January 8, 2013

One Year Ago

One year ago today I lost my goats.

I'm still dealing with the fire, with the loss of the goats all in one feel swoop. Even though I've started over with a herd of four kids - now almost yearlings - I still miss my girls. There's a lot of guilt involved as well as sorrow.

According to the fire chief, it was an electrical fire that began near the panel. We don't know if it was just a random thing, or if one of the goats chewed through a wire or set off a spark in some other way. "After all," everyone says to me, "they were goats."


became this...

The original barn-raising post is here, built in April 2010.

I am so indebted to Cheryl, who brought her menfolk over to bury the goats for me while she took me on a walk, so that I could remember them as they were and not see the reality of what had happened.

Some of my 4H kids came with their parents that next weekend to help tear down the wreckage. Thank you, Mindy & Nathanual, Destiny, Morgan, Karen, Hannah, and also Chrissy and her teen helpers. I hate to admit that the twisted metal is all still piled up where we left it that day. Hopefully I'll get it cleaned up when the weather is warmer. It's time. I'm ready.

Thank you also to those who helped replace the hay and feed that burned. You know who you are, and I appreciate each of you.

Thank you to our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter who surprised us by flying in for a visit to help us do whatever needed to be done. With their help, we finished fencing in the hayfield so that the horses could graze, lessening the need for hay, but the true value of that visit was to take my mind off what had happened and help me establish a new routine that didn't include milking.

Several months ago I posted photos of the goats as a static page, Never Forgotten. It was hard to look through my files to find the photos, but it was a necessary challenge that helped me along the road of healing.

And thank you to all of you readers as well. Some have joined us here since that time, others found this blog because of that tragic day, and still others have been here from the beginning. Your support and prayers and comments helped me through that time, and I am thankful to all of you for being here.


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  1. A perfect new year post. A fresh start and new beginnings with your new goat friends.

  2. Melissa Hackett12:36 PM

    I'm so very sorry to read about the tragic loss of your beloved goats! I can truly empathize with how devastating & heartbreaking this must be. I become so upset whenever we lose any farm animals, especially when our human error is the cause. I'm learning to cope with the loss better but the overwhelming guilt still lingers. We have lost baby chicks to drowning & too many birds to predators. The drowning chicks were due to my family's lack of knowledge & me not double checking. We recently discovered that our own newest dog is a bird killer. She is a Pitt Bull cross shelter dog & our 6 year old son's dog. We have come to the painful decision that we must re-home her. I agonize over the deaths of too many free range birds. She is currently penned up outside when we are not home. We lost two baby kids when my gelding accidentally pawed them to death because the doe was in with the horses. We thought she was pregnant but were unsure. I told my husband to build a separate area for her but he didn't. We both suffered through those losses. We recently brought home two piglets for the first time. We lost one because of malnutrition. They were browsing on dry land pasture but slowing starving to death. We didn't fully understand their protein needs. We were able to save the other one & she's now a healthy fat little piglet. I hold myself & my family to extremely high animal care standards. I'm always proactively problem solving as much as possible to keep all of them as healthy & safe as possible. I'm painfully learning there is only so much that I can do. I'm training myself to let go & let God. I will always battle those "what if" thoughts because that is just who I am. Prayers & thoughts for you as you also battle yours.

    1. Thank you, Melissa. It's been almost five years since the fire now. You're right about the guilt, the feeling stays with you every time you lose an animal. I hope I never get to the point that losing one doesn't bother me though. They are all loved and appreciated and are well-cared-for while they're here. That's all that's in my power to do; their time on this earth is in God's hands.

      I'm sorry that you've lost several too, and especially sorry that you are having to rehome your son's dog. That's a very hard decision.

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