Friday, February 10, 2012

Shortest Bad Ad Ever, Llama Update & Thank You to New Readers

WOW I'm so excited!! I just got featured as a guest blogger on Fuglyblog! I've been a huge fan of that blog for years, especially since the writers of Snarkyrider took over.

They say they'd like to feature me at least once more, and possibly twice. I could faint!! It's an honor-- and because of their shout-out to North Horse, I've even gotten a few new readers on THIS blog, which means people are actually reading my blog! Thank you! It's really amazing to feel like I'm not just talking to an empty room. Hi RiderWriter, Moonbrained Mare, DaniB, Katrina, Sulfurfire and any lurkers!! You guys are awesome.

Fortunately, I seem to have gained all intelligent, polite, well-spoken Fuglyfans so far. Not that I object to some conflict. I'm certainly going to see some when my BLM post hits Fuglyblog! And hey guys, please let me know what you would like to hear more about on this blog. I don't aim to be a carbon-copy of Fugly or Snarky, though I'm happy to supply some of the same kind of content if that's what people want more of. Speaking of which...

Click the ad to enlarge. Actual ad is here.

I nearly choked on my toast this morning when I read it. Never have I seen a horse seller sabotage themselves with so little effort. Usually, it takes a bad picture, a lot of misspellings AND a really stupid/selfish attitude to totally ruin a horse Craigslist ad. This one does it in the first eight words.

"GREAT WITH KIDS! not all the way broke"

And if you'll buy that, well ma'am, I have a rescued llama to sell you. He's great with kids-- just not all the way tame. Speaking of which (again), a brief llama update:

Crazy "Skyla" (okay okay, her real first name is obviously Grace) left this bag of Sweet 16 feed on the front desk at my workplace. I didn't see her do it. She didn't say hello or anything, just left it and snuck out (kind of creepy) so I'm assuming she's still miffed at me for taking over the llama rescue. Even so, she's still giving hair-brained advice (see previous blogs). As she notes urgently in red pen, high levels of copper are indeed toxic to llamas (and sheep). Unfortunately, according to the manufacturer's own website, Sweet 16, the very stuff Grace left for me, has "high levels of copper, and should not be fed to sheep."

This only goes to show you that you can't trust anybody. If you were to meet "Skyla"/Grace on the street, you would think she's a sweet, religious older lady, very well-meaning, and you might be tempted to take her advice. Well, the next time anyone gives you advice, regardless of their appearance, intentions or credentials, don't dismiss it-- but don't act on it until you've researched it yourself.

That warning applies to me, too. I wouldn't be writing this blog if I weren't doing my absolute best to fact-check everything I say-- but I'm only human. I can goof up, I have prejudices, and things might work for me that won't work for you, or vice-versa. The same thing applies to any blogger, trainer, breeder or "expert." Listen, learn, read, then do the research yourself.

The llama isn't going to be eating any of that Sweet 16. Oh, and his name is now "Nash," after the famous American Poet, Ogden Nash, who wrote:

"A one L lama is a priest
A two L llama is a beast
And I would bet a silk pajama
There's no such thing as a three L llama."

Yeah, he was kind of a silly guy.

Nash the llama is doing fine. A little too well at the moment actually.
Now that he's warmer, eating a ton, drinking as much as he wants and over the initial stress of the move, he's more energetic. He's threatening to spit a lot more often, insisting that he does not want to be petted for more than thirty seconds. I have to put a big wide collar on him in order to make him stand still while I'm visiting. However, he now knows what feed is, and after a moment's hesitation will chow down straight out of my hand.

That's "lama" as in the Dalai Lama. 

Just like an un-handled horse, he's figuring out how to get a human to A) feed him delicious things and B) leave him alone the rest of the time. I'm on to him though-- even if I get spat upon, he's going to learn to stand still and get petted, dammit. With the exception of nipping (llamas don't, 'cause they only have bottom teeth) his aggression signals are almost the same as a horse's, so I can tell him "NO!" when he pins his ears at me, and reward him when he relaxes. Our best petting session so far lasted 15 minutes, with a couple of minor escape attempts. That's major progress for a critter that was totally isolated only a week ago. I'm a little worried though-- Nash tends to pace continually whenever I'm in the barn and not holding him or feeding him. He does it in front of the barn gate, sometimes sticking his head under or through the bars.

At first I thought he was just really excited about wanting to see the horses, but I hope I'm not causing him to do this out of stress. My llama farmer contact had no advice, other than to give him time to settle in.

Oh, and my horses hate Nash. Mr. Strut avoids the yard as much as possible, only sneaking in to eat breakfast and dinner as far away as possible from the llama. He's even abandoned his favorite lounge spot. Annie isn't scared, she's jealous. I don't normally like to attribute complex human emotions to animals, but there's no mistaking this. She body-blocks me if she sees me heading towards the llama. She has begun to poop right next to his gate and nowhere else in the yard, as if to say, "Shit on you buddy." When I'm feeding Nash, even if she already has her own food, she sticks her head over the gate and trying to bite if he comes too close. Poor Nash! He didn't ask for any of this.


  1. I think the pacing is just kinda a thing they do. My farm has a breeding pair of llamas and two babies. The friendliest, the stud will pace the fence whenever people are in sight, and follow you as far as he can. If he hears a car he comes running. The female not so much, and the babies eh sometimes. Have fun with Nash! We call the stud Drama llama although his real name is Mystic.

    1. Ohhh I should say the farm where I board at. Not my farm.

  2. I don't know specifically about Llamas but it does look like he's trying to get away from you. I wouldn't worry about it at this stage though, he's only just arrived and is still getting used to everything and you in particular. He's got a lot to take in! And it sounds like he's making good progress :)