One chapter in the twisting tale of a dog-goat friendship closed Monday when a sheriff’s deputy returned an impounded goat to East Lake Veterinary Hospital in Dallas and reunited him with a Great Dane.
A new chapter opened with the introduction of a third animal — Lucky, a three-legged, of course, yellow Lab who joined the pair.
As it turns out, all three were household pets in Garland. The Dane — christened Judy by the vet staff after Judy Garland — has a knack for opening gate latches, and she and the goat — called Minnelli by the staff because that was the name of Judy Garland’s husband — took off together.
Lucky experienced major separation anxiety and started pulling out his fur because his buddies were missing. The family searched in Garland, checking with the city’s animal shelter, to no avail.
Then a family member caught one of the multiple TV newscasts about the Dane, whose family name is Echo, and the goat, called Mo back home, and the reclamation process began.
The family, who opted not to attend the reunion at the vet clinic because they were uncomfortable with the media attention, rightfully claimed the goat from the sheriff’s department and then relinquished possession to East Lake Pet Orphanage. They already had turned over Lucky to ELPO so at least two of the three could be together.
The reunion itself was fairly anticlimactic. The humans were more excited than the animals, who really seemed more relieved than anything else. One TV cameraman asked for a staged shot, which was pretty ginky, but that was about the extent of anything outside the ordinary.
Judy-Echo’s medical problems — heartworms and broken teeth chief among them — will cost thousands of dollars to treat, said Dr. Karen Fling, the head of East Lake Veterinary clinic. The family, because of economic pressure caused by the Great Recession, just couldn’t afford to keep her, and the three need to remain together.
So together they remain at ELPO while Judy-Echo receives medical attention. Then, well, the ending to this story remains to be written.
Bruce Felps owns and operatesEast Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He’s got a pretty big backyard.