Making a run for it


It wasn't until I saw the third shattered door that I figured out that Billy had been charging homes.

You would think that we would all know better than to build a veterinary clinic for large animals in town. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but I know we do it too often in Texas. Every small to mid-sized town has at least one veterinary clinic within town limits and not completely surrounded by a fence. This, of course, means that there will be escapees, and they always seem to head for the biggest, busiest highway in the county unless they opt for a residential district.

I have worked as a veterinarian in two small towns in Texas, and both clinics were in town. What animal do you think would cause the most damage when cut loose on innocent residents or rural America? Maybe a bull, a mean horse, a wild cow or perhaps a goat? I have had all of these critters loose at some time or another, and I can tell you: The goat might be the worst.

The little Billy goat escaped first from the owner and then from me. He was quick, smart and determined to avoid his castration. The clinic in Clarendon was on a major highway, and across this highway was an upscale residential district.

Billy managed to cross the highway without encountering an 18-wheeler, leaving him free to roam through some of the finer homes that Clarendon has to offer. I was hot on his heels, but I had to pause at the highway to let a few cars pass. This gave him just enough of a head start to evade me on foot, so I decided to go back for the pickup truck.

My last glance was of him turning right onto "Ritz Avenue." I figured he would go a while before he stopped to graze on some Bermuda grass.

Billy was mangy, weighed about 65 pounds — probably 25 of those pounds were horns — had a bad attitude and was accustomed to running with about 40 nannies. It never occurred to me that Billy might be battling other goats for the right to pass his genes on with those nannies, but I later concluded he had been. How?

As I drove down "Ritz Avenue", the goat was nowhere to be seen, but I knew that he had been there. About every second or third house on the street donned a glass front door. Every time Billy went by a glass door, he saw another 65-pound beast that looked just like him. Apparently, not even a veterinarian in hot pursuit of his gonads could dissuade Billy from demonstrating his dominance over his reflection.

It wasn't until I saw the third shattered door that I figured out that Billy had been charging homes. About that time, I heard the fourth one shatter and saw him leaving the crime scene with glass still dripping off his head.

By now, many of the neighbors had come out to see what all of the commotion was about. One by one, they joined in the chase until we had a posse of "Ritz Avenue" residents tracking down a rogue goat.

Only four doors were lost that day (thank goodness), but it could have been worse. To think, I was worried about him tromping through yards and eating a flowerbed or two.

Bo Brock DVM, owns the Brock Veterinary Clinic in Lamesa, Texas.

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