|HOW IT ALL BEGAN.....
Our little family of 3 humans (Mike, Ann & daughter, Bethany), 2 dogs (JJ and Cassie), 3 cats (Sara, now deceased, KoKo & Tigger), and 3 guinea pigs (Ginger, Snaps & Mocha - all deceased now) had been living in Tigard, Oregon. In 1999 we realized we were tired of the Portland traffic and crime, so we got on line and started searching for homes on acreage. We kept enlarging our search area in order to find a home we could stand to live in for a price we could afford, with enough land to have maybe a pony or a couple of pygmy goats. In 2000, our search landed us in the mountains outside of Dallas, Oregon, on a 5 acre parcel with a somewhat livable house and a ramshackle barn, which was completely covered in blackberry vines.
Upon the occasion of our moving into our new digs, (our 21st wedding anniversary) our realtor presented us with our "house-warming gift" - 2 unregistered grey agouti pygmy goat wethers. We named them Laurel & Hardy. They were truly comedians, as well as magicians. There didn’t seem to be a fence that could hold them. We frequently found them standing on the porch, waiting for someone to play with them. Wanting to understand these strange little creatures, we decided to sign Bethany up for 4-H, figuring that would be a good place to gain knowledge, as well as a way to make new friends for our freshly up-rooted only child. It took from August until January of 2001 for the 4-H Extension Office to get our request to join a club into the hands of the Polk County Pygmy Goat 4-H leader, Kay Dixon. The first club event was Pygmy Goat Education Day, hosted by the Willamette Pygmy Goat Club. It promised to be a day full of fun, education, and best of all, GOATS!! After spending the day learning about how to feed our goats, how to groom them for show, and how to assist them in kidding, Bethany asked the question that started it all...”Do you think we could get a girl pygmy goat and have babies?” We purchased our first registered doe, Phileo Farms Novelty on March 19, 2001. She was soon joined by Phileo Farms Promise on May 23, 2001 (Bethany’s 11th birthday). Bethany chose a herd name (Perfect Love), we joined the National Pygmy goat Association, and our journey began.....
At Bethany’s first County Fair, she saw a beautiful milk chocolate pygmy goat in a pen and insisted she MUST have that color in her little herd. We were told that this was a brown agouti, and to contact Diane Wymore of Twin Arrow Pygmy Goats - she sometimes got brown agouti babies and was happy to find homes for them. We e-mailed Diane, told her about ourselves, and asked if we could be put on a list for one of these beautiful creatures. She told us that she would let us know the next time she had a brown doe born at her house. We also asked her if she knew anyone who might have a caramel buck for sale, as we didn’t enjoy having our does go away for breeding. She referred us to Larry & Betty Propeck, we purchased Drift Creek Paul, and gained dear friends in the process.
On March 10, 2002, we received an e-mail from Diane announcing that her Twin Arrow Nina had kidded. Our brown agouti doe had arrived!! Diane agreed to let Bethany choose a name (Twin Arrow Rhapsody), and we visited her frequently until she was ready to join us at home. We brought her mother home, too.
About the time of Rhapsody‘s birth, our first home-grown babies arrived. It was St. Patrick’s Day, 2002. There was a foot of snow on the ground, and it was a problem delivery. Kay Dixon drove to our house, trudged through the snow and safely delivered 2 Perfect Love babies - Rileigh & Replica. We were HOOKED!! We have called upon Kay more than a few times when kidding problems have cropped up, and we have her to thank for several babies who would not have survived had she not been available to help us! She is a gifted goat mid-wife and a treasured friend. We rarely need her for kidding problems anymore because we have retired all of our "problem kidders", and because Bethany has become a competent goat mid-wife, but she will always be an important part of our lives.
We decided that we wanted to try showing in Open Class, and entered Paul at Stinko de Mayo 2002. He won Junior Champion in the first show, and Reserve Junior Champion in the second show. What a THRILL!! On that same day, Betty told us that she had a 5 day old black buckling that she thought was an absolute knock-out, and we purchased Drift Creek Rob Roy. She was right - he IS a knock-out, and he has produced a very nice crop of babies for us in the past 5 years - including our PGCH Perfect Love Spartacus!! Sadly, Rob passed away in June, 2007.
Our first open class show experience left us hungry for more. Both Diane and Betty encouraged us to enter more of the local shows, and Diane spent an awful lot of time and effort teaching us how to show, what to take to shows, how to fill out entries...you know, all of the stuff that new people mess up when they are starting out. Another treasured friend!
In 2004, Bethany announced that her old herd name sounded like something a little kid would pick (hmmm, would that have been the 9 year-old Bethany perhaps??), and wanted to change to something African. After much deliberation, she decided on KIMANI CAPRINE. "Kimani" is a Swahili word meaning "sweet and beautiful". Sounds like pygmy goats to me!!
Also in 2004, Bethany purchased her first llama. From there, our llama herd has grown to include 4 geldings, and 2 breedable females. Bethany works hard training her llamas, and will be showing them at ALSA shows in the coming years. FUN!!
Bethany has graduated from High School (a year early) and will be starting to take some classes at Chemeketa CC. She is volunteering at the Dallas Public Library in her spare time (between llama training sessions).