Animals are a man’s best friend. – a source of comfort, company and love. Apart from traditionally domesticated animals, other trends are also emerging regarding the choice of animals that Maltese keep at home.
Analise Mifsud pet of choice is Layla – a goat who lives with her at home. This four month old pygmy goat who remains relatively small, is her pride and joy.
“Poor thing, she was born in the rain, in water, she was really small, she was smaller than normal, and she was wet, cold and I thought she wouldn’t live.”
Showered with care, love gnd dedication, Layla began to recover. ‘She was very attached to us, she thinks we are her parents, because her mother didn’t bond with her, we tried to get her and her mother to bond but to no avail, so it literally felt like we had a baby living with us; at night every two hours we get up to give her milk , it was a great sacrifice but it was worth it. ”
Analise tells us that the only challenging time she went through lately was when she had to switch Layla’s food routine and start introducing her food little by little. She said it is not so easy to find a specialist veterinarian on the needs of goats and says that communication between humans and pets is the most cherished thing by animal owners.
“It’s almost as if she is speaking to you, she follows you everywhere, she loves human contact, she is fascinated, she sets an example for me, I have never had such an experience. She knows her name – if you call her ‘Layla’ and other basic things like ‘come on, climb up’, she understands.”
Other pets in Analise’s house also include Russell, a dog who has adapted well to Layla’s presence. “He loves her very much, they play, sometimes he sleeps in his bed, she cares more for him than for other goats. Sometimes I think she’s not a goat.”
Like children, animals can get up to all sorts of tricks if they are left to their own devices. “For instance I sometimes take her with me filming, and I get distracted. She leaves the studio, goes to the offices upstairs, and people have told me that they saw her on CCTV camras jumping, like a little girl.”
We asked the Commissioner for Animal Rights, Alison Bezzina, if there were any objections to keeping these types of animals at home. She explained that these species of Pygmy goats are very fond of human company, they love to relax and need a lot of time to play, and Layla clearly not missing out on any of these. She also said that they have to be microchipped and registered with the Directorate of Veterinary Services.
She added that Pygmy Goats, who originally come from Southeast Asia, were domesticated many years ago in the same way that dogs and cats were domesticated.