I love the smell of my alpacas, all musty and grassy. On warm days I think they smell of biscuits. I do not, however, love the smell of their spit, which is indelible and lasting. One of the girls I look after is a prolific spitter. She’s had a comfortable life. She hasn’t been moved from her pals (not that she likes them much) in years, has plentiful grass, a huge paddock, beautiful view, gentle treatment, however she readily spits at humans and alpacas when they get in her way and this has earned her a reputation for being difficult and bolshie. But I think she’s misunderstood. She only spits defensively and nervously when she feels her space is being invaded. She is not, by nature, an aggressive alpaca.
I’ve been on Julie Taylor-Browne’s camelidynamics intro course and I am resolved to put it into action with this girl starting THIS WEEK. She’ll happily follow me into a pen for food and has been halter trained in the past so I’ll stand with her and see if I can win her trust and calm her down. It may take a few sessions of trial and error. I’ll report on how I get on. I want to get to the stage where I can cut her toenails without the aid of two strong men.
This is not one of our animals, rather one of the girls in a (very) small herd I look after for someone else (all our animals behave perfectly of course, hmmm).
So this is my first entry in blogland. Its completion is largely due to my dirty chicken house, the cleaning-out of which is my least favourite animal job and I’ve been filibustering all day. However it’s refusing to rain so there’s no more avoiding it..