View Full Version : End of an era--both the Olivers are gone

Mar. 9, 2012, 08:01 PM
For those of you who have followed my Oliver goat threads, you probably know the first Oliver (Little Ollie) died of natural causes some time back. Well, I had to shoot Big Oliver today. I came back from a trip to town and found him halfway through the fence. It was no climb wire mesh attached to horse panels, so pretty safe. He found a spot where he could just barely squeeze through. Well, not just barely--he got his shoulders through but when I came home he was halfway through and screaming. I got him all the way out with much difficulty (had to cut the fence around him) and gave him some Banamine but it was clear he'd broken his back. He couldn't move his hind end at all. He was into the horse pasture so I'm not sure if he did it to himself or if a horse kicked him or something, but it doesn't matter. I called my vet but he agreed that he'd just be able to euthanize Big Ollie, and he was an hour out.

I'm glad I know how to use a gun and have one, because I was able to end his life quickly and painlessly. He's the first animal I've ever shot (well, I shot a dog who was attacking my stock awhile back but that was a little different)--I'm a vegetarian and pacifist, I just keep a gun because I like target shooting and I think it is important to have for exactly these situations. I'm so glad I was able to end it for him and not make him suffer for an hour or more until my vet arrived, but it is still painful. I didn't really know how to shoot him and my quick internet search didn't turn up any emergency goat gunshot guidelines like there are for horses, so I just shot him through the eye. It was traumatic because the eyes are always my favorite goat features, but he died instantaneously. I know he did not suffer. I pet him and held him for a few minutes first to soothe him, so he was laying quietly instead of struggling to get up. Then I stood and shot him in just one movement, I don't think he even had time to process that I wasn't holding him anymore.

I still have Lucky and Pumbaa and am planning to continue my goat-keeping experiment. I love the little things. I just thought I'd share since I know some COTHers have been following our story and also just to talk to folks who understand.

This is especially hard on me because I have an appointment to euthanize my elderly horse who has had cancer (melanoma; he's a gray) for some time. That appointment is next week. And I just lost another elderly horse on Christmas. It just feels like I'm losing all my animals at once. These critters are my family and it's really hitting me hard.

Mar. 9, 2012, 08:04 PM
Oh, Cos I am really so sorry. Hugs.

Mar. 9, 2012, 08:09 PM
I am so sorry for what happened and what is about to happen. My thoughts are with you.
I guess you never got the other pair of goats?

Mar. 9, 2012, 08:17 PM
Somermist--thanks. I know you've paid a lot of attention to both my goat and Hector threads and I really appreciate it.

FalseImpression--thanks. As for the other pair of goats, I think you mean the ones that were a few hours from me? Luck and Pumbaa were the pair I got after Little Ollie's passing, and there were another pair about 3 hours away who I was planning on picking up. However, we postponed me picking them up until I was working in the area next (which happens about every 6 weeks) and in the meantime she found another home for them, so I did not wind up getting them.

We cured Lucky's mastitis (that was what it was, for anyone who remembers that thread) and she may be pregnant with Big Ollie's kid. I really hope so, I have to admit. I'd love a baby from the two. Big Ollie always was my favorite goat.

edit: just for clarity, Lucky's pregnancy would be before Big Ollie was castrated but after they were separated. I am going to be taking her in next week for a pregnancy check. I think it's just wishful thinking on my part since the preg check when her mastitis was diagnosed was negative, but it is a remote possibility (VERY remote). Probably grasping at straws but you know...

Mar. 9, 2012, 10:50 PM
So sorry for your loss. I've read the other Ollie threads. This has to be the worst way to lose a beloved pet. Hope your luck gets better and you have new Ollie babies on the way.

Mar. 9, 2012, 11:22 PM
Well, I admire your strength and preparedness on having a way to quickly end a life in pain and the courage to do it. I know that your not focusing on that, but you deserve a lot of credit for that.
And I'm so sorry you lost a beautiful friend.

Mar. 10, 2012, 12:22 AM
Yes, that's the second pair I was thinking of.
How is your dog doing now as well? I hope you have made progress on that front as well. You deserve a break.

Mar. 10, 2012, 12:36 AM
We don't know what we can do until the moment presents itself.

I congratulate you on your strength and send you many hugs for your aching heart.
Godspeed Big Ollie. :sadsmile:

Mar. 10, 2012, 12:53 AM
Sorry you lost him and that you had to do it for him.
As Grandma used to say, those that have them will lose them.
Remember with fondness that you had him in your life.:cry:

Frank B
Mar. 10, 2012, 09:32 AM
Condolences for your loss, but you were there for Ollie to do what needed to be done. He was a very lucky goat to have had you. Take comfort that he's in a better place, frolicking in lush fields with high rocks to climb among.

