Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rest In Peace, Albert the Great Goat!

December 3rd seemed like a regular night at the rescue farm. The moon was making shadows of the trees. It was cool and crisp, just like winter nights setting in. I mixed food for the old timer horses that get special night feedings. Albert, our Nubian goat, was begging for food so I handed him a few broken up alfalfa cubes. He was just Albert that night, normal...or I thought.
Albert, the Great goat!    Lovely photo by Julia Lewis. 


The next morning, Albert was in his regular bed, the shaving pile. Something was wrong though. He couldn't move his head forward. We later found out it is called 'stargazing'. He spent a week at University of Georgia large animal clinic. They were able to do blood work, test spinal fluids and through elimination, decided it was goat polio. We brought him home with medications and iv fluids, sub.q injections and everything needed to see if he'd get better, The many volunteers who came helped out so much. We picked him up with a sling, did physical therapy, every kind of treatment we could find. People from around the world sent prayers and good wishes for him. Some days we thought we were making progress, then he would take a turn backwards. Everyone spent time with him, comforting him, loving him, feeding him and offering him treats. When you have a critical animal you tend to become very close to them. Your heart aches for them. You lay beside them, you think of all the times they made you smile. You want desperately to make them well. You search for answers, cures, ideas. You try to realize you may have to make a decision you never want to make but you have to know you can never let them suffer. You look for a sign, you hope they tell you. You can't be selfish but it is a decision you cannot reverse so it is vital to weigh every positive sign  as well as every negative sign. You look for hope constantly. After 22 days of not walking, Albert was losing all muscle even with our efforts. He still stargazed, he lost weight. He wanted so badly to get up and walk away. Now he seemed to have discomfort. We washed him, kept ointment of him, made sure he didn't get a rash by keeping his under pads changed and cleaned. We looked to make sure he didn't get bed sores. We moved him from side to side and he fought less and less. We could not let him die from dehydration or letting his organs shut down. The last thing anyone wanted was for him to have any pain. 

Dr Amanda knew Albert for several years so I asked her to come by this morning and help Albert leave us in peace. It was gentle and fast for Albert. It is hard and painful for everyone who knew and loved him. We sure will miss the 280 pound goat of love! Rest In Peace, Albert. Dec 26, 2012

8 comments:

Sue said...

My heart sank when I read this update.I am so sad for your loss, Cheryl, and for everyone who loved Albert. I only met him a couple times, but it was obvious that he was a very special boy. Rest in peace, dear Albert. Hugs to you, Cheryl.

Gay Linn Edwards said...

RIP Albert...this breaks our heart but there comes a time when it is kinder to let them go. It will be odd not to see him out and about. Our heart goes out to you Cheryl and to everyone who loved Albert.

Deb Andrews said...

Oh we r so sorry to hear of the sweetest goat passing. We loved him dearly. I remember back when he first a?rrived at rescue. So big and so lovable. He had a awesome life at the rescue.
Virtual hugs to you Cheryl.
Deb and Ashley

Annie Hain said...

I am saddened to here about Albert. I loved that goat boy. It is hard for me bc I have been sick and unable to see him. Chris and I had planned on coming to see him this weekend. May he rest in peace And know he was loved. My best friend a vet toldme, its better to leave the party having fun than to leave miserable. You did the right thing. I know as a vet tech that's the first thing that runs through your mind. Love you guys

Cindy White said...

There will never be another like Albert. He was truly special. I loved how he would wrap his hoof around your ankle when you were finished loving on him, but he wasn't finished receiving the love. He is on the other side of the bridge cleaning up the scraps that Roy leaves behind. Thank you to Cheryl and all of the volunteers that tried so hard to get him well again.

Caroline said...

Rest in peace sweet Albert. You were always such a character and we all loved you. He had a wonderful life at the rescue and now he is at peace with his best buddy Roy. He will be missed!

Christina W said...

The large animal Vets @ UGA are WONDERFUL people - we too spent a week there with our 185 lb "baby" Jubal (Nubian goat) in the Spring. Unfortunately Jubal was not able to overcome the illness he had but we have NO doubt the Vets, Vet students and techs @ UGA did everything for him. Their compassion and kindness is something we will never forget. We had Jubal cremated and his ashes are with us here at our home. I am so sorry about Albert. As I posted on the FB page - goats are amazingly loving, funny and sweet beings and we are better for having them in our lives. God Bless.

Tammie Carter said...

Oh Cheryl, I am so sorry! What a funny goat he was. We all loved him and my grand daughters will miss him the most! Thanks to you and all your wonderful love and efforts, he was able to go in peace!