The girl who owns a goat

One senior’s friendship with her unusual pet

In the U.S., 67% of households owns either a cat or a dog, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.  And while Brooke Boncosky, senior, is a part of the latter category of pet owners, she is also the owner of a much more unusual pet: a pygmy goat named Simon.

“I’ve always loved goats,” Boncosky said. “They’re cute and they’re funny and there’s  really no way that goats can be negative. because they’re always just so happy.”

While Boncosky’s love for goats has never been a question, actually getting to own a goat was a more recent development, and one that she has no shortage of enthusiasm for.

“About a year ago I was going to the goat farm and Kate (the owner of the goat farm) had just gotten all these new goats,” Boncosky said, “so I got there and Kate was like, ‘Oh you get to name one,’ so I was like, ‘Oh cool’. Out of the six [new goats], two of them had already been named, because a little girl had just had her birthday party and then the owners fiance had named one of them. So I sat down and then Simon kind of just automatically came to me and started chewing on my fingers and my nose andmy chin. And then as I was trying to think of a name and Kate was like, ‘This is your goat now’, and I just started crying because I was so happy.”

According to Boncosky, the easiest way to describe Simon is that he’s brown and looks like a small reindeer. Personality-wise, Boncosky says that her four-legged companion is very shy and clings to her whenever she’s around, which is  “kind of a perfect balance, because I’m kind of shy and [also] tend to cling to certain people so it works out.”

While her furry friend is a large source of joy for her, according to Boncosky, Simon still has to stay on the goat farm (Kamins farm, Grayslake) due to the difficulties of raising a goat in a suburban neighborhood. Even so, she makes sure to go over as often as possible to visit him.

“I kind of just hang out with him and all the other goats and sometimes do goat yoga, [which is] basically yoga but with a bunch of goats running around and sometimes the younger goats will actually jump onto you and sometimes the goats will just come and lay on your mat,” Boncosky said. “They’re all super friendly and goats actually have really big personalities, so all their happy energy kind of rubs off [on me].”

It is for this reason that many of Boncosky’s friends, although seeing her choice of pet as a odd, surprising, and often funny, support her friendship with her goat.

“I think being with her goat makes her really happy, and it’s good to see her like that, like just enjoying this part of her life before she goes to go off to college,” Tia Kotsiopoulos, senior and Boncosky’s friend, said.

Next year, Boncosky says that she will be headed off to the University of Alabamato major in dance. While this decision will take her far from home and away from her loyal companion, Boncosky says she knows he will be under the best care possible (at the farm) and that she will return as often as possible to visit.