If you ask Barbara, she will unequivocally say her favorite breed is the Saanen. For me, it would have to be Lamancha and Oberhasli. Lamanchas are by nature incredibly sweet & intelligent and the absolute cutest little babies. And yes, I’m biased as I think my Lamancha boys, Nicky & Nitro, are the most perfect little goats on the planet. But this past year through baby season and slaughterhouse rescues, it’s become clear, I have a real soft spot for Obers. I have always loved the Oberhasli breed. I’m drawn to their beauty, gentleness and calm demeanors. Obers hadn’t been all that common at the rescue. That is until Team Ober made its way to PSGR this past baby season. It started with two, our very first babies of the season, Remy & Bandito. I was instantly in love and so excited for baby Obers! Then there were 4 more a few weeks later. I took time off of work to be with them all day, every day while Barbara was out of town. Then there was Percy, my sweet, goofy little Percy who was like a little old man in a baby goat body. By the end of the season, 11 Ober kids had come through the rescue, via road trips in my Prius and I had a soft spot for each and every one.
This past slaughterhouse rescue I was instantly drawn to a number of Obers amongst the countless number of goats there that day. Winnie was the first. When I entered the pen a number of Obers were around a feeder trying to eat the little bit of hay placed out for them. I reached down and touched the smallest one who immediately turned around and stared at me with these big, bright eyes. A moment that I knew was going to change her life because I knew in an instant, she was being saved that day. Something about this young doe captivated me. She is such a little love; young and innocent and so, so sweet! A few times I’ve caught a glimpse of a sassier Winnie, pushing some of the other Obers around. She is half their size but that doesn’t stop her. However, the minute she sees me, she gives up whatever point she’s trying to make with them for pets and kisses.
As healthy and vibrant as Winnie was, Dante, a strikingly gorgeous Ober wether, was another story. He was clearly suffering from the stress and conditions of the slaughterhouse and was so very thin and weak. When we arrived back to PSGR from the slaughterhouse, he ate a few bites of hay, took a big drink of water and promptly laid down and went to sleep. A sleep that had me going over to check that he was still breathing every few minutes. Thankfully, he was. I sat down next to him and lifted his head up into my lap where we sat for a long time. The first few days we continued to be concerned about him and whether or not he could overcome everything he had been through. He received the necessary medical attention he needed, had an all you can eat buffet, and was segregated from the main quarantine herd with a friend so we could be sure he didn’t have to fight herd hierarchy for anything. We did all we could and we waited. Waited and hoped that all our efforts would be rewarded. And they were. Dante is steadily improving and gaining back his health and weight each and every day.
Dante now gets to share in the produce I always bring to the farm with me for Faye and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t often slip Winnie a handful of grain. These two hold a special place in my heart. I make sure that every time I go to the rescue I get some time with them. If Baby Goat Central was 10 acres instead of 2.5, I’d be pleading with Barbara to let me adopt them.
In just a few short months Team Ober 2.0 will start to make their way through PSGR and I can’t wait to have baby Obers descend on BGC. And when we make our next slaughterhouse rescue you can be sure I’ll have my eye out for Obers. So yes, it’s safe to say that I have a bit of an obsession with Obers. But don’t tell Nicky & Nitro, they are still number one in my book but maybe, just maybe, they’ll have a little Oberhasli sibling or two one day.