All farm losses are rough, but this one was especially painful and complicated. We lost our sweet newest herd member, Ramble On Rose, on April 30 after a brief illness, which was probably caused by a parasite carried by local deer. We did not get a necropsy as it would have meant driving two hours one way to drop him off at the Purdue Vet School.
The poor fellow was unable to stand on April 28. It was damp from massive rain, so I had to blow him dry with a hair dryer in the evening. The vet came on Friday morning, and he seemed to be strong and fighting. She gave him medicine and helped arrange the straw in the barn so he could be even more comfortable. Right before we left the barn, Dark Star was biting and yanking on Ramble's tail. The vet said that was encouragement to get up. After she prepared a weekend's worth of medicine, we returned to the barn for a final vitamin shot, and he was gone. Upon reflection, the vet thought Dark Star had said good-bye with that tail nip.
We hadn't shorn any of the animals yet, so the next step was to rush off to Farmer's Supply to purchase shears. They weren't cheap... In addition to these activities, my mom was coming to see us for the first time in over 14 months. I was so frustrated that what was supposed to be a long happy hug was tainted by feelings of extreme sadness. But of course having her there was the best thing. Both of us we super calm and matter-of-fact while shearing this amazing animal. The fluff will turn into yarn that will be cherished in a lovely project. I'm not sure I have the confidence to try shearing a live alpaca yet, but we might not need a shear team in a few years.
Finally, we had to clear out an overgrown portion of the garden to make room for a grave. That took about two mornings of hard labor. Mama helped like a champ. We finally got our neighbor to bring his backhoe on Sunday around noon. It was such a relief to put a period on that chapter.
Ramble On Rose loved to hum loudly and inharmoniously, neck wrestle with Dark Star, poop in all sorts of spots that weren't the poop pile, and was inquisitive and friendly to a fault. We enjoyed his energy and spunkiness so much!
Ramble and Dark Star on the pasture, eating instead of fighting, for once!
The Farmer walking Ramble to the barn.
Rest well, Ramble. You were loved and continue to be missed.
Shady Grove Alpacas: Ramble on Rose - August 9, 2020 to April 30, 2021, age 7