Rutland the Goat and the good deed

Remember this photo?

Rutland the Goat
Rutland the Goat. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.


Of course you do.  This was taken in September 2014 at the Vermont State Fair; I later entered the picture in competition at the Altamont Fair (did you know they had a category for “Goat Photography”?  Me neither).

After that photo took a blue silk, I donated the print to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society’s “Art Saves Animals” charitable art auction, as part of my post-competition season “Charity Season” period.  The picture raised some money, it went to a new home, and I was on to new photos and new projects.

That was last year.

Then came the e-mail.

A request for an additional print of Rutland the Goat.

I thought about the request.  Maybe for about three seconds, tops.

An e-mail back to the requester – “Sure.  I’ll take care of it when I get back from my vacation.”

Another print made.  A quick trip to Hobby Lobby to mat and frame the photo.  And I did something I hadn’t done with the original print – on the mat, I wrote the artwork’s title, and signed my name.

A quick phone call.  “I have your print ready, where can we meet?”

Twenty minutes later, the photo was dropped off.

And you’re wondering … why this request for a duplicate photo of a baby goat?

Let me explain.

Last year, someone bought Rutland the Goat from the charity auction.  The picture rested on the wall of this family’s house.  Then, an accidental fire destroyed the family’s home; they were able to escape and save their pet cats from the inferno.  And while their house is still being repaired, they’re living in a motel and trying to reassemble their life.

Their print of Rutland the Goat was destroyed in the blaze.  The request I received was from that family, asking for a new print of Rutland the Goat.  And in that situation, I was only too happy to oblige.

“How much do I owe you for the print?” he asked me.

“Drop off a donation at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society,” I replied, shaking his hand, “and we’ll be square.”

Good deed completed.

In this world, you should always complete a positive.  You have to share goodness in the world.  If you do, then goodness comes back to you.  Or at least that’s what the warranty on karma says.

But you shouldn’t wait for goodness to come back to you.  You should give positives a minimum of once a day.

So today … even if it’s only for today … do some good.

Your soul will thank you for it.