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.
Clearly, I had human cooties.
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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
And, after our chat, she closed her huge eyes and stuck her nose in the halter.
We were joined. Lead walker and follow spitter.
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.
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.
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. ;)
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