We have been dreaming of getting a goat or two for a long time now. They are cute, they provide a natural weeding solution, and they could be a source for fresh, organic milk and cheese. However, there were always some other considerations - what if it's too much work? Where are we going to keep them? What if we want to get away for a weekend and there's no one to feed them? And on and on. Until finally my husband, finding two goats at a real bargain price, just went along and bought them (I don't recommend doing something like this, but that's how we started with chickens, too. Apparently we are motivated enough to build sheds, coops and pens only when we already have animals on our hands).
For a couple of days, we kept them tethered around the yard. Then we asked our neighbour, who also keeps goats, to provide shelter for them in his pen until we figure out the housing issue. He obligingly agreed, but the goats managed to find their way out and return to us. We were flattered by such a display of loyalty, but still brought them back to the pen, because we figured it would be better for them than to be kept on a leash all the time.
They escaped again - and went off into the valley below our house. I just saw two white spots vanishing in the distance, and desperately called my husband. Down in the valley, there's an Arab outpost and they were going right at it. I was sure that they will be caught, and then odds are we will never see them again. Still, my husband and several of his friends descended into the valley two days later and parleyed with the Arabs, who denied ever seeing any unknown goats in their vicinity. My husband surveyed their herd of goats, and ours definitely weren't there. He came home, defeated.
A day or two later, as he was driving through a larger Arab village not far from here, he spotted one of our goats. Upon a closer look, he was sure it was her - they didn't even bother taking off the leash. That village wasn't within goat walking distance, so the conclusion was that our goats were stolen and sold right away, to remove evidence. Naturally we were incensed, but there was little we could do - if someone already paid money for a goat, we could hardly come up to them and ask to give it back, especially considering the very insufficient knowledge of Hebrew on their part, and Arabic on ours, would make parleying exceedingly difficult.
I was very downcast. In the short time they were with us, I had so fallen in love with the goats. And then, my husband figured that a couple of shameless thieves in the valley below aren't supposed to hinder us from following our dream, and got two more goats. Both does presumably have been bred, but it's difficult to know yet if they are pregnant (if anyone knows fail-proof pregnancy signs in goats, I'm all ears!).
We are moving on... hoping all will work out this time.