I just had to post an update. Herc is in love with goats. He still really, REALLY wants to chase them, but he contents himself with racing around and around the goat yard with a stick in his mouth. I dont trust him with them though, if one got running I know he'd give in to temptation.
One of them got her head stuck out of the fence and Herc got there before I did, and proceeded to give her face, head and especially her ears a good washing! It was really adorable I wish I had pictures!
Then my inlaws, who live next door and have always allowed him to roam their property too, got a PONY! My husband and I went OMG!! We figured it was going to be nothing but trouble. But, Herc surprised us. We introduced him on leash, and the pony didn't seem to care much about him, and Herc was tentative but facinated. The next day the kids were going over to play and see the pony and Herc ran ahead with them as usual, but when we came out of the woods he headed straight for the pony, full tilt, but as he got up close he just ran around behind him and stood there watching the pony. The pony continued eating and paid him no attention at all. He went around and around him, not sure what to do. Then he ran off and found a ball, and brought it to the pony. Dropped it on the ground in front of him. The pony looked at him, and, very carefully they streched out and touched noses! I couldn't believe it!. He loves that pony too. He brings it his sticks and balls and lays next to it while it is grazing.
Once, we were feeding the pony apples while he was in his stall, and Herc was right by the gate, and the pony reached out an bit him right on his butt! He jumped about a mile and spun around, then went over and sniffed the pony's nose like what did you do that for!? I guess the pony didn't want to share his apples! It is all very interesting to watch.
I think his experience with the pony has helped with the goats.
One more thing he did is find one of my daughters missing baby rats. I didn't know it had gotten out, but Herc did, I think he squashed it with his nose when he found it, because he was foolowing me around while I was picking up the kids rooms and I heard a little squeak! And he was stanting there staring behind the toy box very intently. When I scooped it up he came over and nosed it and nudged it, he apparently cannot smell anything properly without rubbing his nose in it. And looked at me and wagged his tail, with his ears against his head, like he does when we cuddle. I told him he was a good boy, he seemed pleased with himself, and went to the the fridge for a treat!