We Welcome Everyone

It doesn't matter to us at all if you own llamas, want to own llamas, or just think following our lives and the antics and thoughts of our llamas (as told by ME of course), we welcome you to little snips of our lives.

More of the flavor of the world is scattered in bits and pieces throughout my rare blog postings, and I welcome thoughts.

You can find more about us and our llamas on our home web page at Roads End Llamas.

If you want to reach me privately feel free to drop a line.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Runaway Llamas or How My Llamas Changed the Face of My Day

So I’m outside yesterday firing up the tractor to load some firewood and take care of a few odds and end chores, and Luna our Anatolian Shepherd is absolutely coming unglued at some ‘mystery’ way down the road that I can’t see or even hear. And by unglued, she is full focused and ridge backed, not a bark, growl, snarl or sound, just dead stare that tells you there is what SHE thinks is serious danger approaching or close enough for her to pay 100% attention to.
I look over at Legend [a temporary visiting male llama] who is turned out in the upper browsing pasture, and he is eyeball glued and squealing that ‘hello come back here please’ squeal that llamas make when one or more is taken out of pastures. But he is just a visitor so sometimes he does that when he sees deer, ducks, or our chicken.
So just to be casual I saunter down the driveway towards the road to check things out. And I look over to my right into the girl’s pastures….AND THEY ARE MISSING!
ALL 16 of them are nowhere to be found. I trot down to the pasture section where I had seen them browsing last, the outside gate was off its hinges, and a wonderful trail of tracks led out into the timber. Thank you Dahli [our no such thing as a gate I can’t open if I want to llama]. Chains, padlocks, Kiwi latches all mean nothing, she just literally will worry a gate off its hinges and shove it out of the way, whenever the mood strikes her.
Now please keep in mind we live literally at the end of a dead end road that essentially boundaries one of the state forests. Yes, I panicked. Called Chloe at work and told her to come home NOW, called animal services to tell them what I might be up against and they notified the sheriff in case someone called in some wayward llamas.
Ran into the boys pasture and grabbed old Joe one of THE smartest and most willing to please llamas we own, and headed into the woods to follow the quite easily identified tracks. Only time all winter I thanked nature for all the rain and mud.
Followed it BACK up onto the road where the tracks showed the girls were apparently wandering down and away from the house. So… with Joe in tow I start hollering for the girls who are not to be seen anywhere.
After about 10 minutes Tess, her daughter Jasmine, Katee and her mother, Luvy, come wandering down the road towards me, take one look at Joe in tow and go from a simple saunter to a dead gallop!!! Of course, that meant 12 were still unaccounted for.
So I decide at least I have 4, let’s get them back, and turn around and start heading back onto the property with the foolish thought that those four will just follow me and Joe into their pasture. I’m almost 1/3 mile down the road so it’s not exactly a fast walk, especially since the four girls seem to think its still time to picnic and are munching as they walk. But at least they are coming. And I keep calling for the rest of the girls, just in case. I get about 100 yards from our driveway entrance and quite literally I hear hooves behind me. And here comes ALL 12 of the rest of them, hell bent for leather my way. Chloe wasn’t home yet and it dawned on me that it was now 16 against 2, and the odds were not that good that all [if any] of them would come into their pastures. The boys by this time had gotten sight of all those LOOSE females, and started up a major ruckus, which of course got the girls attention.
And sure enough, all 16 of them make a beeline for the BOYS. So now I have the entire herd trying to get at each other jumping up on the fences with three LGD’s doing their best not to get trampled in the melee.
I’m running around opening short pasture exterior gates entrances [where the boys are already shut out of] in the hopes that the girls will head into the boys pastures if nothing else. No such luck of course. I also throw open the turnout pasture with Legend in it, just in case and have him shut into the orchard section of that pasture.
Joe in the meantime is quick tied in the girls pasture to the inside of the fence line in case some or any of the girls see him and want to investigate and because it was on the way to where the girls had wandered.
I grab a big bucket of grain and figure that maybe they will pay attention to food instead of all those boys. Four of my grain sluts [sorry ladies] took one look at the bucket and came right to me in the upper turnout pasture so I just dumped some grain on the ground and kept calling the girls. A couple of the pg females who were busy spitting at all the boys saw what was going on and decided food was better than throwing the cold shoulder and spit on the boys. Ok so now I have half the girls contained and half of them still ‘wandering loose’. I look over to orchard side of things and JOE is now standing along the fence line with Legend lead dragging the ground. More on that later.
So, I grab Joe, and quick tie him again right alongside Legend on the other side of the fence, he’s not helping things at all anymore, and go get Legend out of the orchard and put him up. Shoo the girls in there already into the orchard and shut them in leaving the main upper section still open. Eventually more of the girls attempting to get at the boys [and vice versa] decide quite literally on their own to join the rest of the girls, EXCEPT of course Cayan, her daughter Isabeau, Pixie [my not quite ABS female], and Bella. [Oh yea, about this time Chloe gets home with help in hand]
I go get Joe again, and wander him over to Cayan and Isabeau. Cayan is pg, and she starts spitting at Joe, and Isabeau is REAL interested in Joe. I get Isabeau on a quick loop lead, and start walking him and Isabeau back to the girls pasture. Well Joe figures out pretty quick that Isabeau is an open female, and starts orgling at her and Isabeau is old enough to figure that sound out. Fortunately, she doesn’t kush, and Cayan is just body slamming Joe [poor guy] left and right because he is messing with HER DAUGHTER. Now I’ve got Cayan and Isabeau back in their pastures, and loose tie Joe to a tree [for the third time] just in case I need him. He’s all hung mouth so ignores everything and starts nibbling on the cedar limbs.
Still have Pixie and Bella wandering around. By the time I get my little mess squared away Bella decides she REALLY wants in with the other girls and goes in. Pixie in the meantime is just grazing and making as big a point as she can NOT to get caught [no surprise]. And now I look at where I left Joe and he is wandering loose, dragging his lead rope AGAIN! I open the main drive gate to the girls pasture and he trots in to go visit Isabeau [I presume]. Pixie decides on her own thankfully to follow him!!!
Well, that’s an hour and half of round up and everyone is now accounted for but no one is where they belong. Grabbed all the halters and one by one the three of us got all the girls back where they belonged. No harm, no foul, as long as you don’t count an hour and half of heart rates [well mine at least] OFF THE CHARTS!!!
So the dust [well actually mud] all settles, the girls are safe and sound, the boys are exhausted from all the excitement and I decide to try and figure out just what is wrong with my quick tie that I have been using for years. I go get Joe and bring him out again, and just quick tie him to a corral panel, and I wait, and wait, and wait, and wait some more. And then Joe decides he has had enough of being tied, so he reaches out and grabs the loose end of the quick release loop and pulls on it, and the tie does exactly what it supposed to do, COMES UNDONE. Way too many lessons for one day thank you very much.
Darned good thing I was off work today, but frankly, work is much easier than being home turned out to be.
Gary, , Olympia WA

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Life with Llamas

My photo

There is only one me. If you understand camelids, you understand me.

Blog Archive