Senior goat celebrates wonderful new home

A very special senior goat animal, with special needs (she's got arthritis and is a picky eater), is adopted and now lives a charmed life.
By Christelle L. Del Prete

It's not every day that a senior goat gets adopted ― especially one who has special needs and is an extremely picky eater. But Holly got a new home just in time for her 16th birthday, which just happened to be on New Year’s Day. Now renamed Dolly, she’s living a charmed life on a farm not far from the Sanctuary.

Dolly had lived with her former people since she was a baby. She’d even been bottle-fed by them, but years later at age 15, she became the last surviving goat in her herd. All the others had passed away. Since Dolly had been surrounded by other goats since she was a baby, she wasn’t comfortable being alone. She was brought to Horse Haven at Best Friends for some barnyard companionship.

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Despite being a picky eater, Dolly the pygmy Angora goat is eating like a champ at her new home

Dolly’s special needs: Goat arthritis and a picky palate

With Dolly’s advanced age and special needs (arthritis and an incredibly picky palate), the Sanctuary might have become her permanent retirement home — especially since her caregivers knew she wouldn’t do well on a long drive to a new home. If she went to a forever home, it couldn’t be too far away. And it would have to be a home with people who knew how to care for goats and could provide her with a healthy goat diet.

Horse Haven caregiver Marti Stoffel says that Dolly would have been welcome to live out her days at the Sanctuary. After all, 16 is a great old age for a goat, and no one knew if the right adopters would come along for the sweet super senior. “She had a home here at Best Friends, and we all loved her like she was our own,” says Marti, who added that she always thought of Dolly as a “little baby in an old lady goat’s body.”   

But after eight months at the Sanctuary, the stars aligned for Dolly. Craig and Christina Karpinski, who were looking for a senior goat, seemed as perfect for Dolly as she was for them. “When I met Craig and Christina and they sent me pictures of their beautiful farm just an hour and a half from Best Friends,” says Marti, “I started to consider this as a real possibility for her.”

Dolly the pygmy Angora goat with Horse Haven caregiver Marti Stoffel

Senior goat settles in

Three days before her birthday, Dolly was on her way to her new home in the back of her caregiver’s vehicle. After arriving safely at the lovely little Karpinski farm, she began settling in nicely with the other contented pets ― chickens, bunnies, ducks, a dog and a cat and two goats ― all of whom would soon become her friends.

“We are so happy we adopted Dolly the senior Pygmy Angora goat,” says Christina. “She is so sweet and is doing wonderfully.”

Dolly is even eating like a champ. Craig and Christina make her a super senior breakfast and dinner (a mix of warm vegetables, salad greens, molasses, grain and Timothy pellets). Plus, she has Timothy hay, pellets, a salt and mineral block and fresh water in a heated bowl available at all times. “Her appetite has been healthy,” says Christina, “She always eats her breakfast and dinner like a good girl.”

Dolly the pygmy Angora goat with a resident chicken

A charmed life

It surely is a charmed life that Dolly lives these days. She has already bonded with her new family, and she gets excited when Christina comes outside and walks to the goat pen. She’s also quite smitten with Craig.

When she’s happy and getting lots of nice petting and brushing, Dolly’s little tail wags back and forth. Emma and Belle, her new goat sisters, have not only welcomed her to the herd, but at night they also sleep with her in the big heated goat house. And Dolly often gets to roam freely on the Karpinskis’ fenced-in full acre, where she enjoys fruit trees and a great view of a nearby mountain.

Dolly’s adoption may have been her best birthday present ever, but already, she is giving her new family so much in return. “Dolly is living the rest of her golden years happily-ever-after here on our homestead,” Christina says. “She's a great addition to our little farm family. We love her so much!”

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Dolly the pygmy Angora goat at her new home

Photos courtesy of Christina Karpinski