Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sad Goodbye

I have not blogged for a while but there is a reason.  Sadly one of our llamas died on the 18th June.  It was Rancho, who was once our fiercely proud leader of the pack. 

 When I first started blogging, I featured a picture of him along with Chiclayo; it was just after that, that he became ill for the first time.  It all started with just a limp but he quickly deteriorated and his system began to shut down. That stopped me doing any further blogs for a while as his care took such a lot of our spare time but very happily he pulled thru, even though his health was not as it had been.  I don't know where we would have been without a product that we ordered from the States called Fibrevive, made by Oxbow.  He had stopped eating and Fibrevive is a food specially formulated for llamas and with regular feeding by a dosing gun, he eventually pulled back round again.

My last blog was about their haircuts and it was only a week after that, that Rancho became very ill again.  We had checked them all on the Sunday night and they were fine.  They had a little treat of granule and they all ate it, including Rancho.  The weather was awful for June, being cold and wet.  When we checked them on Monday morning Rancho was down in his field, not moving.  When I saw him, I thought that he was dead.  He was very cold, so one of us called the vet and the other one covered him in old blankets.

The vet arrived and though it would be best to put him to sleep but my husband wanted to give Rancho another chance.  In the meantime, our father & son farming neighbours, Felix & Julien arrived and they were wonderful.  They went to fetch their quad bike and trailer and we got a blanket under him and lifted him onto the trailer and took him into the stables.

We got huge plastic containers and filled them with hot water and put them against him, covered him with straw and blankets and along with an infusion from the vet, he seemed to pull round again.  He did however, seem very weak but no one could tell what was wrong with him.  A blood test proved nothing as the vets did not have the equipment to read it correctly.  The good thing was that this time he continued to eat and drink and we all saw that as very positive.  Twice a day Felix and Julien arrived to help my husband move Rancho, as he was either sitting or laying in the same position all the time and that was not good for him.

Mid week the vet said that they were going to ask Toulouse Veterinary School to take him.  We had not known that we could do that and wished that we had known two years ago when he was first ill.  Nonetheless, we were very pleased because we knew that he would get the best care there.  It was arranged that he would go on the Monday. 

He seemed to make steady progress through the week but still had not stood up but had continued to eat and drink.  Saturday morning he seemed fine but then during the day on Saturday he deteriorated very quickly and began to suffer from diarrhoea.  We were desperate that he would make it to the vet school but unfortunately; he gave up his struggle for life on Sunday morning.  We were devastated.  He was only just 7 years old. 

Even in a bad situation, you always need to look for the positive and for us it was the fact that a lovely lady takes the fibre from our llamas to spin.  She had taken it last time and told me that when she came to collect this year’s fibre,  that she had a little gift for us.  She came to collect just a few days after we had lost Rancho and she brought with her a wonderful little knitted purse and a skein of white wool.  So it was very timely that we have something of Rancho, other than just memories and something that we can keep and cherish.

So that is the reason that I have not been blogging.  It was too painful to write about him and I could not write and not mention him. 

I hope that you have a great Sunday.
À bientôt.


  1. Oh Janette,
    I am so very sorry. It is devastating losing a friend, no matter what species. We surround ourselves with lives more transient than our own, love them, nurture them and although we know they will not live for ever, we still subject ourselves to the pain because of the joy and love they bring when they are with us. Hopefully, time will heal and you will have some wonderful memories of lovely Rancho.

    Thinking of you at his difficult time.

  2. Thanks Di, yes I am attached to my animals. I have not had any kids and I think of them as my furry family. I think it is the feeling of letting him down too. Plus, if only we had got him to Toulouse sooner but what ifs don't get you anywhere.