With so many goats traveling these days to new work sites, on vacation, or to visit family, upscale places for them to stay while on trips have become necessary.
Human hotels and motels haven’t proven satisfactory for many horned travelers.
“They don’t understand our special needs,” said Tucker Boers, who takes frequent business trips. “In some towns it can be difficult to even find human lodging that will take goats. It’s blatant discrimination. They tell us to go sleep in a barn. Can you imagine?”
In a splendid example of private enterprise, a number of new facilities called “goatels” have been established across the country to serve this specialized market.
“I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Mr. Boers. “These new places are very comfortable and the staff goes out of the way to make us feel welcome. They even have wake-up calls when I have to get on the road early.”
Violet, a pygmy goat on her way to visit her grandparents on their seventh anniversary, said the goatels “are much more friendly than the human places.”
Fernando, a Nubian goat who’s been given a temporary job clearing blackberry bushes on a farm, is staying at a local goatel.
“It got four stars from the ratings sites, and very favorable reviews. There’s a widescreen TV that gets Animal Planet, soft beds of straw, and a visitor’s guide with directions to local gardens for meals out when I’m ready for a break from blackberries. They even put complimentary bowls of Purina Goat Chow on the pillow every day when they make up the room.”
“Just what we were looking for,” Angora goat Clover wrote in the guest log in the goatel where she was staying with her two children. “My only complaint is that they don’t allow head-butting after 10 p.m. The kids sometimes still have energy to burn off.”
There’s one thing all the goatels have in common. No humans allowed. “We tell them to go sleep in a barn,” said the night manager at the Grass Valley Goatel in Northern California.