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Quad City Herald
Brewster, Washington
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May 7, 1998     Quad City Herald
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May 7, 1998
 

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Paae 16 May 7:1998 Ouad City. HeFald Relay for Life Phalen's Phunny Pharm now home to 'phainting' goats scheduled in Okanogan Participants in the Relay for Life fnn are soliciting donations for their 24 hour walk around the track, schedded for Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16 at Okanogan High School. All of the money raised by the participants will be donated to the American Cancer Society. Four teams from Brewster and one from Mansfield will be among those participating; "We walk for 24 hours. One member from each team has to be on the track at all times," said Julie Morris, captain of one of the two teams from Okanogan Douglas Hospital. Participants will camp at the site; there will be music and entertainment, ac- tivities and cancer prevention informa- tion available throughout the night. Breakfast will be cooked and served by the Okanogan chapter of the Kiwanis. Spectators are encouraged to attend, said Susan Robinson of Community MedicalCenter.They canjointhe walk- ers, even if Ibey are not team members. People who want to donate can con- tact the team captains, or they can buy a memorial luminary. For a donation of at least $10, the luminary will be described with the name of a relative or friend of the person donating. The luminaries will be placed around the track; they will be lighted in a special cemetery at 10 p.m. and will illumi- nate the track all night. The luminaries are available from the team members or at the desk at Community Medical Center. (The clinic's team is captained by Dr. Lynn Quisumbing.) All of the money raised by the walkers will be donated to cancer research, education and support ser- vices. The costs of organizing and operating the event are being paid by corporate sponsors. Among at - era they include Okanogan uou=l s Hospital, Kevin Skirko, CPA, Brewstex;, Community Medical Center and the Quad City Herald. Donations also can be made directly to the team captains---in fact the teams captained by Selford, Morris and Aivarez are engaged in a "friendly" competition to see who can raise the most money. All donations are tax-deductible. Youth Rally planned at Metnow A Youth Rally will be held at Methow Community Church Satur- day, May 16, 7:00 p.m. with music and worship led by "Effect." Speaker will be Adam James, Pateros graduate, now a student at Wenatehee Valley College. I I i i DON C;ROCKER tding Ucensed for Septic Systeisfor Chela Douglas & Okanogan Counlies. P.O. Box 254, Bridgeport Bus. Lie. # DONCRCO66JE NoJob Too Small Whites --:7-- Constructmn Co. New construction, remodel & repair by cheryl Schweizer, staff writer Pat and Carol Phalen like ex- otic pets. Actually, they just like animals. The corrals around their Brewster Flat home contain horses, sheep, a mule, miniature goats; they own ostriches as well, al- though those are boarded at a nearby farm. (Brewster veterinarian Mike Isenhart insists the Phalens own and raise squirrels.) One pasture is full of small goats. They run along the fence line, frolicking in the warm spring sun, shoving their heads through the fence to nibble on the clover. They are curious about visitors, observing them from a safe distance through oval goat eyes. They look, sound and play like any other goat. These goats, however, share an unusual hereditary trait--rindeed, it is hard to understand how a breed with this characteristic sur- vived to pass it on. These are Tennessee fainting goats; when they are startled or stressed, the), pass out. Well, they don't really pass out. They simply get stiff legs and fall to the ground. Their whole bodies remain stiff for 10 to 15 seconds, then they get up and resume nor- mal goat activities, although they do move stiffly for a minute or two. Pat Phalen said he first saw them on a television program about 10 years ago. In the course of the interview the owner gathered the goats around him; "he made a noise and they went right over, and I "As wild as a Tennessee fainting goat gets," - Carol Phalen thought, 'boy, that's the pet for me,'" Pat said. He said he looked for a regional source of the goats ever since, but they were scarce in the Pacific Northwest. Eventually he located someone in Sandpoint, Idaho, who not only raised but sold the goats. The Phalens brought home a breeding pair, then bought"Phlorence. Phunny Pharm Phlorence," Carol said. (The ranch is named Phalen's Phunny Pharm.) The three original goats have produced a pasture full of baby goats. There are 10wno, ll--n0, maybe 13--well, actually 15, prob- ably. The Phalens will sell them as pets; they are nice little goats, 17 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and not as arrogant as most goats. Isenhart visited the farm to give vaccinations to some of the ani- mals. One of the goats was tied up in the barnwjust as a precaution, Carol said. "Is he wild?" Isenhart asked. "As wild as a Tennessee faint- ing goat gets," Carol said. The goat jumped around a little bit, but did not try to bite or kick. Nor did he faint, however. The fainting spells are unpredictable. Carol Phalen said sometimes they faint when they are afraid they won't get any hay at feeding time. During the winter she fell into the pasture while trying to climb the fence; that caused Ernie, the buck (boy goat), to faint right beside her. They faint when they escape the pasture. "They're really easy to catch when they're out here The goats at Phalan's Phunny Pharm are cute and curious, but if they ore startled or upset, they faint. (the sheep doesn't faint. He Jumps). Cheryl Schweizer phoiu.= Carol Phalen's goats can be very easy to catch - when she chases them, they faint. (outside the pasture)," Carol said. On the other hand, Carol didn't tie up the baby goats when Isenhart visited last spring; she thought the sight eta stranger would make them faint for sure, she said. She did tether the adult goats, think- ing they were familiar with the vet and would not faint. The goats who were tied up promptly fainted when Isenhart walked up to them. The untethered goats had to be chased all over the pasture. "When he's neutering themif you ever think there's a time they're going to faintbut they don't," Pat said. The condition, called myatonia, causes their legs to lock up and their bodies to get stiff. They fall over, looking something like characters in a Bugs Bunny car- toon. At least that is how the symp- toms are described. By the time a visitor arrived on a recent Thurs- day afternoon, the goats weren't fainting. A sheep pastured in the same field needed vaccinations; the Phalens walked into the field to catch it, speaking in whispers to keep from spooking it. The fact they spoke in whispers apparently startled the goats. "They were fainting all over the place before you came," Carol said. Actually, a goat did faint--one eta set of triplets went stiff while Isenhart was vaccinating it. Trip- lets are unusual and the mother goat did not have enough milk teats for all three offspring. Pat "rhey'Fe really easy Phalen found one ofthethreeappar- to catch when ently dead one morning; he was they' re out here getting ready to bury ,, it when it began (outside the pasture), Showing signs of life. He rushed it -- Carol Phalen to lsenhart's office. The little goat was in bad con- dition, so bad that he had to be fed by a tube to his stomach. Pat and Carol began a daily feeding schedule. When they had to attend a class that kept them away from home overnight, Valentine went with them. "W he are you going to get to stomach- feed your goat?" Pat asked. Valentine attracted a lot of atten- tion when he was taken out for walks. ("He potty-trained himself way be- fore our kids did," Pat Phalen said.) At least one passerby remarked it was a very strange-lookin'g dog. On Thursday, Valentine and his siblings were vaccinated and re- leased into the pasture. "Watch out, she's going to faint in the water," Carol Phalen said as the hind legs of one small goat started to stiffen. "Oh, she's not going to faint in the water," Pat said. No one knows where the goats originated. They are called Ten- nessee fainting goats because theirfirstrecorded appearance was in Tennessee, ac- cording to information furnished by Carol Phalen. That was in the early 18808; their owner was a mysterious man from an undis- closed place, although his cloth- ing style may have indicated an origin in Nova Scotia. He sold his four goats to a local man, who made repeated but fruitless attempts to find out more about them and their unusual charac- teristics. She said the goats are even-tem- pered and gentle and make good pets. 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