Happy Monday everyone and welcome to another GotW. This week I am so excited to feature a very special little lady, who has quite the fan following at our farm. Please allow me the pleasure of introducing you all to Sky River Meadows Pipsqueak. Guaranteed if you've visited the farm, you've met our dear little Pip. When people first greet Pip, I often hear "Oh what's wrong with her leg?" or "Is she OK?" Let me tell you although Pipsqueak was born with a rare condition and a leg deformity, there is absolutely nothing wrong with her. Known by a few nicknames on the farm, ie: Sergeant Pippers, Pippersnipper, and most commonly just called Pip. No doubt if you've had the honour of meeting this little darling, she certainly left her mark on your heart ❤
Sky River Meadows Pipsqueak was born on August 10th, 2014. Her dam (mom), Taylorside's Coconut was pregnant when I acquired her through a rescue situation. Having had no personal part in the breeding of Coconut, there was no way to know when she would give birth. I was very grateful to have been home when the momentous occasion did occur, especially when Pipsqueak was born. Pips twin sister SRM Mystique was born first and at a healthy size (2.1 lbs) considering how tiny her mom was. When Pip was born I was immediately terrified for her. At first I wasn't sure she was even alive as she was so small. At birth Pip weighed in at only 10 ounces! She was by far the teeniest, tiniest baby goat we had born up to that point. Fortunately she was breathing and other than being super small, all appeared OK. When an unusual birth occurs at my farm I always put out a call to my vet to come do an examination on them - just in case. My vet Dr. Kelli Drost has been my vet for a very long time and she knows me well. What she said to me that day was one of the hardest things I have had to hear from my vet. She told me NOT to get attached! After her exam it was discovered that Pip had some health issues caused by her additional dwarfism gene. The news wasn't good at all and I was told she may naturally just pass away within a couple of weeks. I am so glad that Dr Drost was wrong! Pip is a true warrior and has fought through a lot to make it to her sixth birthday last year!
So although Pip was born with some physical issues that challenge her daily life, she is otherwise a very happy, healthy little goat! She plays, runs and fights with her herd mates just like the rest of them. One thing that perhaps Pip isn't aware though, is that the herd seems to really look out for her. No one in the herd bullies or is mean to her. If anything they all treat her with amazing respect. I think my favourite Pip story comes from the summer of 2018 when we first moved to the Woodfield property. Where we had moved from we had a lot of tree cover and shade. At the farm we have wide open fields and skies which the herd had a hard time adapting to. They did not want to walk or explore the property and would barely leave the shelter of the barn for the first few weeks. Pip must have been born an adventurer because she was the ONLY goat willing to walk with me for the first few weeks. Each day I would open the gate and call the herd out, hoping that they'd walk with me, something we'd been doing for many years at our old home. Only Pip was willing lol. I did start to worry that perhaps the move was a mistake. If the herd wouldn't walk, I wasn't going to be able to run my summer programs. In the end it was Pip, who did it! She would plant her tiny hooves and scream her little head off until the herd came. Each time the herd would stop and try to head back to the barn, Pip was there to motivate and encourage them. This photo is a still shot from a video I took of Pip calling the herd to follow her. Pip does have some impressive vocals for such a wee lady. Her ability to command the herd in this way, earned her the nickname of Sergeant Pippers ✌❤🐐
The summer of 2014 when Pip was born, we had 32 baby goats born on the farm. Pip was the last born, the youngest and smallest by far. My concerns for her as she grew up were many. That was a rough, tough gang of kids born that year! My concerns were for nothing as Pip was well looked after within the herd too. Her twin sister Mystique was always beside her, often fighting Pips battles for her. Also born in 2014 was Sky River Meadows Geordie, who by all rights is considered to be Pipsqueaks "husband". SRM Geordie was a breeding buck of mine that was castrated in 2017. My breeding males live completely separate from my main herd. When Geordie became "fixed", he rejoined the main herd and was reunited with Pipsqueak. I'd call it love at first sight--again! Pip and Geordie are the cutest goat couple - seriously. They are always eating together whether indoors or out, and they absolutely sleep cuddled up to each other every single night. They both snore, which seems to suit them and they always seem to find a place to sleep directly under a hay feeder so they can enjoy late night snacks together as well. Whatever reason these two had to fall in love, I 100% support it! We have a few "couples" in our large herd, but this match is by far my favourite. I think they are blessed to have found each other ❤
In all seriousness, I want to mention that I would never breed Pipsqueak. In my humble opinion to do so would be harmful to her and any potential babies she would have. We have 5 "dwarf" dwarf goats in our herd and none are in our breeding program. However, ALL are heavily involved in our therapy programs here at the farm.
So against all the odds our dear sweet Pipsqueak is still with us. She turns 7 this summer! I can't say if she'll be blessed with the average life expectancy of a goat (15-17yrs), but I can say that while she is here, she'll get everything that she needs. This past summer it became obvious that she is slowing down and starting to feel her age in her joints. She is a fiercely independent little miss though, and insists she can do things by herself. She is sweet enough to be asked to be carried up the hills though and I am happy to oblige her! I have purchased her a chariot that I intend to teach her to ride in starting in the spring to allow her to still come on our herd hikes, but to skip all the hiking part. She can catch a ride to where we are going, then get out and browse with the herd. I am hoping by training her to accept this "help", that it will take a lot of pressure off her joints. There is no guarantee that she'll agree with any part of my plans lol. Pip keeps it challenging for me as she can get chubby pretty easily, so finding that proper, healthy balance for her to still get enough physical activity, and maintain a healthy weight for her joints. It is my hope that Pipsqueak will be around for many years to come. She has so much to share and give! Regardless of how long I will get to share my life with her, I will always be grateful she came to share my life. This little goat has taught me so much about life. Her biggest lesson to me has been that we can't control what happens to us in our lives, but we can absolutely choose how we react to it. Pippers takes on life with zest and enthusiasm each and every day. Not once for a single second has this little goat ever felt sorry for herself. Larger than life, as brave as they come with an absolute heart of pure gold. Thanks for teaching me about, and showing me your amazing authenticity Pip! ❤