Buster Challenges ALSA!

(Note: ALSA is the Alpaca Llama Show Association, the national organization for consistency and tracking of llama & alpaca shows. They are one of the primary promoters for llamas, and provide the consistent basis for show standards that promote the breeding and training of fine llamas. ALSA’s contributions to llamas is indisputable. This article is meant for entertainment purposes only, although serious responses from ALSA judges and show organizers is encouraged.)

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Buster and Snapshot Kissing

Buster, on the right, at two weeks old, with all his original legs!

While many of our other llamas have attended llama shows throughout the region, we have yet to take Buster. Buster is a friendly, well-mannered three year old gelding who goes to many functions with us, such as visits to kids homes, and entertains disabled visitors as well as family, friends, and school children here on the farm. Everyone who meets Buster remembers him, and many have received one of his warm, special “llama hugs” for which he is famous. Despite his easy handleability and calm nature however, he has never had a chance to compete in a show. Buster, you see, only has three legs.

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Buster Visiting with Kids at Damar

We have longed to take Buster to a show, and demonstrated what a real “public relations” llama can do. Despite his disability, and maybe even because of it, he fills this role perfectly. Many disabled children see Buster’s courage, and are inspired; as are almost all who see him. He runs and plays with the other “boys,” hops in the trailer, balances for toe nail trims and can even teeter-totter on his two front legs to scratch his belly with one back foot! But taking a three-legged llama to a competitive show? This has seemed a little too much.  Buster at the Damar center; he is the best PR llama ever!

We have tried to consider how we could do this, and decided that the problem was the “competition” of the show ring. Of course showing is competitive; but llamas are also just plain fun, and a joy to be around. No one demonstrates this more than Buster, who always will give me a special hug when I need one. Maybe if we enter him in a non-competitive nature, we could just have fun and share this unique fellow with everyone. Just for fun, we thought we would explore how ALSA show venues might accommodate a llama with disabilities.

PR Obstacle course: the obvious choice for Buster, as this course is designed to demonstrate a llama’s ability to cope with typically man-made “obstacles” that he might encounter at a school, nursing home, etc. While llamas are generally not asked to jump large hurdles in this course, occasionally a jumping hazard is included. We have had Buster jump small hurdles, but would prefer to let him walk or hop over such an obstacle, to save unnecessary stress on joints and tendons. Steps are difficult, but doable. Also backing up steps, a popular obstacle in the more advanced classes, is more of a challenge for Buster, but perhaps he could just take the faults on these, and be there to participate and enjoy, not compete for prizes. His prize is what he gives to others, not whether he can negotiate every imaginable obstacle. My main objective would be that Buster is judged fairly. We wouldn’t want him to place because of a “sympathy vote,” but at the same time, the obstacles are by and large more difficult for him to negotiate too. How would a judge handle this? Perhaps we could not compete at all, but simply do a demonstration after the class? Or are there enough “special” llamas out there that they could have a class of their own someday? Sort of a “Special Olympics” for llamas!

Halter class, non-breeding llama: Now here is a good one! A non-breeder halter class has always been a contraction to me. Llamas are altered (gelded or spayed, or otherwise prevented from breeding) because of one or more characteristics that render them less desirable for breeding. These could be conformational flaws, or something as inconsequential to the animal’s fitness as the amount, quality, or placement of the wool. In fact, non-breeder classes lump all wool classes together, so that short-wooled llamas, the type often gelded by long-wool breeders, are judged side by side with long, flowing wool beauties. To then compare and grade animals that have been previously determined to be flawed, seems strange indeed, especially considering preferences for wool type. Most animals even with poor conformation, short necks, or poor setting of the ears or tail can lead long, prosperous lives. They just do not carry the traits that are considered desireable for the breed. It would seem that this venue might encourage people to geld a near-perfect stud animal, thereby being assured of taking the awards in this class. A large farm with a lot of profit potential can afford to sacrifice such a llama for this purpose, and certainly there is a case for abuse of what this class is intended to be. I do not believe this practice is common, and would certainly be frowned upon by most breeders with a sense of fair play. Since a precedent in other animal shows also has been set for “pet” classes, I suppose one needs to just go along with the judging criteria. The judge does evaluate the llama on handleability and calmness to some degree, often petting the llama or asking the owner to lift its feet. A llama of excellent conformation however will rarely loose more than one placing in the final standing for failure to be handled easily.

