Alpaca Sadness


A lot has happened since I last took blog in hand. We experienced one of the most horrific shearings I’ve ever heard of with shearers arriving after 9 p.m. It lasted until one-thirty a.m. and, sadly, three days later he had a still birth. While I might have blamed the shearers, given the events of that day, it was probably a blessing in disguise. The poor little one was an abomination far smaller than it should have been with sad little white glazed malformed eyes and a cleft palate.

Perhaps we should try to hide that the sad little creature was born and pretend it never happened, but even these small mistakes are a piece of the fabric of life.

I noticed that Jesse was missing from our daily grain feast and saw her alone, out in the field and my heart instantly knew something was wrong. She lay there three feet from her newborn cria, confused. She had never delivered a baby. It didn’t move, had never moved and would never move and she couldn’t leave it. I had been told by a friend not to suddenly remove a cria in this circumstance and stood back a bit waiting and uncertain of just what to do.

After a bit, two of the other girls, Laguna and Tika, came for her. In its own way, it was a beautiful thing. Jesse slowly got up and they escorted her quietly to the barn, one on either side. She did not look back. I quietly and respectfully removed the little creature from the rise in the field where it had been born. We buried it with its head facing west since the Indians say it is better when the Great Spirit comes for it. It was a very sad, yet awe-inspiring day.

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8 Responses to “Alpaca Sadness”

  1. Ginger Marks Says:

    awww…that brought a tear to my eye. I love that you aren’t trying to discard the little one under the carpet like she never happened. After my first year of hiring a shearer, I learned how to do it myself. It was way to stressful on me and the alpacas. We were on his time and everything was so rushed. I think one of my girls absorbed her baby during that time. I enjoying doing it over a few days if I have to, not try to rush to get 20 done in an hour. oh well…take care. Ginger

  2. Puddytatpurr Says:

    Oh my heart aches!

  3. Tazzieval Says:

    Oh so sorry to read of the still born premie. Well handled, well done and also well done for sharing the good and the bad, it always helps to share information so that others can learn and sometimes avoid the bad bits. I’m helping an acquaintance cope with a staggery alpaca, if I hadn’t publicly shared that I had the issue she would not have known who to contact to chat, being new to the area. Your property pics are looking good, starting to look homely and cared for.

  4. vtknitboy Says:

    oh hon! i’m sobbing. so, so sad. xoxoxoxox

  5. Kathryn | Alpacamundo Says:

    I’m very sad this happened, but it’s wonderful that Jesse seems to have come to terms with the aid of her girlfriends.

    You are a beautiful story teller.

  6. zenasurialpacas Says:

    Thank you all for your sympathy and concern. Jesse is doing well. I put her in the next field so she wouldn’t see the place where it happened, probably me trying to humanize her. She is with Tika and Laguna and four of the kinder, gentler girls–the ones who don’t squabble over grain. I’m trying to ease any stress and hope she will gain a few pounds. Sadly, she leaves in a week, bound for her original home. (I hope members of her original family will be there to welcome her.) The vet says she is ready to travel. We will miss her.

  7. Gillian Says:

    I am so, so sorry for Jesse’s pain and loss. What a truly heartbreaking story, but with the help of her girlfriends and her humans, I am sure Jesse will be fine ultimately. The poor cria – why is nature sometimes so cruel, and yet often so truly amazing? It simply wasn’t the cria’s time, unfortunately.

  8. jocelyn kastenbaum Says:

    Kathleen…glad you are blogging again…it helps ease the pain for you I know..

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