A WALK IN THE WOODS – with Princess Llamallamallama.






Last week I told you that I thought Bodhi’s llama, Princess Llamallamallama, was upset with me.

In case you missed it, you can read it here.

Anyway, I decided that she and I needed some alone time.  Just PrincessLlamaLlamaLlama and me.

I thought long and hard on what our activity should be…  A walk!  That’s the ticket!

(I would have taken her to coffee, but Italian words like ‘grande’ and ‘vente’ confuse her, so instead, I decided on a nice walk around the property…)

PERSONAL LLAMA SPACE…

Previously, PLLL had been flattening her ears when I approached and she wasn’t letting me touch her.  She would literally duck and cover when I reached out my hand to her.  She knew exactly how long my arms were, too.  Amazingly, she kept herself just a millimeter outside of my fingertips.

Smart girl.

Clearly, I had human cooties.

Hmmmm.

I had read that llamas don’t really take to ‘petting’ like other animals.  Period.  No offense.  They all don’t like it.

Llamas get used to petting, but it isn’t in their nature to be cuddly.

Wow.

Hmmmmm.

My wheels started turning.  I thought that maybe my trying to force my ‘need to pet’ was being intrusive to her and she was too polite to let me know in the regular llama way – spitting – so she was hoping I’d get the message when she flattened her ears.

Duh.  Stoopid human.

So, I told myself that she liked me just fine and would like me more if I kept my mitts to myself.

AAArrrgh.  That would be very tough for me.

love to pet my pets.

But not today…

I was going to give PLLL some personal space.

Couldn’t hurt – could help.

HOW DO YOU HALTER WITHOUT TOUCHING?

I marched up to her paddock and hailed PLLL.

She came galumphing over.

She stared right into my eyes at my height, about an inch from my nose.  She sniffed my nose and mouth-

-talk about in my personal space…

Anyway… I let her do that.

She smelled like llama cud.  Not exactly pleasant.  But, I probably didn’t smell that great to her, either.

Coffee breath.

I did not touch her.

Instead, I showed her the halter.

She took a few steps back.

PLLL:  Why do you have that torture device?!!!

Me:  So we can take a walk together.

PLLL:  I’ll walk with you – you don’t need that.

Me:  Yes, I do.  We need to learn how to do this halter/lead thing.

PLLL:  Why?

Me:  Because I said so.

PLLL:  You sound like my mother.

Me:  OK, here’s the reason.

PLLL (leaning forward and listening intently):  Yes?

Me:  If you walk with me on this lead, we can explore places all over the ranch.  You and me.

PLLL:  Hmmm.  That sounds good.  But, I’ll just follow you and you don’t need that.

Me:  If you walk on this lead, I promise to not touch you.

PLLL:  DEAL!

And, after our chat, she closed her huge eyes and stuck her nose in the halter.

We were joined.  Lead walker and follow spitter.

Haltered!

She looked right in my eyes at my level.
“OK, now what? I’m not wearing this for nothing. You better ante up!”

 

OUR DEAL

I had a pocket full of llama grain.  I showed her.  I told her that when she did the right thing, I’d giver her some.

She considered that and agreed.

So, we walked.  When I stopped, if she stopped, she got grain.  If I walked and she walked behind me, she got more grain.

She caught on really quickly.  Smart Llama.   We were like old dance partners in a matter of minutes.

Yay!

I had let Bodhi out to roam the ranch so that he wouldn’t be in our way. Once he discovered that we were going to do something different (the halter gave it away), he came wildly running over to check on his llama. He is on the outside of the fenceline. She is inside.

 

THROUGH THE GATE!

PLLL had not been outside of her paddock (and Bodhi’s paddock) since she arrived.

I told her that we were going to explore the neighboring paddock.  It is uninhabited because it is on a slope and is beside the arena.  It is used merely as a catch area when needed.

However, the bonus of that area is that it receives runoff water from a sprinkler.  It has uneaten grass!  Yum!  Llama paradise!

We ventured beyond the gate… me leading, llama in shotgun position.

Finn, BG and Wrigley were beside themselves with curiosity. They ran and flagged their tails the entire time! They were afraid and mesmerized by PLLL!

 

THE NEW AREA

She loooved it!!

The girl was a perfect angel.

She only flattened her ears when I spoke to her.  It was as if she was concentrating hard on what I was saying – always looking me directly in my eyes.  So unsettling but very cool.

Below are pics of our adventure.

I held up my end of the bargain and I didn’t touch her.

She held up her end – she was very, very pleasant.

Llamas are very cool.  ;)

Mmmmm. Grass!

 

She looked up the hill and all around.

 

More grass.

 

BG was brave enough to tip toe over to meet PLLL. They scared each other and broke apart as soon as they touched noses. PLLL reared and ran back. But then she realized that there were fences between her and them – so she settled right back down.  BG, however, ran far away… and stared at her from a distance.  (Wrigley is running in the background.)

 

More grass!!

 

OK, PLLL – time to go back… She flattened her ears to let me know she didn’t want to go back. But, she did.
Good girl.

 

I took off her halter and told her that if she let me halter her again, we’d go back. She did. So, we did.

 

Yum!

 

We came back into her paddock. PLLL immediately went back to the gate and surveyed her new conquest.  If you look closely, you can see BG and Wrigley in the deep background, staring back at PLLL.

 

A proud and tall llama! She had learned a lot in one day and she deserved all the treats!

 

The face of a happy llama – no touching and good eats!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

 

 

 

Ambrosia, our September Bucket Fund mare did not make it… if you would like a refund on your donation, please email me (horseandman@gmail.com). Otherwise, all donations will go towards her medical bills. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!



6 comments have been posted...

  1. Terrie Gayer

    I surprised my family with a Llama one time. While I loved my llama no body else cared for him like me. I do have to say I laugh every time I read your posts about yours. It brings back the memories of when I brought mine home. My horses were not brave either and while I felt sorry for them being so afraid at the same time it was very entertaining. While the llama wanted to get to know the horses they decided it was a alien from outer space that had come to take them away. It was a good thing I had a fence to keep them apart. Once they go to know each other over the fence he hung out with them like he was one of them. Good lesson for the horses to over come their fears.

  2. Linda Johnson

    I really enjoy reading of your adventures with PLLL and your other critters. Have a great day!

  3. Kitty Bo

    I have so enjoyed getting to know llamallamallamas through this. For a while they were quite popular in Texas because of coyotes, but people have since switched to donkeys. There was a gal in town who had llamas, and she taught them to go on walks through out town. One could be sitting in the cafe, and there walking down the side walk was a llama with its human. Unfortuantely, the lady passed away from cancer, and that was the end of llamas living in town and walking down the side walks.

  4. Laura Lewis

    I am so enjoying your PLLL stories! I swear you should write a book!!!

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