In Memoriam

On this page we pay tribute to dearly beloved animals that departed this life far too soon.

Jewele
Jewele

Jewele

Jewele was the first alpaca we lost to a predator, probably a cougar, in October 2006. Unfairly labeled "wild," all he needed was some TLC and a correctly fitted halter. He had beautiful eyes and a sweet, willing, cooperative personality when given a chance. Jewele also had very nice light silver-grey fiber, which unfortunately we never got to use because he was taken from us so soon. We never caught his killer.

Herz

Herz was the second alpaca we lost to a cougar, the day after Labor Day in September, 2007. He was a beautiful dark red color, quite unusual. Herz was small but feisty, always bright and cheerful. He loved to jump and dance in the cool spray from a hose on a hot summer day. Herz was a joy to take for walks and the easiest to groom of all our animals. It had been almost a year since our first loss, but I hardly had time to mourn Herz before we lost yet another animal a few days later.
Herz
Herz
Traum
Traum

Traum

Traum was our third animal to be killed, only 4 days after Herz, in September 2007. Poor Traum's life had been filled with misfortune: born deaf, later blinded in one eye, an unplanned and unwanted half-breed (part llama, part alpaca), untamed and untrained. He had just turned the corner towards being loved, happy, trained, and trusting after a year of effort, when he was cruelly slain and partially eaten by a young male cougar just learning to hunt.

I had worked so hard and long to tame and train Traum. I cried for a month over losing him, just as we were beginning to reap the fruits of our long labors. Poor, poor Traum!

We evacuated the rest of our surviving camelids 20 miles away for 6 weeks while we built a barn in which to keep them safe at night (when cougars usually hunt). So far this has been effective in protecting our animals, but we have had cougar sightings in broad daylight, so our guard can never be let down.

Franny

Franny, one of our first two llamas, had to be euthanized after she broke her upper front leg in a panic during a terrific wind and rain storm on December 2, 2007. I bawled uncontrollably, embarrassing the vet, as Franny fought valiantly against the drugs taking her into her final sleep, with her dear head in my lap.

Bo, Franny's companion, mourned her for over a year, moaning in remembrance as we walked the same paths they used to walk together.

Franchesca
Franny
Finn & Girlfriend
Finn & Girlfriend

Girlfriend

Girlfriend was a bottle-raised goat, sweet and friendly but a bit feisty when it was time for grooming. She was solid black, and came to us with her brother, Finn, mostly brown, when they were a year old and their owners, close neighbors Patrick and Tamara, had to move and couldn't keep them.

Girlfriend started acting sick two weeks before Christmas 2009, right after a 10-day cold spell that had temperatures as low as 8 degrees F at night. The vet thought she had pneumonia, so we treated her for that, but it didn't help. She stopped eating and drinking. While trying to force her to drink on Christmas afternoon, she suddenly died in Joe's arms.

Dave Stendal helped load Girlfriend's body into our 2-horse trailer and Joe took her to Oregon State University for a necropsy, wracked with guilt for not keeping her warm and well during the coldest week we'd ever known here. But then again, her brother Finn seemed fine.

In a few days we got the results: lymphoma. Girlfriend had died of cancer! I had noticed swellings in her throat area, just below the jaw, over a year before. But not knowing goat anatomy, and because she did not act sick, I thought nothing of it. The vet had not noticed, either, so I didn't feel so bad. The only symptom had been that she would sometimes choke on her pellet feed.

We had to have Girlfriend cremated, as OSU would not release her body to us otherwise.

We thought we'd never have another goat as sweet as Girlfriend. Finn was lonely and upset; he had not understood that Girlfriend was sick, let alone dead. She was only 5 years old.

Then Toni Johnson told us she had a goat she rescued from near-starvation a year before. We introduced the much-smaller girl goat to Finn gradually. At first she was shy, and he was still upset and a bit aggressive. But within a week they began to get along, and Finn decided she was pretty nice. I named her "Ginger Peachy," a term used by a TV personality when I was a child to describe something really good. We call her Ginger for short, and she is even sweeter than Girlfriend ever was. So this ending turned out happy after all.


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