19th December 2005
Now this is one mighty smart goat. Sent to market in December of 2005 by her one time owner as her commercial usefulness was up, Gladys Goat’s future was grim. Her bedraggled coat, pitifully thin body, few teeth and over grown hooves made her a most unappealing buy. Despite her forlorn appearance Gladys had an air of dignity about her that commanded attention. Every time the group from Edgar’s Mission walked near the goat pens at the market that day dear old Gladys made her way over and proudly stood by them, we were sure if you listened closely you could have heard her proudly announce “I’m with them”.
We are pleased to say that with a good dose of TLC (tender loving care) Gladys improved markedly and now admirably assists in giving guided tours of the mission, touching one and all with her gentle and wise nature.
Although goats are not as populous as other animals in Australia there are about 700 million worldwide. Their ability to survive on plant species that no other animal would touch has seen them populate just about every corner of the globe. Gladys has her origins in the Toggenburg breed of goat, these robust goats originated in Switzerland, taking their name from the district of Obertoggenburg. Toggenburgs, known for their persistent milk production did not make their way to Australia until 1947 via Great Britain.
Goats are extremely curious and have little fear of man, often actively seeking out human company. They were the second animal to be domesticated after the dog sometime between 7000 and 8000 BC. If we had to pick a single word to describe goats it would be “noble” and if we were to judge all goats by Gladys they would be in the order of Mother Theresa, however if we were to judge them by Rusty they would be Attila the Hun! A testament to the individuality of these remarkable animals.