As you may know, John and I have alpacas. People are always so surprised to hear this...we got 2 in TX and while there, one of them became pregnant. I wasn't there for her birth, but John was...he came home from work one day and Momma has started to push baby out, but the baby was stuck, so John did what anyone would do...he got down and reached inside and helped pull the baby out! Says it was one of the scariest but coolest moments of his life!
So, as you can imagine, the baby and John had always had a really close bond. When he pulled in the driveway, she would immediately come running! He'd crouch down, and she'd nuzzle his head and coo. It was the sweetest sight to see.
A few months ago, we came home to find the baby unable to stand or walk. A vet came out and said she'd been "attacked" by what's called a deer, or meningeal, worm. It doesn't affect deer but it DOES harm goats, sheep, and camelids - alpacas, llamas, and camels. And our baby had it. It messed with her spine and brain. BAD. After some shots and medication, she was eventually able to move again, first with our help, then by herself.
All our girls were at a nearby alpaca farm to be bred (not the baby, we just wanted to keep her close to Momma), and we got word Friday morning that the baby was struggling to stand. And by the time I got home in the afternoon, John informed me that she had died.
We assume it was the worm that killed her but are having an autopsy done just to make sure.
Needless to say, we are heartbroken. She was more than a livestock animal to us...she felt like a pet. We loved her greatly and will miss her dearly. But if there's a Rainbow Bridge for alpacas, we know we'll "see her again".
Rest in peace, sweet girl...run and be free!
All photos: me
This was moments after she was born...