Monday, February 28, 2011

They are . . . outta here!

The Montana rescue llamas that spent a month here at Wier World have all gone on to new homes.

During the month they were here a lot of "stuff" happened:
1. It was the worst winter in the St. Louis area for decades. We normally get 11 inches of snow in a winter. We're at 30-plus inches of snow and not done yet.
2. Of the 23 llamas scheduled to come here -- one died on the trip from Montana, and one died before she could ever see her new home. One of the Montana girls had a stillborn cria. A tiny little female baby that never had a chance at all.
3. The llamas ate more than any llamas I've ever seen. For the first few weeks there was never "leftover" hay in the feeders when I'd come to the barn to feed again. It was down to the crumbs/sift. At day 19 or so -- I was shocked to come into the barn to see some hay left! They were FULL!
4. They were very defeated when they arrived. There was a sense of hopelessness in their walk, in their demeanor, in their eyes. By the time they left it was darn hard to catch them, even harder to "contain" them -- and forget that walking on lead thing. It just wasn't happening.
5. The reaction of people in and around the llama and alpaca communities was a study in opposites. I got praise and damnation. I was "doing something wonderful" and "what were you thinking?" I got lots of "you should do this" or "you should do that." "Geesh. I've owned llamas for nearly 30 years," I would mutter under my breath after these encounters.
6. Some how -- for some unknown reason -- some people within the industry thought I was getting something for doing this. "Yeah, right. This is my plan for getting rich. I'll take in rescue llamas -- feed and house them and care for them and worry over them -- in the worst winter weather ever. I'll "bury the dead" in the ice and snow -- and then I'll find new homes for them and they will leave -- because I'm going to get rich this way. Yeah. That's my plan." What? Who believes that?
7. Rescue is the most difficult thing I've ever done. No one pays you to do it. In fact, there's not enough money in the world to do it. It has to be done for other reasons.

Because you're crazy about llamas.
Because "what goes around comes around."
Because you like to be challenged.
Because you can't stand around and do nothing.
Because you listen to what the llamas are telling you -- and you "get it."
And even because you're a glutton for punishment.

The one thing I know for sure -- you're never a prophet in your own land.


  1. You are the strongest animal supporter I have ever met, Julie. I am proud to call you my friend!