You heard right. I’ve been known to take in foster dogs aplenty, kittens in spades and the occasional wayward bird or snake. But this one’s extra-special. She’s a goat…really.

In case you think our traditional pets are the only ones at risk for abandonment, consider the case of my new foster goat: Found tied by a long, thin rope to the back of a trailered boat on our new tech’s semi-rural property, this fifty-pound nanny is now stationed in my wooded back yard.

She looks young and moderately well-kept (if a bit on the skinny side) and her ear tag’s intact but she’s definitely joined the ranks of the dispossessed with her sad tale of doe-woe: Who ties up a goat to a boat with a small-guage nylon tether on a hot afternoon with no water in sight?

Scared witless by our tech’s barking dogs (who’d probably never seen anything like her) and the truck drive that brought her over to my place, she’s still hiding in the dense overgrowth behind my home. In fact I’ve seen neither hide nor hair of her since she bounded off into the brush when she arrived.

A big bale of crunchy hay, an overflowing bucket of water and a judicious mix of goat chow (yes, made by Purina) and horsey sweet feed have yet to sally her forth. (And God knows I’m not going into the pica-pica zone to look for her until I have a proper pen for her. That is—unless I notice zero food and water intake over the next day or two.

You might think me a bit off for accepting this caprine challenge. It’s true that I have more unused land than anyone else I know (my house is very small and my lot is very big—not the Miami McMansion norm) and it’s true that I’ve always had a soft spot for the dog-like goat personality, but, as my mother says….a goat? You have got to be kidding!!

Well, no…not yet…wait ‘till I get my artificial insemination kit and a buck jar then we’ll see who’s “kidding.” (This refers to the process by which female goats create more goats and thereby ready themselves for milking.)

Actually, I suspect this doe is a meat breed, not a milker, but you wouldn’t know it by the look of her musculature. And I promise you that my first goat won’t ever end up on a table. Another? Perhaps. This one? Apart from being too old for curry, I can’t imagine taking the time, energy and affection required to fully emancipate and domesticate her just to eat her up.

But let me hold my horses for just a bit: She has an ear tag I’ve not fully investigated as a result of her fearful ways. It’s altogether possible she actually belongs to someone—someone who might not have wanted her tied to the back of a boat in the first place. In the meantime, though, I’ll be reading up on all my goat medicine--and doing my best to keep her cozy.

Oh—by the way, I’ve named her “Poppy” after Popiji, the genus of a small Everglades flower. Small, she’s not. But pretty? To me, she’s gorgeous!