A lot of people walk their dogs. They take their furry friends outside, walking along the sidewalk or possibly running around in the park, chatting with fellow dog walkers about the trendiest new dog treats and the latest news in the dog-walking world. Then, at the end of the walk, they mosey on home with their Fido’s and their Buddy’s and their Bella’s and their other generically-named dogs.
You know what a lot of people don’t walk? Their goats.
It’s a travesty, really. So many goat owners, yet so little goat walkers. How often have you passed by someone walking their goat? Probably never. And there’s a simple answer for that, which you’re sure to think of right away: People don’t think they need to walk their goat. They think it’s just fine to leave their goat in the backyard, munching on green grass and frolicking around and doing stuff that goats do.
Not okay. Would you just leave your dog in the backyard and never take it on a walk? Don’t think so.
You probably already know this, but just in case you don’t, it’s important to remember that walking your goat isn’t like walking your dog. You’ve got to follow a few important steps.
Firstly, you want to grab your goat’s leash. Preferably, its collar is already on, but if it’s your first time walking your goat (which it most likely is, if you’re reading this) grab the collar too. If you’re even more unprepared than that, you need to go buy a leash and a collar for your goat.
IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THE COLLAR AND LEASH MATCH.
Matching the leash and the collar is vital. You walk down the street with your goat and its matching apparel, you’re golden. You walk down the street with your goat and its orange, polka-dotted leash and its green, zebra-print collar and people are gonna think you have no clue what you’re doing. They’ll judge you. You don’t want them to judge you. You want them to think you’re stylish. Matching your goat’s apparel is stylish, and stylish is good.
Once you’ve got your MATCHING leash and collar, head out to see your goat. It’ll probably be grazing out in the backyard, because, before now, you’ve been a terrible goat owner, not taking it on walks and stuff. But now you’re fixing that, so kudos to you. As soon as you close the back door, it’ll notice you. It’ll look up with its marble eyes, and, if it likes you, it’ll come right up to you, easy-peasy. All you have to do is latch on the leash (because since it likes you, you’ve probably already given it its collar) with your dominant hand and pet it between its horns with your other, not-as-cool, hand.
If your goat is still warming up to you, you might need to give it some incentives. Food always seems to work. Goats will literally eat anything, but try to stick to its favorites: carrots, apples, alfalfa, cheese puffs. When you’ve got your food, crouch down to be at your goat’s eye level and stretch out your hand, in which should be the food. It’ll come up to you, don’t worry. As it starts to munch, bring in your arm until your goat is right up next you, so close you can feel its warm breaths puffing out its nostril slits. (Okay, maybe not that close.) Once it’s close enough, reach out with the hand the food isn’t in, loop on the collar and/or latch on the leash. Your goat might recoil a bit in surprise, but that’s okay. Make sure to let it finish its treat.
If your goat does not like you, going for a walk might not be the best option right now. Instead, maybe try consulting your local veterinarian or going to a few sessions of couple’s therapy.
Awesome, now you’ve got your goat all leashed up and you’re ready to take on the world. Take it through the front gate—or through your house, whichever is easier—to get to the front yard. Be gentle with your goat as you make your way to the sidewalk, since it will most likely want a taste of your scrumptious-looking front lawn. If you’re a progressive type, let it take a few bites. If not, lightly tug on the leash to guide it down to the sidewalk.
Once you’ve made it to the sidewalk, it’s like walking a dog—a very distracted dog. Maybe more like walking a cat or a rabbit, or maybe a mix between the two. No, it’s like walking a GOAT. Because it is a goat.
Anyway, just walk the goat down the sidewalk, making sure to keep it on the path. It will want to stray and sample the lawns at each house you pass. If the lawn is a weird shade of radioactive green, don’t let your goat eat it. It’s probably filled with gross, chemical, non-natural fertilizer. Goats will eat anything, but they shouldn’t eat that. If the grass is a light green, a green that looks natural and springy and yummy, let your goat munch—as long as your neighbors aren’t watching. You don’t want them to catch your goat eating their grass. That’ll make things awkward at your next block-party blowout.
As you continue on your walk, you might chance upon a fellow walker. Most likely, they’ll be walking one of those boring dogs, and you can just politely nod and smile and think to yourself how mediocre their life must be, subtly bragging to them about how cool you are for walking your goat, but on the off chance they’ve decided to take out their goat for a stroll through the neighborhood, strike up a conversation. The goats will want to become friends, joyfully bleating and playing “Head-butt” while fluttering their cute little tails. Hold onto the leash a bit tighter while the goats are playing, because they can get prettttty rowdy.
After finishing your conversation with the fellow goat-walker, say goodbye and finish your walk. Ideally, your walk should be about a mile in length. Any more and your goat will get tired and cranky and might try to chew through the leash. Any less and your goat will be antsy when you get back home, wanting to go back on another walk, which you won’t want to do because you just went on one.
Now, something important you should keep in mind. This may not happen on every walk, but it WILL happen eventually, and when it does, it will be toward the end of one of your trips. You goat may have to ~unload~ itself (make poops). You can’t pick up these poops like you can when dogs do it, because they’re actually pellets, little tiny marbles that are almost impossible to clean up. When it does come time to unload, your goat shouldn’t poop on the sidewalk or in the road, because then the pellets will dry and stick to the pavement and that’s just not a good time. If the goat unloads itself over grass or dirt, eventually it will rain or the sprinklers will come on and dissolve the poops. Then you won’t have to worry about it.
So after you’re goat has sampled all of the grass in the neighborhood, and after your goat has made a goat friend, and after your goat has ~unloaded~ itself, then it’s finally time to head home. You’ll walk back through the gate—and make sure to lock it once you’re through—and lead your goat back into the backyard. You’ll unlatch the leash and then you want to make sure you give your goat a treat. Some positive reinforcement, you know? Grab an apple from the kitchen and head back out to your goat. Kneel down beside it with the apple out in front of you. It’ll chomp down on it because it’s worked up an appetite after that walk. Also, if you want to give your goat an extra warm fuzzy feeling in its heart, reach out with your other hand and give it a nice pet. This will vary by the goat, but the best spots to pet your goat will probably be between the horns, under its chin, or along its back. Your goat will feel extra special after that.
So once your goat has finished its apple and you’ve finished petting it, it’s time to go back inside. The next day, you’ll go out for another walk with your goat, and soon, you and your goat will be the Talk Of The Town. Have you ever heard of a dog-walker being that?