Mar. 10, 2012, 01:54 PM
I'm so sorry.

Mar. 10, 2012, 04:58 PM
Thanks, guys. It was really difficult to shoot him but I think it was a lot easier than watching him suffer for an hour or so until the vet could get here. I don't really think Lucky is pregnant, probably wishful thinking on my part, but I'm already talking with Ollie's breeder to buy some kids from her in the future. Not right now because I'm moving, but eventually.

I was a little drunk when I posted last night because my ranch hand decided the best remedy was to give me shots of whiskey and I decided to go along with him. I'm amazed my post is as coherent as it is.

FalseImpression, Hector the dog is doing great. We did some major training with him and he's now to the point where he can be off-leash around the goats and is fine. I still don't let him be around them unsupervised and probably never will, but he's learned that goats are firmly in the "no chasing, even if it would be really really fun" category.

Mar. 11, 2012, 09:00 AM
Hugs from VA for all you have been through!

Mar. 11, 2012, 09:10 AM
CosMonster, you did the right thing. I hate reading these threads. Sorry for your loss.

Much better to end it sooner than later. I don't know if I would have been able to have done it, but I would have felt guilty about being a coward about it.

Mar. 11, 2012, 10:41 AM
God bless you for being so strong and being there for him. What a tough situation and you came through for him like a true friend. *hugs*

Mar. 11, 2012, 10:52 AM
So sorry for your recent experiences. I met some baby goats just before Christmas, and I've been sorely tempted ... But I'm afraid I'd have to do too much to make my fences goat-proof. Would love to have the help with pasture maintenance. But don't need more mouths to feed. But they are really cute. But they grow up into big goats. With interesting eyes. But I'd have to rearrange the barn to have a goat stall ...

Anyhow, hugs to you--

Mar. 11, 2012, 10:53 AM
Ah man, I loved reading your Ollie threads. I have a couple goats of my own and I know how much fun they can be trouble they can get into. I am so sorry you had to put Ollie down, but good on ya for not only being able to do the right thing, but having the tools to do it.

Good ranch hand for feeding you a shot or two. I think it was probably just what you needed. Take care and again, I am so very sorry about Ollie.

Mar. 11, 2012, 11:17 AM
Aw. So sorry for your loss. I gather you are moving soon, but when I lost an old dog recently, I just couldn't get past it, so I went to the shelter and saved a dog! I have lost three old guys in the last 8 months, so I was ready to start building my herd from the bottom up again.
I love reading the goat stories. They are so adorable.

Zu Zu
Mar. 11, 2012, 11:32 AM
Thoughts and prayers `

Mar. 13, 2012, 07:11 PM
Thanks everyone. :sadsmile: It has been hard. The incident happened just a few days after I found out that my rental (which I was supposed to buy, but my now-ex flaked out big time right as the sale was supposed to be finalized) was sold. I'd been paying the mortgage with my rent, just not able to come up with the deposit since said-ex also cleaned out our joint savings and the court battle promises to be long and delightful... :(

I really miss my Ollie and (please don't read on if you're squeamish) it keeps really bothering me the way it looked when I shot him. He was prone and I'd held him and quieted him for a few minutes so he was still, and I shot him through the eye because I was sure that would kill him quickly. It did, but the way it looked keeps coming back to me. His death was obviously immediate and I know it was the right thing, but damn...it just turned to liquid and then when I buried him his other eye was nicely closed but the one I'd shot through was just destroyed. I have a .357 revolver and I was using a .38 so there wasn't too much blood, just a bit from his mouth, but it's almost worse that way. I think a hole in his forehead would be easier than the open and missing eye.

I know I did the right thing but I really loved that little goat and to kill him so violently is hard. I even believe that gunshots are often more humane than chemical euthanasia (seen one of those go wrong and it was far worse, though at least it was an animal I didn't know) but it was not a good thing to do it myself. Good in that he didn't have to suffer longer, but so hard on me.

Mar. 13, 2012, 07:37 PM
Well, I admire your strength and preparedness on having a way to quickly end a life in pain and the courage to do it. I know that your not focusing on that, but you deserve a lot of credit for that.
And I'm so sorry you lost a beautiful friend.

Indeed. Your animals are very lucky to have you :) Just remember that bad things always happen in threes--you've definitely met your quota.

Mar. 13, 2012, 09:31 PM
Indeed. Your animals are very lucky to have you :) Just remember that bad things always happen in threes--you've definitely met your quota.

