O, For the Love of Llama!

Things have been a bit on the stressful side here on the farm. Llama Girl is sick. Yep. And not the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever type of sick either. She just plain can’t breathe. Okay. She can breathe, but not very well. Turns out she has an abscess in the back of her throat. And it only cost us a boat-load of money to find that out. <Sigh> Animals!

Yes, animals are expensive, especially llamas that get a sliver inside their throat. Despite the outlay of large sums of money, believe it or not, the worst part has been trying to figure out how we can effectively give her a daily injection of penicillin. If you recall from a previous post, Llama Girl does not appreciate being touched. So, how do you get close enough to  a 300 lb, nervous to be around people, animal a shot? That, my friends, has been the million dollar question here on the farm.

May I remind you, we are just a bunch of city folk rookies around here. When the vet handed me a 2 week supply of penicillin with 15 needles, my heart sank. ‘You mean, you’re not coming to the farm every day to give them to her?’ You see, Renaissance Man and I had tried giving a shot before. Think rodeo. Yep. It was crazy. It’s a bit unnerving to watch your husband get thrown across the barn with needle in hand. Poor R-Man. The things I have drug this man into. It isn’t right. All I can say is he must really love me.

It turns out though, giving Llama Girl an injection was the least of our worries. Hee. Hee. After spending one and a half hours at the vet’s, watching Llama Girl get intubated (a tube stuck down her throat so she could breath), gassed, and poked with multiple needles, and then being literally put into shock myself when I was told the bill total, I drove toward home. So you know,  the vet clinic is in Woodburn, Oregon (approximately a 1 hour drive from the farm). About 30 minutes from my final destination,  my van decided to make some very disconcerting noises, causing me to pull over and await assistance. My biggest worry? No, it wasn’t how much it might cost to fix my van. It was, ‘How in the world am I going to get this sick llama home?’

(Many unreasonable ideas ran through my head, the least of which was to walk her home. Can you imagine? You’re driving along I-205 and see a hitch hiker walking a llama. The things our poor brains have to filter through while we are in panic-mode.)

You see, our van is truly a farm van. It transports goats, hay, and yes, a llama. There is no farm truck yet. At least a running truck, that is. And llamas must be transported in a covered vehicle or trailer.  So, if we had any chance of getting Llama girl back home to her beloved pasture, we needed to find a friend or family member with a canopied truck or minivan. This is a tricky business people. Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of a llama in their minivan. No, I would venture to guess, there are very few in the world who would think this is a superb idea.

Who did I call first? My sweet friend, Traci. She has a van identical to ours. Although she was honored that I would think of asking her for help, she had a soccer practice to attend. What? You have a life? <smile>  I will tell you though, poor Traci could not help herself. She laughed. Yep. It’s true. My true blue friend saw the situation for what it was and giggled through our entire conversation. And who wouldn’t?

While I was on the phone with my snickering friend, R-Man, who had driven from work to rescue me,  contacted my niece and sister-in-law. They agreed to come save the day with their truck. Whew! As we waited, R-Man and I begun to ponder how in tarnation we would possibly get Llama Girl into a truck. It’s so much higher off the ground than a van.

Feigning that Llama Girl needed to get out and stretch her legs (afterall, she had been in that van for 4 hours), I left R-Man to come up a plan and talk with the repair shop,  and then walked our sick llama through a neighborhood in Oregon City. Yep, I’m sure that wasn’t a site the neighbors expected to see outside their window.

I’m not sure how we all managed it, but with the help of our wonderful family members, we got the llama into the truck bed and back into her pasture. Whew! To say the least, it was an exhausting day. Unfortunately, after we arrived home, we realized we had left the penicillin in our van back in Oregon City. Ugh! Just when we thought our evening was drawing to a close, it was only beginning.

How’s Llama Girl doing? She can now breathe with her mouth closed. That’s a huge improvement.

And how’s the van? Not as well. Yep. She’s getting a new transmission. After that, she’ll be all better. All I have to say is, ‘Thank you, Dave Ramsey. Thanks for teaching us to put together an Emergency Fund. It made the difference between crying my eyes out with despair and this vehicle upset just being an inconvenience to our finances.’

See, you’re life isn’t so bad. Things are good. Be thankful you don’t have to put a llama in your van.

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About kathleen

I'm a stay at home chicken momma with 2 boys and a very understanding husband. In December of '09, we moved to our dream farm. I'm excited to try to become more self-sufficient. So far I have 1 rooster, 9 chickens, 2 goats (some babies on their way this spring), 1 llama, a dog, and a cat. Come along and join us, as we city-slickers figure out how to make our own homestead. You're sure to be entertained.
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One Response to O, For the Love of Llama!

  1. joan porter says:

    What a llama melodrama! Hope Marge gets well soon.

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