Going To The Dentist Was The Highlight Of My Day
Yesterday was a rough day in many regards. Some of you may have noticed I did not post a blog yesterday. To be honest, I just didn’t have it in me. I had a dentist appointment in the morning. I am fortunate to have found an excellent dentist with an amazing staff. If you are looking for a dentist, I highly recommend Dr. Nosal and his team in Dayton, Pa. Going to the dentist was the highlight of my day. Sigh.
Wednesdays are the day that the local livestock auction is held. When I got home from my dentist appointment, I knew I would have to help The Bibbed Wonder load our Large Black boar, Boris, onto the trailer so that he could take him to the auction barn. I was in no hurry to get home and took the scenic route home. I am not cut out for this aspect of farming. Taking Boris to the auction had to happen; common sense tells me so. On Saturday, just before our event at the farm began, Boris broke through the gate and was fighting with our borrowed boar, Cleetus. Fortunately, Eric was able to break up the fight and move Boris back with the goats. A battle between two boars is a dangerous thing. Not only did he destroy the gate and make a mess in the barn, but he also put Eric in a dangerous situation. Not to mention he could have killed Cleetus. Breaking down the gate and fighting with Cleetus was the final straw.
We now have twenty-one baby goats in the barn. They have the run of the barn and the pasture field, but there is not enough room to steer clear of lumbering Boris. Boris is indeed a gentle giant and would never intentionally hurt the baby goats. However, with twenty-one bouncing babies running amuck, bouncing about, and sleeping wherever they fall exhausted from play, there is no way to avoid them. Boris has accidentally stepped on two of them, and they are limping. Luckily, they don’t have any broken bones, but a 700 lb. pig stepping on your foot is a pretty big “owie” when you’re a baby goat.
We don’t have any stall space available because one stall is dedicated to feeding Boris. Boris has to be fed independently because the goats will eat his feed, bloat, and get sick. One stall is devoted to the baby piglets. One stall is dedicated to the December baby goats and their weaning, which leaves one stall dedicated to housing all our baby delivery necessities and items used to care for the mama goats and babies. Simply put, we’re out of space.
It is not as if we didn’t try to find Boris a good home. We thought we had a good home arranged for him, but it fell through at the last minute. Eric contacted two more people offering Boris for free, but they also decided they couldn’t provide for him after consideration. Eric contemplated putting Boris down himself because he was worried about what would happen to him. However, after researching, he discovered Boris has a double skull. Eric was fearful that the euthanization would go awry and it would end tragically and messily. I also believe my husband dreaded having to put down this gentle creature. Farmers have to make horribly difficult choices. Sigh.
When I came home, Eric pulled the trailer into the pasture field, and our gentle giant loaded easily with a few treats and some gentle encouragement. This dear reader made our choice even more difficult. We loaded a feed bowl with apples, eggs, goat’s milk, and feed and gave our gentle friend one last good meal. The Bibbed Wonder then solemnly hitched the truck to the trailer. Eric asked me to ride along with him to the auction barn. My initial reaction was to decline. However, if my husband asked me to do something I find difficult, I know it must be equally challenging for him. I quietly got into the truck. Eric had a few moments of anger over the situation, and I knew he wasn’t angry at Boris or any person. He was angry at the situation of having to decide to take him to the auction. I let him fume for a while and then patted his hand. Again, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s not fair to Boris, but we can’t continue to keep him with the danger he poses to the babies, Cleetus, and the humans who care for him. Eric put the truck into gear, and we began our slow journey.
Eric talked about finding an isolated spot and dropping Boris off. To be honest, I believe he was only half-joking. When I pointed out all the downfalls to this idea, he got quiet and said he guessed we were doing the best we could. When we arrived at the auction barn, Boris walked off the trailer, following Eric’s voice. Eric gave him one more treat, and that is the last we saw of our Boris The Christmas Pig.
As I sat in the truck alone, waiting for Eric, my eyes began to leak, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I didn’t have a good cry because I knew it would not be fair to my bib overall wearing buddy to see me meltdown when it is obviously difficult for him too. When Eric got into the truck, he looked deflated. I wiped at my eyes and started chatting about nothing. I am good at rambling to keep one’s mind off a bad situation. Whenever there was a lapse in conversation, and we had a few minutes of quiet, Eric would fill it with a melancholy, “well, sh@#.”
Eric rationalizes that Boris had a good long life. Eric says Boris was seventy years old in human years, and his only job was to eat and make babies. He said he didn’t know of any man who would complain about that lifestyle, which only leads to a lot of eye-rolling on my part. However, it doesn’t make it any easier to have to make choices about a pet’s life and well-being. I can’t stop my mind from going to all the bad things that could happen to Boris. I can only hope someone saw something special in him and took him home to be their stud. I can also hope that by the time they figure out he isn’t productive, they find his charming ways worth keeping him around. Sigh.
I can’t bring myself to go to the barn just yet. When I do, it will be alone. I’m certain there will be a good long cry over our missing Christmas pig. And that, dear reader, is why going to the dentist was the highlight of my day. As always, stay safe, be smart, send out some good vibes for a giant, gentle, black pig, and keep washing your hands.