Have No Fear- Eco Goats Are Here - JANUARY 2009 ECO Challenge

Real Estate Agent with Utah Homes 9334967-SA00

After an exhausted day of work in the office 1 by MMagallan

My dog needs a job.

I'm serious.

She's an outdoor dog and she seems, I dunno, fairly happy.

She's got a half acre to roam, a small collection of toys, and birds to chase.

But there's something missing. I can sense it.

Anytime I approach the back door she jumps to attention. She's eager to do something. Anything.

And I'm at a loss for what to do.


I wonder if animals have dreams of doing more in life.

Does my dog dream of Lassie-like adventures?

We don't have a nearby mine-shaft... so she has no one to rescue.

My dog clearly wants a job. And...

Until I figure out what that job can be I'm looking for clues.

And I now have something to show her.


America's cities are cash strapped. That's no secret.

America's cities have landscaping issues... these include keeping our roadsides beautiful. Weeds grow... it's something they do very well. We can pull them; that's labor intensive. We can spray them; that can be bad for the environment. Another problem- some weeds grow in those hard to reach places.

Smiling Goat - by Jens0815Facing this challenge, the City of Mesa has hired goats. That's right- goats are the new weed depletion crew.

They'll work for food.

And, humble employees that they are, they don't stand by the roadside with a sign, advertising the fact.

The City of Mesa, according to a Fox News report, has a six month contract with Arizona Herdsman Eco Goats. Up to 80 goats will patrol retention basins and thin out the thick vegetation that is so challenging.

"Utilities Department Water Division Director Bill Haney says the design of the retention pounds and the amount of vegetation at the site make it difficult to use machines and to keep down the weeds. Officials hope the goats can do a better job, saying in a statement they'll "eat just about anything resembling a plant." Besides, Haney says goats are a "more sustainable and environmentally responsible form of weed control.""

Here is a summary of benefits, according to the Mesa Tribune:

  • Unlike landscape machinery, goats don't pollute (unless you want to count methane)
  • They like to eat (and don't request overtime)
  • They can get to those hard to reach places (Click on that link- it's an awesome picture)
  • They're a pesticide/chemical free solution

If ever you're in Mesa and want to see the goats at work, travel the red mountain portion of the 202 until you're near the eastern portion of the 101. You'll find them on the south side of the road.

I may strap the dog into a seat belt, show her what they're up to and see if she has any creative ideas.

Until then, she's been polishing her resume.


When not giving career advice to family pets, Chuck Willman performs real estate in the Phoenix Metro area.


Photo Credits: "After an Exhausting Day of Work by Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo & "Smiling Goat" by Jens0815

NOTE: The dog featured above is not mine... it's stock photography. You may have noticed the dilemma... my dog is female and I couldn't find any photos depicting a feminine canine in smart/business casual. So... dog-wearing-a-tie was the best I could do.

Comments (20)

Debi Ernst
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors - O'Fallon, MO
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate

Chuck - That is so funny!  Let us know if your dog comes up with anything...  :)

Jan 15, 2009 04:06 AM
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

I would use goats on my yard, if my city would let me. I would also use chickens on the grasshoppers which plague every summer.

Jan 15, 2009 04:29 AM
Jennifer Lew
DocuSign, Inc. - Seattle, WA

My neighborhood had a visit from these eco-goats!  I live 15 minutes away from downtown, Seattle.  We're not even that rural, and literally a block away from retail shops we had a crew of goats bunching away for a few hours one day.  It was hilarious!  I love the idea.

Jan 15, 2009 05:20 AM
Jennifer Lew
DocuSign, Inc. - Seattle, WA

Haha, I just noticed the tie on your dog.  He's sooo ready for the coporate world...or maybe real estate?

Jan 15, 2009 05:21 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Chuck, That was too cute.  I often wonder if my dogs have aspirations---seems to me they are SO happy just laying around, getting fed and lots of holding and petting.  I don't beieve they care  very much about the financial aspect of it :)  Goats for cleaning up the environment?  Wow, someone has been doing some creative thinking !

Jan 15, 2009 08:15 AM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Debi- I will... she was in the mood to job hunt earlier today, but then she became distracted and fell asleep on her back- belly facing the sun.

Leslie- Or ducks for the scorpions... someone tells me they are expert.

Jennifer- I see this is being done in other parts of the country... there's a group like this in California as well. And with regards to ties and real estate- there was a time when I dressed like that but now most people would prefer I be more casual.

