When Ngahape young farmer Dayne Addison, 22, heads out to the paddocks he does not call out to a dog like most farmers would – rather loyal free range goat Eva gets in behind every step of the way.
After months of Eva baa-ing out, pestering summer farm worker and Lincoln student Alex Cooney, the decision was made to let 11-month old Eva off her chain to run free. Dayne said he was worried at first because of the road being so close but quickly warmed to the idea when she started spending more time on the farm that at home.
“I’ve lost a couple of dogs over the past year so I was a little reluctant to let Eva off her chain but she has just been so happy since and spends most of her time with me on the farm showing my dog Flo what to do.”
Eva’s day consists of an early 8am start where she wanders down to the shed to see what everyone is up to and just to check she has not missed out on anything. After this she comes home for breakfast then goes out with Dayne to dust paddocks with magnesium (to help cows over calving) and shift cows into their new breaks.
“She follows us everywhere; you can’t slip anything past her. Sometimes her feet get sore and she will take herself back home. She dictates her own breaks and how she spends her time,” Dayne said.
Due to the busy life that little Eva leads she tends to sleep the morning milkings out while everyone else does the work, Dayne said.
“She’s not a morning starter at all. There will be no sight of her when we leave for milking at six in the morning. She will usually wander on down around 8am when the milking is nearly over.
“We don’t really know how or why she is the way she is. It might have something to do with her whole life spent around dogs and people so really she seriously thinks she is one or the other.”