The National Pygmy Goat Assn. has a predictable but unusual idea about holiday giving.
"Who needs a lap dog when you can have a pygmy goat?" said Carol Rasmussen of Sand Canyon, a member of the board of directors of the local chapter, which claims about 50 members in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. It held a show last week in Canyon Country to promote the notion that the small goats belong under Christmas trees.
"Once you pet a pygmy goat, you will fall in love," Rasmussen said. "I have two people coming by this weekend to pick up a little goat for their children."
She said that, although the goats cost $150 to $600, they're not expensive to maintain, one bale of hay lasting two months.
Rasmussen also said the image of goats as living trash disposers is a myth. "The most he will do is nibble on a shoelace," she said.
But city officials and Michael Krotty, curator of animals for the Los Angeles Zoo, say the goats can be pungent (in the case of males), hard to confine (having been known to scale 10-foot brick walls) and require a large backyard--under city law, goats must be kept at least 75 feet from neighbors' homes and 35 feet from the owner's home.
Being vegetarians, they might very well eat the Christmas tree.