So I went to a conference for a week, and Tom joined me for the last 4 days. We had his son check on the place while we were gone. We received a text message that he found one of our llamas, Winnona, dead. Tom then mentioned that she hadn’t wanted to change pastures with the sheep the day before he had left but didn’t think much of it. One thing I have definitely learned about llamas is that any little symptom needs to be acted on because they don’t show any until it’s late. Anyway, we asked Thomas to find a tarp and cover her until we could get home because it was too much too ask him to bury her.
Then we came home Sunday night and found our littlest goat Esmerelda dead outside of the gate to the goat pasture. We briefly worried that Thomas had accidentally left the gate unlatched, but I walked the fenceline and found a very small hole under the far gate where the hay wagon had made ruts. I had walked that fenceline 1-2 weeks prior and felt this hole was not a concern, but I underestimated my little, escape-artist goat. There was one tiny bite mark on her, but otherwise it appears that dogs hadn’t touched her so we think she died of stress trying to run from the dogs and get back in. I just wish we had been here to help her.
So now we feel sick that if we hadn’t have left neither animal would have suffered or died. It’s so hard to leave when you have animals. We try to do our best, but sometimes it’s just not enough.