Well! Last week was a busy, goat-filled week! It was a week to remember, a week filled with goats! I am a little overexcited, as you can probably tell. You see, last week was the American Dairy Goat Association’s National Show, and this year it was held right here in St. Paul.
There was intense goat judging, there was amusingly recalcitrant kid-showing, there was petting of soft ears, and there was even someone giving a baby goat a bath under a spigot.
There was also a truly MASSIVE amount of goat shit (not pictured). I don’t think I can possibly overstate this: the amount of goat feces on the sidewalks and “floors” and everywhere is such that you cannot possibly hope to avoid stepping in any, and I settled for trying to step in as little as possible. I am also reasonably certain that I was the only actual “spectator,” as in “person who does not own/breed/show goats.” I’d expected crowds of eager goat see-ers, and when we went the first day it was basically a ghost town. I saw my first goat and squealed “LOOK! A GOAT!” which, in retrospect, probably blew my cover immediately. There was no specific show going on at the time (because I had very much misunderstood what a “milk out” was) and I was so disappointed that twenty minutes in, when Simone started complaining of frankly understandable boredom, we left, because staying two hours until the next show seemed impossible. On the way out we met a very nice woman who let us pet her Saanen, whose name was Joyful, and I thought to myself “well, at least I got to pet a goat.”
And that would have been that if Scott hadn’t encouraged me to get up early the next morning and go to a show on my own while he watched the girls. It was everything I had dreamed it would be, and after that I went back again, three days in a row. (I am still kicking myself for going home that first afternoon and missing the Saanen Junior Show–the BABY division of my favorite breed!–but I suppose I will know better next time.)
Now the show has ended, but I will always have my memories, and a picture of the baby goat I want desperately to adopt, and a bumper sticker (HAVE YOU HUGGED YOUR KIDS TODAY?) and some lovely glasses, and a mug. Also, a lot more information than I wanted about the importance of teat symmetry when viewed from the back, mammary system capacity, and goat semen.
I am writing about the experience in more organized, essay-ish form, and when/if it appears somewhere, I will let you know. I suppose it is possible that no editor will be interested in my inside look at the American Dairy Goat Association National Show (which I have it on good authority is “the Westminster of Goat Shows”) but I choose to believe.