Farewell to a Good Friend

Post date: Jul 19, 2016 3:51:9 PM

This past Sunday morning, in the course of doing chores, we found one of our old llamas, Oreo, had passed away during the night. You can see from the photo above - taken last March - she was white with dark brown and black spots. She is quite camouflaged with respect to our white-ish river sand. She was a very pretty old girl who gave us much nice fiber and especially two wonderful llama-daughters, Sahne (white) and Georgie (brown).

Both Sahne and Georgie are gainfully employed as guard llamas. Georgie in particular inherited her mother's sweet disposition.

Oreo was a very calm llama. We bought her and Sahne together from a llama ranch in Arroyo Grande, years ago. Oreo was pregnant with Georgie (of course we didn't know then who she was pregnant with, just that she had been bred to Prince Kerrmit). In due time, Oreo went into labor. I happen to remember this event very well as you will see. It was a Sunday, Jim was gone for the day and I was doing laundry at home. Our washing machine was in the house, and the dryer was in the barn across the llama pasture. I was taking a load of clothes to the dryer, when I noticed something odd. I looked closer, and there was a dark baby llama's head and neck and one front leg, um, hanging out of Oreo as it were. One leg was back and the poor little creature couldn't come out. I called for veterinarians, the only one on duty who made ranch calls was busy with a horse. So it was up to me. Oreo was so calm! She let me catch and halter her, tie her to a fence post, and (after I washed thoroughly and lubricated my hand and arm), in I went. Somehow Oreo knew I was trying to help. I had to push the baby back in partway, find the other leg, work it out so I could pull the foot out and line up both front legs with the head and neck, and out Georgie came! A lovely dark brown girl llama. I was worried that after all that, Oreo might not accept her baby, but she DID! I backed off, and Oreo went over the new baby thoroughly, licking her and nibbling at the top of her head, murmuring and talking to the baby constantly. Plenty of milk, everything was fine. By the way the vet did show up, was annoyed it was all over, I offered to pay her for coming out but she finally said, no that's all right, and off she went.

We will miss Oreo, who was calm right up to the end. If there is a heaven, Oreo is there!