Archive for the ‘Alpaca’ Category

Worth 1000 Words

Inca, after the rain.



Moving Day

This title may be misleading. When I say moving day, I mean for the Prinz and Inca, not for the humans. That’s OK because I’m not willing to live in the pasture, where as they are. We had planned to move Prinz ad Inca to Redemption much earlier but Don had requested that we leave them there until after Melinda’s big birthday extravaganza and well, they had boarded the duo much longer than we had intended so leaving them there for an extra couple of weeks was the least we could do. Melinda was convinced that thy kept the deer away. I’m not sure that’s true but if it makes them happy, it makes me happy. I knew that we would need reinforcements for moving day so I asked my sister-in-law (SIL) to come with. I also had plans to shave Inca the day we moved him but that story will be told in another post.

The alpaca moving gods shined down upon us and delivered a warm but not too warm day, free of rain or pesky bugs. hen we arrived at Don’s, SIL and I got out of the truck to go catch the livestock, while Dave worked on turning the truck and trailer around. We actually had to borrow Danielle’s trailer because last time we were at Don’s with SIL’s trailer, Dave got the rig stuck. SIL and I figured on this day that he would be fine on his own with the two-horse trailer while we wrangled the animals. (Side note, Dave is actually has an amazing gift for backing trailers. I’m insanely jealous of it.) What we really thought was that it could take us a while to catch the daring duo. Prinz has days when he is just not all that interested in being haltered. Inca is down right suspicious. however, as I said, we had excellent juju that day and found Inca laying down in the stall. I yelled for SIL to shut the stall door and thus, animal number one was caught and haltered within two minutes. Prinz did a couple of laps around the paddock before he decide that he just wasn’t that interested in running, at which time he came right up to me and said he was ready to go.We had to wait for Dave to finish turning the truck around.

We loaded Prinz first since he’s a good traveler.

It must be nice to be a pony in a full size horse’s world. All of the accommodations are so roomy.

Next, we brought Inca around…

I gently encouraged him to step up…

Low and behold, he got right in!

Seriously, 15 minutes and we were in and out of there. I’ve had “trained” horses take longer to load.

When we got to Redemption, we by chance encountered out horse vet, who said she loved Prinz.

While I chatted with Dr. Baker, about who knows what (really? Do I look like that all the time?) Inca became the talk of the neighborhood.

People’s first reaction is that they had no idea alpacas were so short. I guess that was my second reaction after I was struck with the urge to squeeze him.

Of course SIL had to take Inca into the house, knowing, it was the last time that would be able to happen without seeming hillbilly-ish. What? There are no walls in the house. It’s OK to bring livestock into the house if it has no walls!

Perhaps later this week I will share the full gory details of how we shaved Inca later that day. In the meantime, be thankful that your house has walls and you don’t have to bring the animals inside.

Beauty Parlor Day (Prinz’s Version)

Some animals are more inclined to like beauty parlor day than others. Prinz likes it but doesn’t love it enough to abandon all of his dignity. He seems to quietly enjoy the brushing. I took Moo and Jules out to see him and Inca before their big move to the ranch, to check on them and make sue they were ready to travel. Moo brought out her brand new, all pink (and I do mean PINK!)grooming set. We talked horse safety and grooming techniques.

Don came out to check out the scene and brought his dog DJ, who wasn’t all that interested in helping but was very interested in checking the grooming box for stray horse cookies that might have fallen out.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the grooming kit was pink. Moo brushed out Prinz’s tail with care. (Horse tails take so long to grow, we try not to break hairs when we brush them.)

Prinz is sensitive to fly, which will eat him raw if we don’t stop it. During this time of year we take extra precautions, including these adorable fly booties:

…and a cream that stops the flys from eating him raw but he hates. Here I am putting on the cream while he tries to kick me. We’re working on this.

The whole time we did this, Inca looked on in horror…

I think he knew that his turn was coming. Stay tuned for the next installment of “Beauty Parlor Day.”

Transient Animal No. 5 & 6- Prinz and Inca

We’re big softies. We’re suckers for people in need; I’m a sucker for animals in need. It’s the reason I’mĀ  not allowed to go to the animal shelter. Last time I did that, I ended up crying about all the cats in cages and bringing home a cat. That was house cat number two and she is really, really hairy. not exactly an ideal house cat for someone who refuses to clean her own house. (It’s not that the house doesn’t get clean, I just don’t do it myself.) Anyway, we’re big suckers for things that need help and that’s how we ended up with the next pair of transient animals. I’m writing about both of them at the same time because their story is intertwined.

Dave had clients, a wonderfully sweet family, who had become victim to the recession and were moving back to their native home, Scotland. Their lovely pony however, could not go with them. They had made arrangements to have to pony live with a neighbor until such time, their young beautiful daughter could return from college in Scotland and get her beloved mount. In passing, I mentioned that if it didn’t work out with the neighbor, we could take the pony. After years of taking 911 calls, I can read people quickly and I had the sneaking suspicion that the neighbor was a bit, shall we say, unstable. I also mentioned that the pony isn’t going to like being alone. When I met him, he was standing on the front porch of their house and he has photos from his youth in the family home, in front of the Christmas tree. I knew he wasn’t going to be happy when his family left and he was relegated to the back 40 of the neighbor’s house.

Somehow, my two statements started a chain of events. Pauline, the matriarch of the family, worried about the pony getting depressed when left on his own set out to buy him a goat friend. She came back with an alpaca friend instead. The neighbor found out that she would have a pony and an alpaca and had a bit of a met down. Pauline frantic with their move date fast approaching called Dave and talked for five straight minutes without pausing, until I finally told Dave, “just tell her we’ll take the pony so she can breathe!” So the deal was made. The pony’s stay was paid for with home furnishings and we have responsibility for the pair until their girl, Clare, comes back for them.

This match, was not made in heaven. They are really more of a Felix and Oscar type pair. The pony is somewhat fastidious. He’s used to being doted upon. The alpaca is half wild and enjoys doing things like rolling in the pony’s hay. The pony pushes the alpaca away, the alpaca spits at the pony. They stand near each other almost all the time. I guess that are refugees and any company is better than no company, even if you speakĀ  a different language.

Inca poses some interesting challenges. For instance, he’s really furry and is absolutely filthy. I wanted to shave him this summer but Clare was coming to visit and Pauline was worried that he would look silly when he was shaved. She was right of course, but now he has two seasons of hay in his hair. Next spring, he’s getting clipped.

We also need to trim his feet. Dave has never successfully trimmed a camelid before. He tried to trim the feet of a half singed llama that was rescued from the summit fire but the llama wasn’t interested and the llama won. So now, Dave’s going to tackle theses:

I don’t know much about alpacas but I know a bit about feet and I can tell you, these feet are overdue.

Prinz and Inca are living at Don’s house. (remember Don, our friend and amazing Realtor?) Once upon a time, Don’s daughter’s deepest wish was for an alpaca. She had been saving her money in a lunchbox and was close to the amount she needed. One day she opened the lunchbox to find the money was gone. In its place there was a note: I owe you and alpaca. Thirteen years later, she still had the note. When Don found out we had an alpaca with no place to live, he decided it was time to repay his debt to his daughter (two months before she departed for college) and get her the alpaca she always wanted. Don leased the alpaca (and the pony because they are a pair) and we got a place to keep the duo until such a time that we have permits for the remodel and someone can check the animals every day.