One day as I was walking through my town, I noticed a guy coming toward me walking his dog. I peered ahead and tried to figure out what breed the dog was. He didn’t look like any dog I’d ever seen before. As they got closer, I realized he didn’t even look like a dog. He actually looked like … A goat.
“Mom, is that a goat?” asked my son.
“Looks like a goat to me,” I said.
“Is it a pet goat?” he wondered.
“Looks like a pet goat to me,” I said and then waited a moment for the inevitable.
“I want a pet goat,” he announced.
“Of course you do,” I responded.
Now where I live, people do not routinely walk goats down the street on a leash. Actually, where I live, people don’t routinely have goats at all. Since this is the suburbs, people are not allowed to keep livestock as pets, even ones that are as well-behaved as this one seemed to be. As the goat got closer, I could see he was wearing some kind of coat. It was a goat in a coat. What are the odds?
“Is that a coat on the goat?” asked my son.
“Looks like a coat on the goat to me,” I responded.
“Why is the goat wearing a coat?” he asked.
“Maybe he’s going out to eat and jackets are required,” I said.
When the man with the goat in the coat on the leash got near us, we could see that the coat had some writing on it.
“What’s the coat say?” asked my son.
I squinted. “Service Goat,” I read.
I roared with laughter. Apparently the goat was not a pet. He was some kind of working goat. At this point, the guy with the goat was close enough for us to talk to, so I waved at him to get his attention but he kept on walking. I suddenly realized he couldn’t see.
“Excuse me,” I said tapping him on the arm. “Can we ask you a question?”
“Sure,” he said smiling. I was pretty sure we were not the first people to stop and inquire about his goat in a coat.
“I see that your goat is a service goat. What does he do for you?”
“I’m legally blind,” said the guy with the goat in the coat. “He’s a Guide Goat.”
“Why didn’t you get a Seeing Eye Dog?” I wondered.
“I’m allergic to almost all dogs,” he said. “No problem with goats.”
“Why didn’t you get a Seeing Eye Horse or a Seeing Eye llama,” asked my son. He’d been bucking for a pet llama for years but I nixed the idea because llamas spit and also because we are not zoned for large, furry South American camels.
“Well there’s an advantage to having a goat,” explained the man with the goat in the coat. “There’s one less chore for me to do.”
“What’s that?” I wondered.
“I don’t have to take out the garbage.”
“Why not?” asked my son.
The man with the goat in the coat shrugged. “The goat eats it.”
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