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After being shunned by his mother, this baby goat was taken on a road trip across Canada


Jimmy might only be six weeks old, but he's already seen more of Canada than most human kids. Scheduled to return home early Wednesday after a two-week road trip from New Brunswick to Alberta, Jimmy the goat has travelled roughly 8,000 kilometres with owner Hector Aubertin and his daughter.

"He's his own person: he's stubborn and he's like a dog, but he's twice as fun, just a little bit harder to train," Aubertin told "He loves going for walks, he's good on his leash and everything, and when he decides that he doesn't want to walk, we stop and he checks out the scenery. You know, it's his vacation too."

Semi-retired after years of working in the Alberta oilfields, Aubertin now has a little hobby farm in St. Stephen, N.B., where he tends to pigs, chickens, rabbits and Jimmy's goat family.

"He was born with an underbite, so he was shunned by his mother, she wouldn't feed him," Aubertin explained by phone while stopped in Hamilton, Ont. "So right from day one, I've been bottle-feeding Jimmy and keeping him alive, and he's like my best friend now. We kind of got that mother-goat bond thing going."

Aubertin was already planning to visit his other adult daughters in Edmonton when Jimmy entered his life this spring.

"It was obvious that I wasn't going to be able to go and not take him because he just wouldn't have it," Aubertin said. "If I'm not there with him, then mom's not there and he's having a fit, he just bleats and screams."

So Aubertin set up the back seat of his truck with hay, a food dish and a blanket and headed west, the words "Peace Man" in red letter decals on the top of his windshield.

"He's travelling in style, that's for sure," Aubertin said. "People say, 'Well, is that your emotional support goat?' I say, 'Well I don't know, I guess I could go and get him registered, but I probably need to go get myself registered as his emotional support.'"

Jimmy wears little diapers in the vehicle and when venturing inside pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, laundromats and shops. Jimmy the goat even has his own Facebook page, which has been chronicling the journey with his silver-haired daddy.

"I'm still bottle feeding Jimmy, so he needs to eat every five hours, so we stop at restaurants, we stop at Tim Hortons," Aubertin said. "They're more than happy to give me a bowl of hot water so I can heat up his formula."

While Jimmy will eventually sleep in an outdoor pen when he grows, Aubertin has every intention of raising Jimmy like a "big dog" and is even trying to house train him.

"I don't know if anybody's done it, but I'm certainly going to do it," Aubertin declared. "I have those puppy pads, I put them in a few locations around the house, and I'm going to say like 90 per cent of the time he's hitting the pad."

Back home in New Brunswick, Aubertin says Jimmy acts more like one of the house cats than a farm animal, and loves cuddling up on the couch for naps together. Aubertin readily admits that raising a goat requires a lot of patience and is probably a bigger challenge than taking care of a baby. With eight adult kids and 17 grandchildren of his own, he should know.

"You got to be on them all the time because he's either eating something or playing with something – you really got to keep on top of them," Aubertin cautioned.  "And you got to goat-proof your house because he's just learning that he can jump. So he's learning that he can jump up onto the kitchen table and onto the living room table, so we just keep all those surfaces clear."

Stopping along the way in places like Niagara Falls, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Drumheller, Alta., Jimmy the "unbelievably friendly" goat has brought smiles and starred in dozens of photos.

"Everybody just loves him, it's amazing – you don't really realize the character that an animal has until you spend time with them," Aubertin said. "I'm really curious to see Jimmy's reaction when we do get home, because he's been gone away from everybody for two weeks."

But while Jimmy gets along great with his six goat siblings, he will likely continue to be shunned by his mother.

"She'll come over and just nudge him out of the way with her horns," Aubertin said. "It's kind of sad to see because I can just imagine what's going through Jimmy's head. You know what I mean? Even though he is so young, it's got to be hard for him because he must know, right? He's got to know. He's got way too much personality to not know that kind of thing."

Aubertin never planned to have a pet goat but couldn't be happier with how things are going.

"The mother just wouldn't take to him so something had to be done, I can't just see him die or anything like that," he said. "I'm so glad that she did do that because now I got a best friend."

While Jimmy can't tell us what his favourite stop was, it could have been the fossil-rich badlands around Drumheller.

"We ended up down in Drumheller because the hoodoos are there, and we knew Jimmy would just go bananas," Aubertin said, referring to the rock formations. "And he loved it, he just absolutely loved it. He was jumping all over the place." Top Stories

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