Our oldest llama passed away yesterday. She was nearly 25 years old. Honeymoon Suite was a classic North American llama -- little leg fiber, a mane like a horse. She was tall and athletic.
She was a pleasant, reasonable animal.
She started having difficulty getting up from a kushed (sitting) position in late September. She would sometimes sunbathe in the pasture -- only to discover that she couldnt right herself.
Ben and I would roll her over and prop her up with a straw bale -- and eventually she would stand up and go about her life.
Last Tuesday she was too "tired" to come to the barn and she spent the overnight hours in the pasture. I didn't want that to happen -- as she was easily a victim to coyotes and such -- so I got her up -- walked behind her -- herding her into the barn.
She never came back out. She was kushed, with the help of straw bales for several days -- and I put hay and water within reach. Thank goodness she wasn't outside during the monsoon weather last week.
Her slow, deliberate breathing finally stopped yesterday. She is now running across "the Rainbow Bridge," that place where our animal companions wait to be reunited with us.
She will be sadly missed at our farm, but will be remembered. To many, she was "just another llama." Not to me.