Good Night Stevil Knievel
Steve. Named after mountain bike downhiller Steve Peat; a badass in his own right from beginning… to end.
Steve was born in Mount Uniacke, one of the first 3 kids in my newly established herd. His brother Palmer stayed with us until he was taken by a meningeal worm infection about 3 years ago. His step-brother went to live with 4-H kid Sarah, who later became my right-hand burrito slinging helper extraordinaire, as well as my Green Party election campaign Official Agent. And most importantly, my friend.
Steve has always been the tough guy in the herd. He was the first goat I ever disbudded, and due to the fact that I was terrified and didn’t fully commit, he regrew a horn and hence earned the title of “unicorn goat”. He had no problem over the years using that horn to keep the others in line. Troy has consistently warned the other goats that if Steve “shivved” them, they’d regret it.
Steve shivved more than one adult. But he also had a soft spot for the young’uns. A small brook runs through our pasture. One day Troy caught Steve guarding a kid who managed to get across the brook but couldn’t make it back. Steve was an old soul with a gentle heart and didn’t leave the kid’s side until we had it safely back in the barn.
Steve dislocated a hip a few years back. The verdict: he wasn’t in pain and the hip wasn’t going to stay in place. Let him continue on as long as he could motor without suffering. And we did.
But Steve has been slowing down. Yesterday he went outside and came back on swollen knees. The anti-inflammatories weren’t helping. I knew it was time. And I knew I had to end Steve’s pain. For him. And for me.
This morning I cuddled Steve and I fed him treats. I scratched between his horns as he ate his last bowl of grain. I told him I loved his toothy grin, his sweet gaze and his snuggles. And then I let Steve go.
Steve was 13 years old.
I know it was time. I know Steve’s good days were over and that he was in pain. But tonight, I can’t help but question my decision. I hope that Steve knows why. I hope that eventually I can accept my decision too.
Good night Stevil Knievil. Know that I loved you. A lot. You were the G.O.A.T. Sleep tight, big guy. You are missed.