A sad start to our day
One of the pleasurable side benefits of our chosen anchoring spot in Mt. Hartman Bay has been regularly watching three little goats nimbly working their way around the steep cliffside, just off our bow. While the goats aren’t present every day, they visit frequently enough to seem like residents of the area, and many of the cruisers have been known to stop and take photographs of them.
Yesterday morning began like any other day, both for us and our four-legged neighbors. They were no doubt having a bit of breakfast themselves at the same time that Rebecca placed our bacon and eggs on the table. We had only had the opportunity to take one small bite though when we were interrupted by a horrific scream from the shoreline.
Startled by the sudden noise, Rebecca, Diane and I all looked up to see two of the goats scrambling up the cliffside, and what appeared to be something white in the water. Our assumption was that one of the goats had fallen into the water and was in trouble, so as the screaming continued, we, as quickly as possible, dropped our dinghy down from the davits, and set off to lend a hand. As we approached though, we could see that our initial assumption was not at all correct.
As Rebecca and I worked our dinghy closer to the rocky and shallow shoreline, we saw that one of the goats had not simply fallen into the water; it was instead being viciously attacked by two feral dogs. We started screaming at the mutts, trying to get them to stop, but they continued on with their assault. It wasn’t until I grabbed one of the paddles from the dinghy and started moving towards them that they took flight. Once the dogs left, the little goat, by then bleeding badly from the face and neck, stopped struggling, and lay quietly bleating in the water.
Not knowing exactly what to do, I picked up the goat, placed her in the dinghy, and we ferried her to shore. As I sat with the injured goat with my shirt wrapped around her neck to help stem the bleeding, Rebecca went off to find a phone in order to rally help. When one of the cruisers came across us, she volunteered to call the GSPCA to see if they could help. She was told that even though they didn’t normally deal with goats, if we could get her to them, they’d have a look. Once again, having our friends‘ vehicle paid off. This time, instead of a tour bus, it was now going to be an ambulance!
Rebecca held the little goat on her lap as we made our way through the busy morning traffic. As much of the bleeding appeared to have stopped, I had hopes that the goat would recover. Sadly though, after examining the poor creature, the doctor explained that the injuries were in fact quite severe, and that the goat was very much in shock. She advised that, given the circumstances, the humane thing to do was to put the young goat to sleep, and as she administered the appropriate drugs, we all remained close as she took her final breaths. As you can imagine, it was a sad start to our day!
Huge thanks to the caring and patient doctors and staff of the GSPCA. Your help was very much appreciated!