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In Memoriam: Popeye

Updated: May 6

Our littlest goat, Popeye, passed away on Wednesday, April 23, after going down suddenly the day before. Our vet had the suspicion that it was polio or, more likely, listeriosis (they have similar symptoms and treatments). Unfortunately, he believed that it progressed too far for full recovery. But at our insistence, she was given an aggressive set of medication but she did seem like she was suffering.

Popeye joined the sanctuary back in October 2020 with her 9-month-old kids Pootie and Patty. And she and Patty came with a surprise: both delivered triplets a few months later!

Her previous owners ended up with Popeye wandering onto their property already pregnant with Patty and Pootie. They searched high and low for her owners, but to no avail. So they took her in and planned to love her and her babies. As happens, life changed and they could no longer keep the three goats, so we took them in.

We have no real idea how old Popeye was. When she came to us, it was estimated she was at least 3 years old, but that was just a guess. We know the last year or so, Popeye’s joints had been cracking more and she was slowing down. But she was still as spry and sassy as ever, preferring the company of the horses and her best friend Leia.

As anyone who knows what it’s like to be in the predicament of choosing to let a beloved animal go, we have to weigh the selfless and selfish options. We wanted to fight for our little mama, and we wanted to brave whatever we needed to in order to keep her alive and healthy. But what we want may not always be right. We can’t be selfish and prolong suffering.

Vanessa held her for several hours, pouring in every loving thought and memory she could. But with no progression towards any good news, we made the selfless choice to say goodbye to Popeye. Our eyes have been full of tears and this was an incredibly difficult decision. But for her sake we couldn’t let her suffer and let her cross the rainbow bridge.

It’ll be hard not to see those little legs of hers trotting at breakneck speed to get the best snacks. She was small but mighty, and her legacy lives on in the babies and grandbabies still in residence here.

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