Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gama Lloat

Hi!  I’m back!  Did you miss me?  I’ve missed you.  I feel like we need to go eat some chips and salsa and catch up.  We just have so much to catch up on.  But while I’m still muddling through the 1000+ photos I took on our vacation to Florida and Disney World and figuring out what to tell you about it, I think I’ll tell you about my Gama Lloat.

Gama Lloat.  It’s a thing.

Or I thought it might be.  

Over Memorial Day weekend, I noticed our fainting goat Oreo was getting a little pudgy, especially in the stomach area.  That part happens to the best of us sometimes but then I noticed that her “thingies” (that’s a very technical farm term for, well if I knew what the correct term was I’d use it, teats?  Udders?  You know THOSE things) were looking rather, umm, full.

On a farm animal that usually only means one thing.

Homegirl was KNOCKED UP.  

But wait.  That couldn’t be because we don’t have a male goat.  We don’t have a male sheep, Oreo’s best buddy is Pearl , who is a ewe.  Who ewe?  No ewe.  Who’s on 1st?  Sorry couldn’t resist.  Moral of the story Pearl is a GIRL SHEEP but yet all signs were pointing to a PREGGO goat. 

Wonders never cease around here.

The only male animal that has access to the  barnyard where Oreo lives is Boise the llama.  He’s a boy.  COULD IT BE?!?  Could Boise the llama have impregnated the goat?  It would’ve taken some acrobatics sure, given that there’s a considerable size/height difference between them.  But Boise was/is overly, ahem, “friendly” with people and other animals and can sometimes cross the fine line to inappropriate (just ask my father in law ;) )  but could that really have happened?  Call the Guiness Book of World Records we've got an entry on our hands. 

If I would’ve paid attention just a teensy bit more in Biology maybe I would’ve known the answer.  But I was kinda too busy making sure that a cute boy would be my lab partner to be bothered with such things as you know, actual biology.  

I mentioned it in passing to GI Joe that I thought Oreo was pregnant and the only sensible suspect was Boise the Llama.  I don’t think he took me seriously which I completely DO NOT understand.  I mean, c’mon, I’m all business all the time.  I think he shrugged the notion off and didn’t say much of anything.  Which to me meant, “COULD BE!”.      
So I tried googling “what happens when a llama and a goat mate?”  Fun fact:  Nothing good can come from googling such a thing.  Nothing I tell you.  In addition to being slightly traumatizing it was uninformative.  I could not find a definitive yes or no answer.

Then I did what most reasonable human beings do when google fails them when trying to find out if a llama and a goat can make a baby.  I called the vet.

Oh YES, I did. 

The same vet that laughed at how ridiculously tame my cow was when we took him in for his dehorning.  The same vet who was so caring and kind when he had to tell us there was nothing he could do for Wally Llama (RIP) except put him to sleep.  He’s an amazing vet, so calm, so kind, so nonjudgmental of my irrational relationships with my animals.  Who better to call?  And I figured he would know right?

So  I called the vet.  Here’s a transcript of that call.

