Little Joe is actually the second goat we've owned. Both Little Joe and his farm goat friend Harry were attacked by our neighbor's dogs while they were in their shed on our property. Harry didn't make it.
Mrs. Wormer went door to door after that attack trying to figure out which of the neighbor's dogs were involved. When she got to the neighbors at the end of the road they were washing their dogs off and before Mrs. Wormer could say anything about why she was there they blurted out "our dogs have been inside all day!" Right.
At that point we were faced with the problem of what to do with Harry's remains. Come to find out disposing of the body of a goat isn't as easy as you might think. The rendering plant won't take goats. That means you have to either bury the goat on your property or take it into the middle of the woods and leave it ala serial killers. We decided to go with the bury it on our property thing.
The problem was Harry was a big goat. A BIG goat. He stood about up to my chest and I'm a tall guy. Getting out the shovel and going to town just wasn't an option.
We had another neighbor at the time that was doing some landscaping and had a backhoe. He offered to did a hole for us and help us bury Harry. He wouldn't be available until the next day but that didn't seem like a problem.
So the next day he brought over the backhoe, we identified a spot and he scooped out a goat grave. When we went to get Harry's body we realized rigimortis had set in and the body was damned heavy. We dragged it over and pushed it into the hole and were surprised to see it's legs and hooves sticking up about 6" over the hole. D'oh!
Now we were faced with some really tough choices. We could try and pull the body out and re-dig the hole but that seemed like it'd be near impossible. We could use the "Dean Wormer" option employed to get the horse out of his office or we could, as our neighbor gently suggested, use the scoop of the backhoe to make the goat "fit."
Let me jump in her and ask you to please understand that in hindsight this seems callous but the whole event beginning with the dog attacks was actually an emotional mess for us. In our wildest dreams both my wife and I never dreamed we'd ever shed a tear over a dead goat. That day we'd spent a good part of the day crying and hugging each other. Our kids were pretty young at the time and we were also trying to comfort them.
I'll never forget my neighbor's face as he sat in the cab of the backhoe and used the scoop to "push" Harry's body into position. You could tell he felt awful and he kept looking at us with sheepish guilt. Poor guy.
Anyhow- back to Little Joe pictured above. Besides the dog attack Little Joe has been seriously sick on any number of occasions (usually fatal to goats) and last summer he was attacked by a ground hive of yellow-jackets which put him in shock and bleeding out the nose. The vet said he probably wouldn't make it. As you can see he's doing fine.
In fact I've pretty much come to the realization that Little Joe is invincible. After the yellow-jacket attack I suggested to the family that we rename Little Joe after the mad monk Rasputin who was poisoned, strangled, stabbed and shot before he enventually drowned. As usual the rest of the family didn't get dad's sense of humor.
I really believe that long after I'm gone that goat will be soldiering on. Eating oats and blackberries and generally having a jolly old goat time. Lucky bastard.