Caring for Others
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Caring for Others

My friends and family often laugh about some of the things that I do to relax.  Lately, I have been watching videos of goats giving birth!

Now I have never lived on a farm and don’t plan to start one but have become impressed with a woman named Crystal who, along with her husband raises their children as well as Nigerian Dairy Goats.  Now that’s what I call hard work!

The family has acquired a unique and extensive set of skills required to establish and grow their dairy and show business.  There seems to always be lots of physical work including construction of shelters, pens and a milking station.  Even moving the goats from one place to another is labour intensive.

Lots of information and planning is required before breeding can take place to ensure ideal outcomes.  Records need to be kept and, of course, there’s a website to maintain.  Their online “store” offers apparel and items for true fans to purchase.  Then there’s the milk which is used to make huge amounts of cheese and goat soap.  Through it all, there are weather conditions and the unexpected to overcome.

And then there are the shows. These involve travelling with the goats for competitions and social interaction with other breeders.  Such a busy enterprise!

What has fascinated me the most, however, is the way that Crystal handles spring kidding.  She often has several bred goats who are ready to go into labour all within days of each other.  Crystal enters the delivery pens and sits for hours, all the while comforting expectant mothers and ensuring that their medical and emotional needs are met.

Sometimes Crystal watches the birth with excitement and at other times she has to assist the mother or help the newborn kid to start breathing.  Worst case scenario is when she actually has to get inside the labouring goat (sometimes right up to the elbow)  to reposition a kid that is in breach or another difficult position.  This is physically and emotionally draining not only for the labouring goat but also for Crystal.

I had no idea that goats needed labour coaches who could be there for them.  Crystal is able to meet their needs because she knows each of the animals so well.  After all, she delivered most of them!

The online videos reveal Crystal’s passion, compassion and character. You frequently hear her give words of encouragement like “You’ve got this mama” or “Ok, push now” while stroking the animal to provide support and comfort.

As soon as a kid is born, Crystal works quickly to ensure that she can place it near the mother’s head.  This is when she offers congratulations and praise.   You hear her say “Look what you have done!” So inspiring! 

Once all the kids are born, Crystal just sits back and enjoys watching mother and babies become acquainted.  That’s when you hear her talk about the beautiful features of the newborns.  It’s obvious that she loves her job and her goats!

I have been touched by the kindness and expertise Crystal has provided for her animals.  Her videos have made me think about what a different world this would be if everyone treated people in the same manner as Crystal treats her goats.

Often I work with people who are having relationship difficulties and cringe when I hear them talk disrespectfully to the people they claim to love.  They are critical rather than encouraging, absent rather than present or selfish rather than giving.  Their words and actions don’t line up.

This week think about how you treat other people.  Are you like Crystal?  If not, perhaps that explains some of the difficulties you are having.

And just in case you want to do some “kidding around” why not check out “Blue Cactus Dairy Goats” which is the name of the family operation and the website. 

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