OK, so I’m not a total newbie. I’ve had Poppy for a full year now and this goat is doing great—but she’s a Nubian-cross, not a full-blooded Nubian. This new girl’s all Nubie and ready to breed once she tops the ninety-pound mark.

Though goats are truly pets for me (in fact, I’ll probably never breed Poppy) I’ve always wanted to raise a milking herd. Tulip is my first foray into the milking biz I’ve always longed for.

Not that it’s business that drives me. It’s more the satisfaction that comes with raising an animal for food and companionship that really gets me—the efficiency of it all—not to mention the challenge of one day soon being accepted by my local cooperative as a viable trader, exchanging my own milk cheese and soap for others’ veggies, honey and eggs.

And how about all those extra herd health courses in vet school? I was always the only suburban girl there. It’s just another inexplicable interest for this Cuban-American princess dating back to my vegetarian “Diet for a Small Planet “ days. With Tulip, I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere.

Tulip came to me through a Nubian breeder who contacted me through the Nubian Talk group on Yahoo. One of you recommended this band of Nubian fans and I’ve never looked back. I’ve read its newsletters religiously and asked a whole lot of breeding and behavior questions along the way.

Finally, a doeling (baby girl goat) became available and I drove three hours cross-state today to pick her up.

She was residing at the Ft. Meyers, FL home of her breeder, away from the big gals where she could cavort with other age-appropriate younglings. The two others with her were equally friendly, jumping over every bit of backyard furniture and intermittently immersing their noses in the feed buckets at their disposal.

When I’d finally paid up and committed to memory all of the critical feeding, deworming and vaccination details, we were off—back to Miami in my goatmobile with a doeling bleating bloody murder at every bump, turn, acceleration and stoplight along the way.

Though I tried sitting her on my lap, at my feet, in the crate, in the cargo and on the backseat, the only time she was quiet was when the Jesus and Mary Chain CD finally got turned up loud enough to drown out her screams. I guess she gave up at that point (who wouldn’t?).

Arriving at home was yet another adventure. Poppy responded to Tulip’s presence with a case of “the zooms,” kicking up her heels, dancing on her hind legs and speeding across the backyard as fast as I’d ever seen her go. The terrified doeling cowered at my feet for the better part of ten minutes, looking for ways to avoid the occasional, curious Poppy nosings.

Four hours post-arrival I’m exhausted. Everyone’s made friends—including the dogs. And Tulip’s almost stopped bleating plaintively (and loudly!) from beyond the eight-foot fence of the nighttime pen she’ll share with “her sister.”

This is crazy, I can’t help thinking. I had no idea what I was getting myself into on this trans-Floridian drive and baby goat escapade. Though she’s the cutest creature imaginable—and so friendly!—the adjustment is clearly weighing on her…so the guilt consequently weighs upon me.

Poor Tulip! I feel like an inexperienced dog mom with a new pup howling in his crate. I need someone to tell me she’ll eventually stop crying…

Of course I know the answer…but still!