Carole- My dog is very interested in the food part. I can't help but wonder if she thinks there's more to life... she is just so willing to be a part of a teamwork environment.

Jan 15, 2009 09:02 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I am sure that you dog is ready to move on to bigger and better things!  I hope all his aspirations come true -- In the meantime, it is interesting to learn about the eco goats!  Talk about an innovate approach!

Jan 15, 2009 09:53 AM
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

Hey Chuck I heard a good quote from the dog whisperer.  Every day is Christmas day to a dog.  Just look at them when you get home.

Jan 15, 2009 11:33 AM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!

Chuck this is great! I would have loved to have been in the first council meeting that the idea was brought up it! The Eco-Goat company truly has an entrepreneurial spirit and congrats to them on making a great sale!

Jan 15, 2009 09:11 PM
CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com



I am going to refer this excellent post to the Rain Gods...I hope it gets Featured!!!

Jan 16, 2009 02:33 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I love the goat concept and hope it works.  As for your dog picture, you could have just put a tie on your dog, we wouldn't care and she probably wouldn't either.

Jan 16, 2009 11:52 AM
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

this is great, Chuck. I used to live in Glendale, CA, and just heard about the community college there bringing in a herd of goats to clear out brush to help prevent fires---it would have otherwise cost them thousands of dollars to hire out workers and trucks. What a great idea---for KIDS! LOL.

Jan 16, 2009 01:03 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

My across the street neighbor is a pro at a local golf course, and they had a problem with geese hanging out on the course and making little messes.  So they brought in a dog who spend her days running geese off the greens and fairways.  Great excercise, great fun, and I'm looking for just such a job for Willie the hyperactive Labradoodle puppy! 

Jan 17, 2009 04:14 AM
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

Hi Chuck - I have the solution!!!  YOU start training for the Iron-Man....take your pooch with you.  Make him carry some of your stuff, you know water...food, clothes.  Kinda like the vision of a Saint Bernard for tri-atheletes.  And please let us know how you make out....  Send pictures of your new body too!!! LOL...couldn't resist..HAHAHAHA

Jan 17, 2009 08:36 AM
Amber Marshall
F1rst Realty Company - Crossville, TN
Amber the Agent

That is such a clever idea!  I think the goats will do a great job and I bet it will catch on and lots of places will be using goats!

I hope you can help your dog find that perfect job!

Jan 18, 2009 09:46 AM
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Chuck your dog does not need a job, she needs you. The goats are cool.there are some on an island  here in the summer, eating away and then they go by boat (would that be a goat boat?) to the farm for the winter.

Jan 18, 2009 01:53 PM
Jason & Amber Gardner
Hasson Company, Realtors - Sherwood, OR
We're Committed to Your Success!

This is a really good blog.  Maybe you need to get your dog some special work clothes with your business logos and make it a company mascot?

Jan 18, 2009 05:24 PM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Joan- I love when government and big business thinks outside the box.

John- Isn’t that true? I sometimes feel the dog is being a bit over the top with my reception.

Mary- I’ve been to council meetings… they tend to be dry affairs… this would have be a welcome change.

JaneAnne- The Rain Gods have been quite generous to me… I would gladly settle for your praise as a consolation prize. 

Georgina- I just can’t force a tie on a female… it seems sexist… but, you’re right- she probably would enjoy the attention.

Mara- This singular act could revive the entire goat industry… until the goats unionize.

Patricia- That’s a fantastic idea- beautiful scenery and better than average size birds to chase. My dog would love it! I’m going to text her about it right now.

Gail- I have one of those short legged dogs… she’d have to have one of those tall stack racks- like a camel… hmmm maybe that’d work.

Amber- I’ve seen the cartoons where they used animals for everything… Fred Flintstone style… I don’t know how many more animals could be used in this way… plus… where are we going to find pterodactyls and whatnot.

Jason & Amber- hmmm mascot… that could work. Her name is “Diva” … so the star angle could work just fine by her.

Jan 22, 2009 12:33 PM
Doreen McPherson
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe - Tempe, AZ
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~

Just put some lipstick, earrings, necklace, and a bracelet on her.  Round it off with some heels and she'll be ready to go. 

Jan 24, 2009 03:02 PM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Doreen- Been down that route... a doggy beauty contest where she did not perform to her exacting standards.

We drove home in silence.

Jan 24, 2009 04:09 PM