A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

January 1, 2008

Happy New Year From Clovis, New Mexico!

Here we are at the start of a New Year, to some New Year’s Day is just another day but to me it is an exciting time to start anew, setting new goals and heading forward to enjoy another year of life.

The year 2007 was a year that brought both sadness and joy.  The loss of our dear friend Dick Pottinger was particularly hard, as was watching Dick’s wife, my best friend Linda, suffer the tragedy of the loss of her husband.  Linda has been amazing during this past year, it is a difficult process adjusting to life without ones soul mate but Linda has gone forward with her usual tenacity and determination and while she misses Dick terribly she has also made sure that her life remains full and meaningful.

I am fortunate enough to have two best friends and my friend Val also unfortunately had a challenging year.   The timing of things in our lives can be an interesting concept, and while both Val and Linda were experiencing the sadness life can bring, they also discovered the warmth, support and happiness of a deepening friendship.

My father’s deteriorating health and admission to a nursing home and my mother’s ongoing battle with Social Services about funding my father’s healthcare was another low point in 2007.  It is sad to realize that it doesn’t matter how hard you work during life or how diligent you are in supporting your country and doing things the right way, at the end of the day modern governments have little or no consideration for your efforts with the exception of appreciating the assets that they now claim to be theirs.  On the bright side of that situation though is the way my mother has turned into a whirlwind of activity and action as she coped with what must be one of the hardest times of her life.  She may be in her 80’s but I think she can still run circles around many who are a fraction of her age.

But along with sadness often comes joy and what could be more joyful than going to a beautiful wedding of two special people.  Laura and Ren had a wonderful wedding in England, and while Ric and I had somewhat separate travel plans in order to get us both there and the alpaca herd safely cared for, we did both make it to the wedding and even had a whole seven days vacation together!

Now we excitedly look forward to the birth of Laura and Ren’s first child and our first grandchild, in just under 90 days we will be grandparents!  Joyous news that we learned in 2007 and that will carry us forward into 2008.

Then of course there were our animal happenings.  The arrival of the first cria from our herdsires Zindel, Tobiano and Moonie, the continuing outstanding show record of the cria from our herdsire Prince Regent, the arrival of dog number four Tripster, the survival of our dear elderly cat Six Toes whose heart is showing signs of wear but who still has a great life and one of the loudest purrs, and the survival of our Pomeranian Toby despite a serious vaccine reaction.  Along the way we met wonderful people and gained new friends, at alpaca shows, through animal rescue organizations, through our day to day business and also through this blog.  For all of you who have posted comments through the past year I sincerely thank you and look forward to your input as 2008 continues.

In a time when economies world wide are somewhat shaky and when wars are being fought and lives lost, those of us who live in safety, with little threat to our lives, a roof over our heads and food on our table have a lot to be thankful for.  I am sure there will be some “wobbly” spots in 2008, but I am also sure that there will be a lot of happy times along the way, that’s just the way life is.

Happy New Year to you all, may 2008 bring you good health, happiness and prosperity.


December 20, 2007

Christmas? Next Tuesday? I’d better get busy!

Snuggler and Six ToesDuring a conversation with Ric yesterday he mentioned a function we will be attending this Saturday.  I was surprised that the function was coming so soon as in my mind I thought it was the following Saturday, even more surprising to me was that if Saturday December 22 is this Saturday that means Christmas Day is Tuesday! 

So yesterday was spent shopping for groceries so that the evening could be spent doing our holiday baking.  Fortunately I had already planned what I was going to bake and had most of the supplies on hand.  Some of the treats we are making need to be refrigerated overnight before the next stage of baking and so later today we will be having fun cutting out and decorating alpaca shaped ginger bread cookies, llama shaped Christmas cookies (we use the same cookie cutter but just change the shape of the ears and the position of the tail) and probably some dog, cat and horse shaped cookies to represent the rest of our furry family.

