This weekend we worked on the farm in hot weather and picked up some unwanted and free barn doors. We mowed the field, moved all the critters onto new grass, fixed some electric net fence, and did orchard work.
Then Monday morning when I went out to check animals I found our llama Tudor dead. His stomach was quite bloated and hard so I think he had some kind of intestinal event. He seemed well the day before- he had eaten well and walked out to the field without problems. I, of course, feel sick about it and wonder what I should have done different. I hope he didn’t suffer. He was a great guard animal and produced beautiful red fiber for me. I hope he had a good life here. Tom had to take off work to bury him and got heat stroke from the heat and lack of drinking fluids.
Then yesterday I was driving home and there was a dog walking crookedly down the middle of the road with semi trucks with large loads speeding by. No one was stopping so I did. I called the dog over and she came over. I petted her and she seemed friendly. She had no identification, is very thin and hadn’t been brushed in a while despite this hot weather. I opened up the car door and she hopped in. I took her home and gave her food and water. She didn’t act poorly with the other dogs and cats. I called my husband promising I would try to find a no kill shelter for her. Then I had to leave her and go to a Mariners’ game with my mother- which we lost badly but we had fun.
Today I called all the local shelters. The no kill shelter won’t take strays- only animals from other shelters. The SPOT group charges $100 for taking strays. The humane society would try to find the owner first (which I didn’t like since obviously the owner wasn’t taking care of her). If they couldn’t they would see if she’s adoptable. They are no kill if they’re adoptable but older dogs aren’t some times and the old dog shelter locally has a waiting list. If they felt the kennel time was detrimental to her they would euthanize her. The current shelter is overcrowded and noisy. I adopt dogs out of there- I don’t put them in there. They are building a new, large, nicer one but it’s not available yet. So I talked again to Tom and we decided to keep her for now. If she causes us trouble we may reconsider but so far she hasn’t. Today she seems happier and friendly and she’s starting to eat better which is a good sign. She’s just skin and bones and she seems weak in her hind legs but otherwise seems OK. We wormed her, gave her a shot and flea medication. We’re calling her Elsie.
Also today I move the goats, did the usual chores and milked the goats. We also gave shots to the donkeys and moved one in with the goats for a guard until we find another. One donkey is a good guard but over eats. The other one tends to chase goats so can’t be used as a guard. We looking into getting more llamas versus livestock guard dogs..