Uniqueness in New Hampshire: Meet Bill, Judy, and Their Goats

During the summertime, Dover has something called the Cochecho Arts Festival. They schedule a variety of events including free concerts. As someone who loves live music, I had to check it out firsthand. So, one Friday evening I walked into town where the pavilion is. As I was scanning the crowd, I spotted an unusual attendee – a goat wearing a Coca-Cola visor:

Izak

Unable to hold back my curiosity, I sauntered towards the goat and started chatting with the goat’s owners — Bill and Judy. They were both incredibly friendly and Bill introduced me to his pal in the red visor — Izak. Obviously, Izak and I couldn’t shake hands, so I gave him a gentle pat on the head. Judy and I caught up via email and she was gracious enough to answer a few questions I had:

I met Izak, but you showed me a picture of two smaller goats you have. Can you tell me a little about the goats?

Izak came from Jenness Farm in Nottingham 6 and 1/2 years ago, as a gift for Bill… At goat farms when the males are born they often can’t keep them; so many times they go out the door as pets. When we moved into our own home, I contacted a farm that has Nigerian Dwarf goats (a small breed), and that’s where Abner and Vosie came from. (Author’s note: below is a picture I took of a picture that Bill keeps in his wallet featuring Abner and Vosie).

Bill and little goats

Our first goat Binx lived in the house all his life because there was no other place for him to live on the property. When I brought home Izak, it just made sense to keep him in the house as well. Now that we have wildlife in the yard, and no barn, they all live in the living room. Most of the good weather days they are outside…but when it rains…they only go out for essentials (bathroom). You can teach them to walk on a leash, listen to commands, as well as a dog. Bill does volunteering so he will take any of the 3 with him.

So tell me about Izak’s visor collection…where does he get his wonderful accessories?

Izak’s visor collection actually started with Binx. I met a lady at a craft fair in Maine, who made dog visors, and she modified them for Binx. Bill has collected Izak’s visors from various sources, such as fairs and yard sales.

What inspired you to raise goats?

Both Bill and I are NH natives. Having goats started when I worked where Binx was born, and his goat mother didn’t want him for some reason, so I became his other mother from day one. He was a companion, as well as a pet, and went everywhere with me that he could legally go.

What advice do you have for individuals who might want to follow in your footsteps and raise goats (or other non-traditional pets)?

Anyone that we have influenced to consider getting goats, I start by advising them to check if they are allowed by local zoning, find a large animal vet (most cat/dog vets don’t do goats) AND realize no one will board them for you to travel…most people rethink it at this point. If they do go ahead, just be sure to discipline them and love them.

(Final author’s note: Many, many thanks to Bill and Judy for taking the time to speak with me… Bill & Judy: Your uniqueness is inspiring and meeting you both and Izak was definitely a highlight of my summer). 

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