We've taken a step back from buying a goat. As I said in the final line of my last post, I was feeling like this goat was taking over my life, and I wasn't liking that feeling. We were talking to a goat farmer who mentioned that we should register any goat we bought in my daughter's name, because she would be showing it in 4H. Later my daughter took me aside and asked quietly if having her name on the goat meant that she had to take care of it. It gave me pause. She clearly does not understand the meaning of showing animals through 4H and everything that entails, because, yes, she would need to care for the goat.
I realized that my daughter wants to be the goat's "auntie", not "mommy". She wants to play with it, brush it, shave it and trim nails (if she feels inclined that day) and then leave it with someone else to clean the barn, nurse it when it is sick, and to do the drudge work of feeding and watering it every day. If we boarded it most of that would be taken care of, but the farmer did note that most people end up taking the goat home, because they get tired of driving back and forth all of the time. I knew that I would end up the primary caretaker, even if my daughter did do much of the physical care, it was going to be up to me to provide the necessary nagging to insure that it actually happened. Goats can live 14 years, my daughter will probably be home for seven more and then be sent off to college. In order for goats to give milk they have to have babies pretty regularly, I could see the future, the passionate pleas to keep the cute little babies, and me left with a full herd to care for.
I spoke with the farmer and let her know that I needed more time to think about it and that I didn't think that we were ready to make the jump. She suggested that we lease a goat instead, we can legally drink milk from a goat we are leasing. I haven't seen any paperwork yet, but it sounds interesting.
As I said before, all this for pudding!