Don’t Mess With My Kids!

Learning the hard way

A story by owner, Carly Clark A story by owner, Carly Clark

Unfortunately at Splitters Farm we don’t allow visitors to bring their dogs onto the property, and for very good reason.

Each time a new animal is introduced on our farm it has the capacity to throw out the harmonious balance we have established with the existing animals.

And we’ve learnt this the hard way. We bought a puppy, she got bored and became destructive; so we bought her a play mate and they began to hunt our livestock like pack dogs. They even got into our peacock pen one night and, well, you can guess the rest. Unfortunately both lost their lives in farm accidents 3 weeks apart and I haven’t been able to bring myself to get another dog since.

Dogs give so much unconditional love however at times; their natural instincts just take over.

Over 6 months ago now the next door neighbour’s dog jumped his fence and came over for a visit. A beautiful little brindle staffy. It played with our kids outside for some hours and made me miss my two darling dogs that had passed a few weeks earlier.

I was inside making the family lunch when I heard blood curdling screams coming from outside. My first thought, and worse fear, was that the dog had turned on my kids.

And, in a way it had. It had attacked my 3 month old baby goat Gomez. Our middle child, 8 year old Ethan, saw the commotion in the goat paddock, grabbed a broom and had the dog pinned on the ground crying while he tried to frantically hold the dog down and tell me what had happened.

A little bit of a back story, young Gomez (a miniature goat) and his sister Gwendolyn were kindly given to me by my wonderful hairdresser Kylie. Now, I see this woman every month and the thought of me going into the salon next to ask for “a full head of foils thanks and by the way your goat died” was just too much to take.

I approached the blood soaked Gomez, scooped him up in my arms and put him in the back of my car. I drove like a bat out of hell to the nearest vet, who knew we were coming as hubby had rung ahead.

They took x-rays, nothing was broken, despite some severe bites on Gomez legs and hind quarters in addition to a puncture wound to his horns. I thanked my lucky stars and took my little billy goat home.

Hubby had since taken the dog back to the neighbour and not so politely told him not to let the dog out again and that he would be paying Gomez’s vet bills. Surprise, he never did.

Just when we thought Gomez was on the mend, things got worse. Despite dressing the wounds regularly and some initial penicillin shots administered by the vet to ward off infection, Gomez suddenly went downhill. He couldn’t walk, wouldn’t eat and was beginning to waste away.

I took him to the vet again ($$$). Further x-rays revealed that the bite was infected and that the infection had deteriorated and fractured his left leg in two places. The vet could plaster his leg and visit regularly to administer penicillin ($3000) but with no guarantee that it would work. Amputate his leg ($2000), or put him down.

Despite knowing how upset it would make me, hubby told me we’d put him down ourselves. I was devastated. I asked the vet to make him a temporary splint for his leg and to give me a vile of penicillin that I could administer myself. We drove Gomex home. I’d also have to find another hairdresser.

As we didn’t yet have our gun license at the farm, or a gun either for that matter, we had to wait a few days for my father in law to return from a short trip away to do the unthinkable. I took this opportunity to pump that little goat full of food, penicillin & change his dressings every day.

By the time the hired gun got to the farm, Gomez was showing some signs of getting better. I asked the boys to hold off a few days, ordered another vile of penicillin from the vet and continued my treatment.

After two and a half months I removed the splint, my heart in my throat as I watched Gomez put weight on that leg for the first time in months, hoping it would hold his weight. Hoping the other goats would leave him alone and give his leg time to get strong again.

It did and the rest is history but it’s been a long journey to recovery. Gomez is now in love and we’re expecting his offspring.

What did I learn?

  1. No dogs at the Farm – sorry this dog ruined it for everyone
  2. Vets are expensive and not always correct
  3. Trust your gut & persevere
  4. It’s really difficult to find a good hairdresser in Bundaberg & I’m glad I didn’t have to find an alternative. I love you Kylie!

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Visit 205 Blairs Rd, Sharon QLD 4670

10 min drive north of Bundaberg's bustling central business district, Splitters Farm is a rural camping & day-trip experience set amongst lush tropical bushland, the 160 acre property is bordered by Splitters Creek.

Splitters Farm
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