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My Wonderful Llamas


Sunday was a busy day.  Peggy came out and we packed and loaded most of what we will take to Oxford, MS on Wednesday.  More about the amazingly wonderfully spectacular Oxford, MS show tomorrow.  When Peggy left yesterday afternoon I had my "to-do" list for today and tomorrow.  There is newly dyed fiber to weigh and tag, a huge pile of newly re-skeined yarn to tag, signs for the show to create and a short shopping list.  We worked hard and had a lot to show for it!

As it was starting to get dark, I went out to feed.  The morning feed is the big one around here.  Everyone gets fed.  In the evening only the old goat in the barn and the pony get fed.  I closed the front gate and let the dog out to run with me.  Sadie is her calmest and least destructive when she has a chance to go out and feed with me twice a day.  Shakespeare had been fed in the barn and I was walking back from feeding Steele at the top of the property. Sadie was right there with me and then suddenly she was in the pasture with the llamas, alpacas and goats.  Well, crap.

It took me about 3 seconds to figure out how she got into the pasture.  There was a significant hole between the water trough and the fence post no doubt created by continually dumping the bucket right there as the water is removed from the trough.  All the water troughs are emptied and refilled every week or two depending on the time of year.  Interesting growths happen much faster in the summer.  Regardless, it was a huge hole that I hadn't noticed at all.

First job was to catch Sadie, second job was to fill the hole.  Sadie is fast.  Let me say that again for emphasis.  Sadie is fast.  Like a black blur across the pasture fast.  I grabbed a lead rope and headed after her.  We ran around everywhere - across the goat's pens, all around the llama's pasture, up into the arena, across the top pasture with the mountain and back to the pony's pasture.  Well, actually, I walked and Sadie raced.

Here is the really cool thing about my llamas.  Their job is to protect the goats and the alpacas.  If they were livestock guardian dogs they would simply run Sadie into the ground or into a corner and destroy her... or maybe keep her there while they waited for me.  I'm not sure since I don't have livestock guardian dogs.  But the llamas are different.  They don't chase down and kill whatever is after the goats but they do strongly encourage that animal to leave them alone.  In this case "that animal" was Sadie and they encouraged her to leave the goats alone in the coolest way.  They didn't jump in front of her when she was in full flight after the goats but when she darted through the gate towards the arena, the llamas, all four of them stood shoulder to shoulder in the gateway and wouldn't let Sadie back through to where the goats were.  I have never seen them do anything like that and never seen them do anything so coordinated.  Two of the llamas came here from previous guarding jobs.  The other two llamas both babysit the goats from time to time but I've never seen them jump up and protect them before.  It took my breath away.  Sadie barked at them but they wouldn't back down.  They just stood there with their necks arched staring her down.  She stopped barking, took one last look at them and turned and ran.  YES! 

In the end I did get the rope on the dog and walked her back to the house.  My FitBit was very happy with me since I hit 11,000 steps by the end of it.  Then I rounded up three cement blocks and filled the hole.  I would have given all four llamas a big hug if they would let me get that close.