“Look for the goats!” exclaim children from the backseat of a passing car driving down Wieuca Road. With windows rolled down and hands waving emphatically, their eager calls echo across the manicured lawns of neighboring houses. Beyond the wooden fence encircling one front yard two goats appear, munching on grass and leaves, casting an occasional uninterested glance at the cars that rush by.
These are the Buckhead Goats, the most famous and celebrated goats in all of Buckhead. Not only do they have loyal fans who live in the neighborhood, the goats also have a robust social media presence with more than 1,500 followers on Facebook. Their names are Huey and Jasmine and they are well-loved by all who know them. Their owner, Cam T. Ashling, is a Private Wealth Consultant with a soft spot for her four-legged friends. Ashling has lived in Buckhead for eight years now, having built her home here in 2011.
“I love animals and my goat kids have been an unusual blessing in many ways,” explained Ashling, who sees how much the community benefits from visiting with her two rambunctious goats. “They probably make hundreds of people smile per day with the traffic on Wieuca Rd. They bring joy to the neighborhood.”
Ashling describes Huey, the bigger and taller goat with a blue collar, as a courageous, curious, and funny character. “A man’s man,” according to Ashling. He is confident, a fan of the spotlight, and has an insatiable appetite. Jasmine on the other hand is more reserved and suspicious of strangers. Her face is shorter than Huey’s with a slightly longer beard. “Sweet like a flower,” she says, noting that Jasmine is picky and particular with food but a big fan of beer. Together, the two make for a lively pair, complementing one another in temperament and behavior.
Many who visit the goats online or in their front yard come away from their experience with a lot of questions. Why goats? Why these two goats? Why do they live in the front yard on a main street within the shadow of high-rise office towers and Phipps Plaza?
According to Ashling, she never really intended to have celebrity goats. Initially she purchased goats as a means to help her rescue Great Pyrenees dog Luna who had insecurity issues. The idea was to provide animals that Luna, as a guardian breed, could care for and find a sense of purpose in looking out for them. Ashling rescued a pregnant goat from a neglectful farmer in Alabama and converted the covered back balcony of her Buckhead home into a birthing stall of sorts, and it was there that Jasmine and Huey first entered this world.
“I initially was thinking I would rehome them because who has goats in their front yard?” posited Ashling. The neighbors began contributing to their care by building an outdoor goat house and Ashling also built a goat pen inside for them. And then came the fans. At first Ashling was hesitant to create a Facebook page for the goats as she knew it would take time to maintain it, but after much prodding and pushing by fans she agreed to make the page with the help of a friend’s friend who offered to man the social media account.
“We get goat fan mail addressed to The Goats or Parents of the Goats,” explained Ashling, who says that children often leave goat art on the fence, and remarked about the number of “goat stalkers” who drive up to the house and park just to watch the goats as they happily munch and play in their Buckhead home. “We’re used to random visitors now,” she said.
“They are not working goats,” she said, explaining that it would take 30 goats, a guard dog, and an electric fence to ensure the goats’ safety and efficacy in clearing a lot.
“Huey and Jasmine are just spoiled celebrity goats who enjoy making everyone smile.”
These days Jasmine and Huey rest comfortably in their Buckhead home, leisurely walking the grounds in search of tasty shoots and leaves and interacting with curious kids and adults alike who approach the fence that surrounds their yard. “I didn’t know they would attract so much attention and love from random people,” said Ashling. “It was a very nice surprise to know we can contribute to so many smiles from young kids to seniors. Some of the seniors at the senior living facilities nearby get their walk in to see the goats and get excited about that.”
If you want a chance to get up close and personal with Huey and Jasmine, stop by sometime or consider renting the home on AirBnB, where the 6 bedroom, 5 bath home is marketed as the Buckhead Goats™ Farmhouse.