Happie the goat has a distinction no other animal in Southwest Florida can claim.
Thenearly 3-year-old Nigerian dwarf cross goat is now holder of anofficial Guinness World Records certificate showing she performed thelongest distance skateboarded by a goat - on March 4 - at 118 feet.
"She'sreally kind of similar to a dog," said owner Melody Cooke, 18, of southFort Myers. "She follows me around like a dog and does tricks like adog."
The route tosetting the record started when Happie tried jumping on a bicycle Cookewas riding near her home last year. She believed it would be fun toteach the goat to ride on a skateboard and Happie took to the activity.
"My mom saw something special going on and said we should try to get her in Guinness," she said.
Melodyand her parents, David and Lisa Cooke, sent in the application lastNovember. "Guinness asked for evidence and a video," she said, and a fewmonths later Happie was newest Guinness World Records holder.
Therecord-setting skateboarding run was made at an office building nearCollege Parkway and Cleveland Avenue, Melody Cooke said, where there wasa long runway of interior sidewalk and outside parking lot.
"She could have gone even further but she ran into the parking barrier," David Cooke said.
OnYouTube, where she's known as Happie Goatie, a video of the goat'sattempt has drawn more than 3,700 views and a Chinese version Melody didfor friends in that country - her mom is from China - has collected 300views.
The Cookes have had several goats as pets but consider Happie to be smartest.
"She'sunusual," Lisa Cooke said. "She didn't need any training at all. Sheseemed to know what to do right away. And she was persistent, she trieduntil she got it."
David Cooke said Happie has good instincts and is fast and strong.
"She is perceptive, like a deer. She can sense things from a long distance," he said.
Happie,born on a goat farm in south Fort Myers, requires no special dietbeyond grass, shrubs and tree leaves, and the occasional snack of horsefeed as a reward, the Cookes said.
She'sat home in the agriculturally zoned neighborhood, joining otherresidents who have horses and even one with a boar. The horses will walkalong their pasture fence with Happie when she gets walked, MelodyCooke said.
One of Happie's dining delights, a taste for paper, has forced the family to keep her outdoors.
"Once we found out she likes paper, we couldn't let her in the house or she'd eat everything," Melody Cooke said.
"She really consumes The News-Press," David Cooke laughed.
Aftergraduating with honors from Fort Myers High School in June, MelodyCooke has a few weeks left before she heads off to Wharton School ofBusiness at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. While shewill miss her record-setting pet, Melody said she will stay in touch andplans to produce a few more YouTube videos of Happie.
"I want to see how far I can go with Happie Goatie," she said.