I hope so! I went almost 5 years owning 5 horses and between 2-4 dogs (4 currently, but the last two only showed up relatively recently) and not a single emergency vet bill or really any other emergency at all. I guess I'm catching up now but it has been really terrible. I had an elderly horse die on Christmas night (he was in his 20s and a rescue, but seemed totally healthy and in good condition so it was a surprise...spent Christmas with my family and woke up to a 7 AM call on the 26th telling me that Noah was just dead in the field), my heart horse was diagnosed with internal melanomas and is scheduled to be put down next week, Little Ollie died in November of unknown causes, Big Ollie now, I was looking forward to buying my dream farm with my ex in December but he just disappeared along with our savings and my reliable vehicle, and then the owners of the property graciously agreed to rent it to me rather than sell it until I could get a deposit together but then they got an offer on it (no blame on them, they're good friends but bought the property as an investment prior to the real estate crash and have been trying to unload it since, so they got a cash offer and can't refuse). Oh yeah and I live in the southwestern US and my hay prices have more than doubled (was paying $55 for a good quality half-ton bale in July, now am paying $180 for the same bale), and the guy I had contracted to supply me at the original price broke that by selling the hay out from under me (he did refund my deposit at least) so I'm paying premium prices...

I'm keeping my head above water but man, I'm just ready for this to pass. Seems like every time I get a little ahead something else happens. It's gotten to the point where things will be going well for a bit but I'm just waiting for the hammer to drop again. :(

Zu Zu is a big help. I do remember AO~Always Optimistic and believe it or not that always makes me smile. And I have so many blessings--4 wonderful dogs, 3 remaining wonderful horses, so many good friends, a loving family and the ability to support all these critters and have a pretty good standard of living...I try to remember that I am blessed, though it can be hard sometimes... ;)

Mar. 13, 2012, 09:47 PM
I hope this is not too insensitive, as I feel for you for your loss, being a goat lover myself.

Never shoot a goat in the forehead. Their skull is very thick (remember, they use it to bash on other goats.)

The best place is the back of the head, behind the horns and where the horns will be.

Here is a drawing illustrating this, for future reference and for reference to anyone else who comes across this information.


I am so sorry for your loss, again. We had a buck goat attacked viciously by dogs here. They tore out his throat and he was still living. We started to fight to keep him alive, but I soon realized he was suffering far too much and I had to put him down. It broke my heart!

Mar. 13, 2012, 09:58 PM
Not insensitive at all, Epona. In fact, I'm glad to have that link. I never really thought about it until I came home and found Big Ollie as he was, and my frantic searching only brought up chemical euthanasia topics--which I didn't feel was an option, since my vet was an hour or so away and I owned a gun. I just couldn't in good conscience let him suffer that long when I had the means to end it and he clearly could not recover.

I mentioned the forehead since that is what the AVMA and other authorities recommend as an emergency gunshot/captive bolt target for horses, which is my only point of reference. My only other idea was to target the heart, which I think is what hunters go for with deer and other large game, but I felt that was harder than a head shot. That was why I shot him in the eye, angling upwards slightly to ensure I destroyed the brain. As I said I have a .357 Smith&Wesson revolver and used a .38 long (probably would have used a .357 magnum round even though I know it would be overkill for a miniature goat, but rather too much than too little--I just didn't happen to have any on hand at the moment). I couldn't find better advice at that time and that was the only shot I felt sure would kill him. And it did--I was watching closely, and he stiffened for about half a second then went limp. It was so fast it was hard to even say the bullet did it, except that he was still struggling and crying beforehand. I'm so thankful for the quickness.

I do really appreciate you sharing that link. I live in rural NM and it is important to me that I know how to humanely euthanize any of my animals, because the best case scenario is that the vet is 30 minutes away and often it is more like 3-4 hours, if I can even get someone. I still have my Lucky and Pumbaa goats and plan to buy other goats from the Olivers' bloodlines once my personal life is settled again, so this is something I need to know. Thank you for posting.

Mar. 15, 2012, 01:06 PM
Dear CosMonster,
I just read of your experience, and I had to tell you that I admire you all-to- pieces. You were faced with an awful situation and you handled it yourself. You did what you had to do for your Oliver. I don't know if I could do that for one of my goat buddies. But I guess I would think of you and go ahead.
I would be proud to know you.
You have my respect and admiration.
Hang in there, Great things are coming your way.

Mar. 17, 2012, 12:48 PM
CosMonster, I'm so sorry -- anyone who follows you around here knows how dear your Ollies were to you. How brave and kind of you to be able to send your friend off without any more suffering. Sending hugs your way, and jingles for better things this year, too, friend. :)