Raising Amadeus

By Terri Smith –

Amadeus’ sixth birthday was the 23rd of April. This also happens to be Shakespeare’s birthday, and I can’t believe it took me six years to realize that my favourite goat and my favourite author have the same birthday! Interestingly, we named all our baby goats except Amadeus after characters from Shakespeare. I really should have named him “Hamlet.” Since birth he has been constantly debating whether he wants “to be or not to be…”

Amadeus resting and eating after a birthday trip to the clinic. Photo: Lea Dumont

We celebrated Amadeus’ birthday with a trip to the vet. I have been writing about my struggle to rid Amadeus of his possible mite problem for an embarrassingly long time now. I finally decided Ivomec was worth the risk and I visited one of the local clinics. I hadn’t realized that Ivomec is not a simple, over-the-counter drug anymore. I won’t bother describing my experience, but I left feeling drained and stupid. I also learned that there are two types of mites that must be reported, and if they couldn’t be cleared up euthanasia would be required. Amadeus had an appointment for the following Tuesday, April 24 and I couldn’t help but remember that Shakespeare was supposed to have died on or around his own birthday and I hoped that Amadeus might stop having so much in common with the bard.

The next morning, I did what I always do when something is wrong with Amadeus: I called my mom. Mom understands. Her immediate response was, “Why don’t we call Doug?” Dr. Doug Magnowski has been our family’s vet for years and has been Amadeus’ doctor from the beginning. We trust him, and he knows Amadeus. We made an appointment in Williams Lake for the same Tuesday and I cancelled his appointment here.

Dr. Magnowski’s reassuring manner and the trust we have in him made me feel immediately at ease and I was happy I had chosen to take Amadeus for the two-hour drive to see him. We all laughed that any vet who sees Amadeus better do a great job or everyone will be reading about it in my next article. As always, I have only good things to say about our visit to Dr. Magnowski. He’s kind of my hero, really! After doing a skin scraping, we were all surprised that he found no evidence of mites. We are still waiting on the results of a few tests, but it’s quite likely that the problem is a type of invisible louse, which can be treated with regular delousing powder—still a chemical solution, but one that I know Amadeus can handle because I’ve used it on him before.

“Invisible lice?” Mark asked with a laugh when I got home. “And did he sell you some imaginary powder to treat him with?” Despite his teasing, I could see that Mark was relieved too, for my sake. Yesterday I gave Amadeus his second round of what we’ve started referring to as “the imaginary powder,” and it seems to be working.

So, all’s well that ends well, and in case you were wondering, yes, I do realize that this comedy of errors, is really all just much ado about nothing.

Terri Smith is a non-certified organic vegetable farmer in the Cariboo. She is passionate about writing, art, goats, and feeding good food to good people. She believes in following your heart, living your dreams, and taking care of the planet.

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