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‘We go everywhere together,’ says man who took baby goat on a cross-Canada road trip

Jimmy the goat may have been shunned by his mother, but he’s got friends and fans across the country.

Jimmy the goat was rejected by his mother, so Hector Aubertin stepped up and became his best friend

A black and white goat stands on the rocky shores of a river wearing a collar attached to a leash.

As It Happens5:59'We go everywhere together,' says man who took baby goat on a cross-Canada road trip

Jimmy the goat may have been shunned by his mother, but he's got friends and fans across the country.

The five-month-old critter has just returned from a two-week road trip from St. Stephen, N.B., to Edmonton and back with his owner, best friend — and surrogate mother — Hector Aubertin.

"Everywhere we go, people are doing double takes," Aubertin told As It Happens host Nil Köksal. "He's probably had his picture taken easily 100 times."

Shunned for his underbite

Aubertin, who runs a hobby farm in St. Stephen, says he never intended to develop an unbreakable bond with a baby goat. But when Jimmy was born with an underbite, he struggled to latch onto his mother to feed.

"The mother had two other kids besides him, so she more or less maintained those two and just shunned him, like, right away. So I've been bottle feeding him since he was born," Aubertin said.

"After the first week or so, we formed a bond. I literally cannot go anywhere without him or he just starts blaa-ing. He wants to know where I am. He needs to be with me."

So when it came time to go on a long-planned road trip to Edmonton with his daughter to visit her sisters, Aubertin figured he had no choice but to bring Jimmy along for the ride.

"I didn't plan on taking a goat with me on my holiday," he said.

An extremely good boy

He transformed the back of his truck into a goat pen, complete with blankets and a carton full of hay — much to the chagrin of Jimmy, who prefers riding shotgun.

"For the first few days there, he was kind of mad at [my daughter] because he had to sit in the backseat. And you could tell because every time he got out, you know, he'd be walking over to her and just kind of nudging her or trying to chew on her hair," Aubertin said.

"But he warmed up to her. He's good. He's an awesome pet, he really is."

In fact, Aubertin says Jimmy was extremely well-behaved during his journey — which is perhaps no surprise, given how much practice he's had being out and about with people.

"We go everywhere. We go to the stores. We go to Canadian Tire. I can get him to come to me, you know. I can get him to lay down if I need to. He listens very well," he said. "He's like a dog, but twice as fun and just a little bit harder to train."

People, by and large, were very accommodating to Jimmy, Aubertin says.

He was able to find plenty of pet-friendly motels who were happy to accept a horned guest. And he was constantly surprised by how many businesses would let him roam the aisles with Jimmy.

And everywhere he went, from highway rest stops to Tim Hortons drive-thrus, people stopped what they were doing to meet Jimmy.

The four-footed Canadian celebrity has his own Facebook page and was recently the star of a CTV News article.

"People want to take pictures with him," Aubertin said. "He does not mind at all."

Aubertin says he's never been able to successfully reunite Jimmy with his birth family. He puts him in the pen with the other goats now and then, and watches him bounce around, playing with his two siblings.

"But then the mother gets wind of it … and then she basically just horns him into a corner," he said. "That's brutal."

Mommy issues aside, Jimmy has found his true family with Aubertin.

"He is absolutely my best friend. We go everywhere together," Aubertin said. "He's done so much for me."

Interview produced by Chris Trowbridge

Radio One

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