Goat wrangler

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Kym Seabolt's goat
Submitted image from Kym Seabolt's surveillance camera.

We didn’t want to be the last family in America not capturing all kinds of footage of package deliveries and such from a “doorbell camera,” the cute little camera that monitors the porch and reports all kinds of fun activities like visitors, burglars, porch pirates who steal packages and the like. 

It seems like everyone else has had doorbell cameras for years now. We were still living like Luddites. If we wanted to know who was at our door, we, get this, walked over to the door and looked.

It was primitive but it worked.

GirlWonder and her Handsome Husband moved into a new place. After a series of frightening break-ins,  they added cameras all over the place. Their home is fortified like Fort Knox. When they started showing us how nifty their camera system was, I knew I wanted one too.

Plant watching

So we got a nice camera system. It was installed in minutes, and soon I had nice views of our porches and yard. Very exciting. For a week straight, “Motion Detected” would flash across my phone and the cameras would record movement every single time a breeze rustled the fern fronds on the porch in view of the camera.

If we are ever overtaken by potted plants, I feel very safe that I will see it coming.

Recently, I was snuggling in bed on the first cold morning of the season. I was enjoying the thought of sleeping in, maybe reading a book in bed. I do get wild on the weekends.

“Beep.” My phone alerted me that something had been detected on the back porch.  

Weird, I don’t even have any ferns out there?

“Beep. Beep.”

Now the camera was pretty serious. I clearly had a non-potted plant-related intrusion of some sort! I grabbed my phone to look further into this top-secret spy cam information.

Lo and behold I was treated to a view of our goat, Buttercream, strolling across the back deck — nary a care in the world. She even looked back toward the camera as if to say, “whatever.” 

The camera then captured me running around the backyard barefoot in just a T-shirt, shooing her — and her partner in crime, Gertie — back into the pasture. That is one for the family blooper reel.

Goat wrangler

As an amateur goat wrangler with years of experience in finding free-range goats on our porch, I feel it only right to offer up my primer on the care and keeping of flight-risk livestock.  

To whit: Plan to spend an inordinate amount of money on fencing in multiple acres. You want to be sure your animals have plenty of room to stretch out. They will not appreciate this one bit, but at least you can say you tried. As you are leading them back to the pasture, yet again, you can admonish them on how they don’t appreciate nice things.

Be sure to provide an ample supply of hay and grain, in addition to a seasonal variety of lush pasture grasses. This will ensure that your livestock will spend every waking hour scheming for a way to escape and eat your hosta and random shrubs instead. 

Apparently, expensive landscaping plants are considered a delicacy. I’m told they are absolutely delicious. Plastic bags that blow in are also quite tasty — with the added bonus of requiring a veterinarian visit.

These basic livestock care requirements do not even touch on the myriad ways livestock will spend trying to outsmart you. At least a good portion of the time they will succeed — or perhaps that’s just what happens when they live with me?

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