By Terri Smith –

Amadeus is doing quite well, thanks for asking! (I assume you’re curious or you wouldn’t be reading this.) I dread his passing for so many reasons, but one of them is that I’m going to have to answer so many, “How’s Amadeus?” questions in a way that will make people sad. Even writing about the fact that he won’t be around forever always seems to provoke a lot of sympathy and at least a few people who are pretty sure he’s already died even though he is still very much alive.

Amadeus in the early morning light. Photo: Terri Smith

So, before I write much more: yes, Amadeus is alive and well! But everyone out there knows how this story will end, right? The end will be the same no matter how it happens, and here is what the end looks like (spoiler alert): he dies. When?Who knows? It might be tomorrow; it might be 24 years from now (gasp), and I’m not sure which would be worse. It is the thing I dread, and yet it will also be the thing that sets me free.

What a terrible thing to say, to even think, yet there it is. I am tied to this goat by love. But this means that I can’t go anywhere for more than a night without someone to look after him, and only a few people really understand him and can care for him as he needs caring for. He’s just not like other goats or even dogs, and he’s kind of a jerk to most people when I’m not around. I never thought all those years ago when I brought a shivering, pathetic, little, spindly, ball of goat into the house to warm up that my life was about to take a very odd detour that would affect so much for so long. In short, I did not expect to be defined by a goat. I am Terri Smith, Mother of Goat, almost before I am anything else. It makes me laugh, though, and I have no regrets. I would not/could not have done things any different; it’s just not in my nature. I save small, helpless things. I don’t mean to get attached to every troubled little being that comes my way, and it causes me all sorts of heartache, but it’s what I do.

Everyone who has a pet they love dearly knows this pain. Animals don’t usually live as long as we do. They are lessons to us in letting go. Some days I get prematurely broken-hearted when I look at my animals and think about the time when they’ll no longer be here. But then I remember that they are here now, and while they are here I will appreciate them as much as I can and love them wholeheartedly and hope that when the end does arrive for any of them, it is quick and they do not suffer.

One more time now, before I start getting sympathy cards: Amadeus is alive and well! And of the two of us, only I am troubled or even aware of the fact that he won’t be here forever.

Terri Smith is a non-certified organic vegetable farmer in the Cariboo. She is passionate about writing, art, goats, and feeding good food to good people. She believes in following your heart, living your dreams, and taking care of the planet.


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