A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

October 4, 2007

Back Home Following a Great Experience

I arrived back at home Tuesday evening after a long day and a long drive.  I was up at 5 a.m. Central Time (4 a.m. Mountain Time) that morning and so was ready to just relax once I made it home, of course I first had to get smothered by the dogs who were happy to see me and check on the alpacas.  Carissima and Zeus ran up to me while the rest of the herd contentedly chewed their cud, everyone looked good and Carissima and Zeus decided to entertain me with some cria races, which Velvet, Blast and Athena decided to join. 

The Compliance Check Clinic in Shawnee, Oklahoma was a great experience, very educational and a good opportunity to discuss various show situations with other alpaca breeders at the clinic.  It was also wonderful to meet Connie Alexander, the AOBA Show Division Administrator, in person.  Ric and I have both talked to Connie numerous times on the phone and so it was great to finally meet her in person.  Connie is dedicated to her job and has always impressed us with her knowledge of the AOBA Show Rules.  It was apparent from Connie’s class that part of the reason for her success at her job is that she loves the work she is doing.  Thank you Connie for a great class! 

Volunteering at the Judges Oral Reasons Clinic was a great experience.  Watching the judges taking part in the education process gave us volunteers a greater appreciation for all that an AOBA Show Judge goes through to obtain their certification.  We also started to appreciate how tiring the work of an alpaca show judge can be.  We only had to stand with alpacas through Monday afternoon and part of Tuesday morning and we were more than ready to take a break on both days.  An alpaca show judge is usually on his or her feet for two full days of judging, not only standing but making decisions about the alpacas in the class and then deciding on the oral reasons that they are going to give to the exhibitors and audience for the placement of the alpacas.  It must take a lot of stamina both mentally and physically to judge an alpaca show, and alpaca owners should all be thankful that there are individuals who willingly take on that task.   

My days away while busy were most enjoyable and educational, and I will volunteer to assist at a Judges Training Clinic again if I have the opportunity. 

On our daily Zeus update the little devil did not gain much weight yesterday, his energy levels are still good and he had a good chase around the pasture with Carissima last night.  It may be that he didn’t think to nurse from Carina while she was busy eating her alfalfa the day before.  I think little Zeus is going to be a constant challenge until we can get him eating some grain and hay, but I am confident that we will get him through this.  We have a lot of tools in our toolbox of ideas and we will just keep trying to ensure he gains weight.  Last night I was encouraged to see him nibbling on a little of the alfalfa, which will add a few more calories to his daily intake.  I think having Carissima around is a real benefit to Zeus, he watches her and follows her lead on so many things, perhaps without her he would not have started to nibble on hay yet, and he certainly would not have had Carina to steal milk from! 

It was good to see that Ric was able to figure out the intricacies of updating the blog, he did such a good job in my absence I think I can plan on taking more days away from the farm – somehow I think he may not agree with my on that point! 


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