In Memory of Chile - A Matriarch of our Herd
Dependency comes so easy when you add love and trust. Communication becomes so refined that you move and think as one. I experienced this with our Chile. She was the matriarch of our herd. Exotic to say the least... a bawdy wench that knew everything....an old soul in the true sense of the word. She watched over her herd and gave comfort and companionship to any and all llamas that were in need. Every lady in the barn looked up to her and gave her respect. Chile was a very loving and patient teacher to all the babies, weanlings and lesser prominent llamas on the social scale.
Then Chile lost her sight. The day it happened was upsetting to not only Chile, but to every lady in the barn. There was confusion that led into rejection as she bumped into one after another. Suddenly Chile was at the bottom of the pecking order. Things had to be turned around, for she would not last long emotionally at this rate. We confined her to her own little portable stall right in the middle of the ladies barn; fed her shredded vegetables and raisins and grain by hand with lavished and pronounced affection; primped and groomed and fussed over her daily - - just treated her very special and important in front of all the ladies.
We would take walks, always starting from square one, out to each pasture and back so that Chile would get her bearings. This we would do only with an arm around her neck so we could communicate with not only our voice, but with our bodies as well. Then we would walk among the ladies and babies so she would be able to sense their presence. Putting a large cow bell around the neck of her best friend, Angel, was the best form of introducing her to the herd again. As Angel would walk and ring the bell, Chile and I would follow. Almost immediately, Chile caught on and was able to stay with her best friend by following the tinkling sound of the bell. At this point, we let Chile be on her own each day in the pasture. She seemed comforted and ever so much more confident, being able to see with her ears. Chile progressed to being able to follow our voices as well. Soon she was able to even run a little to the pastures because her senses really began to sharpen. One of Chile's favorite pastimes was swimming. She would stand for long periods by the edge of the lake and soon thereafter started swimming again. She would follow our voices and that way she could tell where the shore was.
Then a summer storm came up and the ladies all started running to the barn. Chile was napping along the edge of the lake when she was awakened suddenly as the ladies ran past her. She became startled and jumped into the lake and started swimming far out to the center. Everyone ran to the edge and called to her. Chile immediately responded by swimming towards shore. Two feet from the edge, she suddenly weakened and after we got her to the bank, she died in our arms from shock.
Our time with Chile was special indeed. Even the sightless part of her life was full and rewarding to some degree. At that time in her life, Chile was able to see clearly into the heart of the human and know she could trust and depend on them. Her communication was at a different level than ever before. Chile, in turn, was able to give so much joy and pleasure to her ladies and to her humans. She was indeed ever so special...Chile is dearly missed by all.
We welcome visitors by appointment , call or write
Jack and Tracy Pearson:
Pearson Pond Ranch & Llama Co.
242 Llama Lane (Charles Lane), #6017
Ellijay, GA 30540
Phone: (706) 276-3658
Fax: (706) 276-3680