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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.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Slip Sliding Away, OR How the WRONG Llama Stumbled into the WRONG Pasture

Life is always full of wonderful adventures when you own 26 llamas, although more often than not its my girls that raise my blood pressure. Unless of course its the three livestock guardian dogs doing something important, or something stupid.

Earlier this week it was the boys turn to raise my blood pressure, well not all the boys just SALT.

SALT came to us back in 2002. We were contacted by a man who had encountered him and was attacked by him. So, I went out to visit him and Salt and Pepper [his female pasture mate] and this was not just any man, he was a HUGE man. 6 foot 7 350lb man who was knocked down by this seemingly pip-squeak of a llama. Well nothing about SALT was pip-squeak. As the story unfolded this guy got the two of them from a family locally that had a large number of boys who used to play lets see who can rope and ride SALT without getting knocked off. First, llamas are not horses nor are they designed to be ridden; second being chased by a bunch of screaming boys is bound to make even the gentlest animal fearful and angry. AND BOY WAS SALT fearful and angry. His anger sprang from his decision to attack first rather than wait to be chased. We chose to attempt to re-hab SALT.

Those are some photos of him when we first took him in, and an entire year later, still full of hate and fear. It took us an entire two years to get him to the point where his first thoughts were not to attack anything on two legs that entered his pastures or paddock. And here he is 2004. Needless to say just two years without the daily traumas of being assaulted and threatened did wonders to calm him down to be a manageable llama. Now don't get me wrong. He is far from anything anyone would call a pet, and he has no burning passion for interactions with people as a general rule. He won't eat from your hand, he still recoils and flinches if you wave your arms too fast, and he certainly has no interest in being sheared or having his toes trimmed, but he can be trusted NOT to attack anyone, and actually has come to adore my wife's presence.

None of that has anything to do with the events of the week, but I do so enjoy showing a relatively happily ever after story.

And now, back to the story. I get home ahead of my wife which is not all that unusual and as always while coming up the driveway take a quick sneak peek at the girls to make sure they are all still there, especially after their made dash for freedom not all that long ago. Read all about their grand escape in the RUNAWAY LLAMA POST

As I pull into the garage I am met at the gate by the three dogs who are always there, with Charles [one of the llamas] prancing around waiting for his special food time, and with some of the other boys doing what boy llamas do. Tucked in the corner I see Salt standing and casually think "well that's a weird place for him to be". Llamas are creatures of habit and that just isn't one of the places he usually hangs out. And of course I didn't think anything about it. I went into the house, changed clothes, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sauntered casually out towards the hay shed which happens to be closer to the boys than the girls.

THAT'S when I finally noticed Salt was in the WRONG PASTURE. He was in Royce's pasture.
Royce lives in a pasture adjacent to the other boys where he has complete site of them, but he very much prefers to live on his own. He just doesn't play well with other males intruding into his life. And there was Salt just standing there, with Royce looking ever so annoyed, confused, but just there with him.

Of course first question is HOW did that happen, followed rapidly by why is no one else in there with him, why isn't Royce out of the pasture into the boy's pasture, and WHERE are the dogs?

So I start running quite literally, the entire pasture fence line that separates Royce's world from the rest. WAY out back there is a spot where a ten foot section of chainlink has been pushed out from the bottom, and all the connections have popped off.

This also happens to be one of the spots along the fence line that SALT has a passion for rubbing on. Apparently he was rubbing SO HARD that he literally fell THROUGH the fence.

So...we gather up halter and lead, get Salt back into his world much to his and Royce's quite apparent relief, fix the fence, and start counting heads to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be.

This was all 2 weeks ago, and everything seems right in their worlds. I guess the moral is that there is always something, somehow that these llamas we love and adore will do to just ruin your day, whenever they possibly can. They don't think of it as ruining your day, we do.....

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