The previous night young Snuggler, the barn cat who now lives inside, had almost driven me to distraction with his high spirits and energy.  During the course of the evening he tried to steal my dinner, batted the Christmas tree branches, tried using the wooden alpaca as a scratching post and then resorted to launching himself onto me with all claws extended during my Pilates session.  Needless to say he is probably short of a life or two now!

I really didn’t want to have to battle a young cat whilst baking and was trying to figure out how to keep him calm when I remembered that the dogs will usually all fall asleep if I put the right music on the CD player, so I looked out a Christmas CD and bingo that was the end of Snuggler’s high jinx for the night as he curled up next to Six Toes for a good long nap.

While the baking we did yesterday and today is for humans, I think it only right that the animals get a treat too, so the dogs will be getting some peanut butter treats which include all sorts of good things such as flax seed meal and the alpacas ………. well I have yet to find a good recipe for alpaca treats but I know there is one out there somewhere.  Most likely I can adapt a horse treat recipe (and then kill two birds with one stone as I will have treats for the horses too).  Of course if worse comes to worse the alpacas, llamas and horses will probably be content with some chopped carrots and apples.  They have finished the last of their pumpkins and so will be ready for something new to nibble on.

Once the baking is finished then I suppose I should get on with some Christmas gift wrapping and I can pretty much bet a certain young cat will be wanting to lend a hand and probably will be losing another of those nine lives in the process!


November 30, 2007

Content Critters

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Health, Alpacas, camelids, General — Tags: , , , , , , — alpacalady @ 7:26 am

Carina, Carrisima and Zeus enjoy the round bale As I looked around the farm yesterday it was good to see everyone looking content and happy.  One group of boys had been let out in the back pasture for the day and was busy exploring and rolling; the other boys had full hayracks and were happily chomping on the hay.  The girls too had their hay ration, although some had already finished their initial attack on the hay and were contentedly chewing their cud while sitting in the sunshine.  The day wasn’t the warmest but for an alpaca in full fleece it was a nice temperature and great weather to be enjoyed. 

In the horse pasture our two horses Savannah and Saber were taking their daily constitutional, strolling around and looking for extra to eat.  With our drought conditions there isn’t much for them to graze on, we feed them hay morning and night and their weight is good, but their instincts tell them they should be out in the pasture looking for whatever goodies they can find to eat. 

Back at the house, Tripster and Missy the two outside dogs were stretched out side by side in the exact same position, worn out from their morning walk and with full stomachs from their morning feed.  Sandie one of the two inside dogs was enjoying her time out in her own special yard (Sandie does not play well with others, except Toby and so has to have her own yard to exercise in).   All of our dogs are rescues and it is good to see them enjoying the lives that most likely would have been ended had they remained on the streets or in the local animal control center. 

Inside the house Six Toes our six toed Manx cat was going along with his usual routine of finding a patch of sunlight to curl up in for a nap, while Snuggler, our barn cat who was attacked by a dog and who now stays inside the house for most of the day, was curled up on top of Six Toes.  Six Toes is not too thrilled with Snuggler’s love of being so close, but Snuggler is a persistent little cat and will not take no for an answer. 

Then of course there was Toby, still gradually making progress from his recent illness.  He has now gone from having to be syringe fed to eating on his own and at his last vet check had gained 0.2 lbs.  Toby’s recovery will be a slow one, but day-by-day he gets a little stronger.  Today we have to take him in again for blood work to see what progress has been made.  His blood tests have been run every 3-4 days and show good improvement although he still is not producing enough red blood cells, fingers crossed that will change soon. 

It’s a good feeling to have such contented critters around us, when I walk into an alpaca pasture and have to walk around the alpacas that are cushed, rather than have them jump out of my way, I know that they are happy, secure and content in their environment.  That contentment and relaxed attitude goes a long way to securing their good health. 

What a great life our critters have, they cannot speak as we do but in their own way they tell us that they appreciate life and all we do for them – and in return they provide the same great life and contentment to us too. 


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