*ring ring (that’s the phone ringing, me nervously waiting for someone to answer)
Perky Receptionist:  Hi, X County Veterinary Hospital, how can I help you?
Me:  Uh hi.  So I have kind of a ridiculous question but I can’t seem to find the answer but figured you guys would know.
PR:  I’m sure it’s not ridiculous we hear all kinds of things.
Me;  Well, my fainting goat has been getting very fat and round and her thingies are full.  She looks pregnant!
PR:  OK. 
Me:  But here’s the kicker, we don’t have any male goats.  The only male we have besides some roosters is a llama.  So my question is could our llama have impregnated our goat?  I realize it sounds insane but I’ve tried googling it and trust me that is frightening.  And she honestly looks pregnant it’s the only logical explanation!
PR, who starts laughing not meanly, just laughing because I was making fun of myself for having to call in and ask such a question:  I can only imagine what Google brought up. But you know, I don’t know.  Hold on I’ll go ask Dr. John.
*hold music, as I sit relieved that I am not even going to have to talk to the vet she’s going to ask for me, come back on the phone with an answer, and that’s it, I haven’t even had to give my name!
“Hi this is Dr. Jones, what can I help you with?”
Uhhhh what?  I thought she was just going to ask him NOT ACTUALLY PUT HIM ON THE PHONE.  Oh crap.  He’s going to think I’m an idiot, he’s totally blacklisting us from his practice. 
Me:  Uhh hi.  Oh sorry, so what do you think of my goat/llama situation?  The possible Gama Lloat?
Dr: What situation?  Gama what?
Me: Oh I explained it to the receptionist I thought she was going to ask you and then come back to tell me.  So long story short…my goat is acting/looking pregnant but there are no male goats.  Question is could my male llama have gotten my female goat pregnant resulting in a Gama Lloat?
Dr, in a very professional, posed voice, he didn’t even snicker!: No, that is not possible.  Chromosomes..blah blah blah blah….
He didn’t actually say blah blah blah but he gave me a pretty scientific and detailed reason why it was impossible.  Apparently goats and llamas have a different # of chromosomes thereby making it impossible for them to breed.  You probably knew that but I didn’t and like I always say I’m here to educate and inform.  Although I do have to say I did kinda wonder why if it were possible there weren’t more crossbred animals ex:  Dats (dog+cat), Heer (horse+deer), you get the picture.  Now I know and so do you!
Me: Then do you think something’s wrong with her?  Her tummy looks huge like she’s pregnant and her thingies, what do you call them?  Udders?  Teats?  You know those thingies?  They look really full.
Dr:  Is there anything in them?
Me:  Uhh I don’t know.
Dr:  Well, you’ll need to try and squeeze them to see if milk comes out.
Me:  OK, I can try that.
Then he went into this whole explanation of how there is a particular kind of weed that produces estrogen and if she had eaten too much of that her body would mimic being pregnant.  He also asked about the sheep/goat relationship and asked some very personal questions such as does the goat nurse off of the sheep.  The answer is no, that is not happening, they have a completely platonic relationship.  But all I could think about was "I have to violate my goat by squeezing her thingies that may or may not be full."   You can understand my distraction. 
The conversation continued on for awhile as he told me a couple other things it could be and then reminded me to squeeze her teats and report back if anything came out. 
And he was 100% serious, not even a giggle.  Where I on the other hand, had to take about 5 minutes after we hung up to get myself up off the floor from laughing so hard.  I realize I'm 34 now but the vet telling me to feel my goat up turned me right into a 7th grade boy.  I would be a terrible dairy farmer. 

Long story longer, I gave it a week or two, because this was something I had to work up to, you know.  And then I chased Oreo around the barnyard, trying to grab her teats.  I'll give you a minute to visualize this, yes it looked JUST LIKE THAT.  She's a fainting goat and fainting goats stiffen up their legs and sometimes fall over when they're frightened.  She was frightened by all the grabbing and such, understandably so, wouldn't you be if someone were chasing you trying to grab your...ANYWAY, she toppled over to one side which made my work easy.  I gave a squeeze, feeling very wrong and uncomfortable the whole time and to my relief, nothing came out.  Turns out our goat is just the Dolly Parton of goats.  You go girl. 

So unfortunately, there will not be a Gama Lloat at the Koons Zoo.  It was a humbling call to Guiness Book of World Records to call off the presses.  That's probably a good thing, I'm not sure if Oreo or Boise are ready for the fame.  The other good news is that I realized after recounting the phone call with GI Joe (who btw said he TOLD me that was impossible and could not believe i had called the vet to ask such a thing..in my defense, he did no such thing and instead just shrugged his shoulders which we all know means "COULD BE!") that I never did tell the vet who I was.  There's a small chance that he didn't figure it out either, small, but it's a thread of hope I'm hanging on to.  Although let's be honest my Gama Lloat and I have probably been part of their lunchtime talk ever since. 
Llama+goat=NOTHING.  Thus concludes your biology lesson for the day. 

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