthy.

On July 5th, I noticed that Blackjack just didn’t seem right. He was peeing excessively and not eating. He also was rather lethargic. I had the aunt come and check him out. We forced him to swallow some water, and decided to check on him in the morning.

This morning, Blackjack was up, but he had vomited. I called Joe and had him get an appointment with the vet. It wasn’t till 3:30 that afternoon. It was 8:30 am. I decided to put him in a cool spot in the shade with some fresh water and come back and check on him later.

At 9:45 am, I went and checked on Blackjack, and he was dead.

I don’t know why he died. Maybe it was an adverse reaction to the antibiotics. Maybe it was something he ate. But it is my very uneducated belief that he died of lead poisoning from the BBs.

His death is more than the loss of a goat though. We have already had problems with a different neighbor kid and now this. We are already not liking being in the house we are in. And now this.

The store, while we love it, consumes us. We love ministering and being a part of the community. But we also would really like to relax at home, spend time in our yard, have time as a family just chilling.

After Blackjack’s death, we closed the store for the day and went up to the mountains to bury him and Josiah’s snake, Lucy, that died earlier this year. It was quite lovely and peaceful.

We have two places that we are looking at moving to. Neither are ideal, but is there such a thing?

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I’m so sorry to hear about BlackJack! How sad! He seemed like such a good little goat!:(

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