It was dark when we turned on to the street listed in the "apartment for rent" ad. My roommate Mike and I had been pondering a move closer to the French Quarter and, while we looked for the address, noticed how quiet the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood seemed. A rarity in New Orleans. As we approached the place, the stillness was disrupted by a door banging open across the street, followed by voices. We turned to see three figures emerge from the lighted doorway....first, an average looking guy; second, a woman in a lavendar bathrobe and head wrap; and the third was what looked to be a goat. Their conversation stopped when they saw us and they shouted a cheerful greeting our way. We crossed the road to meet them and, upon closer inspection, realized that the person in the bathrobe was not a woman but an aging drag queen. We talked about the apartment and neighborhood while the animal quietly milled around, sniffing at us and the ground. Mike finally asked, "Is that a goat?" The answer that came was, "She's my special dog." It turns out that the drag queen had been employed by the racetrack, where they use goats to calm the horses. For some reason, they were going to have this goat "put down" so, after work, she snuck the goat to her car and brought her home. The neighborhood is not zoned for goats, of course, so she is known as a "special" dog. We continued our conversation while making friends with the "special" dog, but it was getting late so we thanked them for their help and made our way home.
We ended up not moving at that time, but how can you not love a city where there's always the possibility of having an animal loving drag queen with a goat for neighbors?