Now how does Buster fit in to this? Certainly he is handleable, and has three very straight legs, and nice features such as ears, balance, and quality wool that would have perhaps made him a stud prospect for someone. His size and bone structure are smaller than either his sire or dam, leading me to believe that his early injury and trauma may have affected his growth. But how do you judge a llama on movement when he hobbles about on three legs? How would the judge handle this? Any judges out there care to comment? What would YOU do if I entered Buster in your class?buster_497.jpg

Fun stuff: At most shows there are some fun classes, that are not ALSA sanctioned, but are designed to challenge the owner and llama and entertain the crowds. Perhaps some of these would be places that Buster can show off!
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Buster at one year old, enjoying a good scratch.

Limping Llama contest; This is a variation of the Leaping Llama contest, where llamas are required to leap a hurdle of ever increasing height, until all the llamas have been eliminated except one, the winner! Now Buster cannot jump high buildings with a single bound, so we need a Limping Llama contest, where he would be a sure-fire winner!

Orgling contest: In this venue, people, not llamas, compete to see who can imitate the llama’s orgle, the sound made when male llamas are engaged in amorous pursuits. Buster, however, can orgle on command. We discovered this quite by accident. He was scratching his belly with his one rear foot, balanced with head down on his two front feet. We wondered if he could get in a “good scratch” that way, and endeavored to scratch all the areas underneath his chest and belly that he could not reach himself. He really enjoyed this, and soon began making orgling sounds! When you stop scratching him, he looks at you as though to ask you not to stop! After a good hug, he always gets a nice belly scratch, for which he emits a few appreciative orgles. Now if we can get him to orgle the Star Spangled Banner, like last year’s winner at the Indiana State Fair, we’d have this class licked! Click here to hear Buster!

Costume class: We can get a little crazy here! Of course, that is what everyone does! The peg-leg pirate, the 6 Million Dollar Llama, what suggestions do you have?

My PC World

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Our Beloved Oozie

Oozie walks across my pillow, purring loudly, as though on an imperative mission to my bedside table. Other than to paw my loose earrings, scattering them on the carpet for the vacuum to hungrily discover, I know that her only real mission is to awaken me. If her soft pads on the pillow, inches from my head, and loud motor briefly next to my ear does not do the trick, she will circle round and come perilously close to my face. Her whiskers will “accidentally” brush my cheek, and when my eyes flash open, she will look at me as though to say, “are you awake? Well, since you are, how about getting up and letting me out?” Yes, I know her tricks. She is bound not to let me sleep too late on my “day off.”
I pack my 40 hours a week of my job “outside the home” into the first four days, in order to have Friday off. I’ve argued about this so-called “day off,” as it is really only the accumulation of all the evenings that I missed by working late. It is a law of physics that you don’t get something for nothing, a conservation of energy, and in this case, a conservation of time. Indeed, there is no making more time in a given week than what is available to everyone else. I just prefer to have it all at once, with the monotonous work week behind me and a three day weekend ahead. However, all those chores are saved up and must be done on Friday, rather than spread out through the week.Oozie revs her motor by the closed bedroom door, staring longingly at the doorknob, directing my attention to it, willing me to open it. She taught me this trick many years ago, and it is the reward for allowing me to sleep just an hour or so more after my husband rose at 4 am to leave for work. Oozie, as well as the other cats that own the house we care-take, are quite adept at training humans.

I stumble out of bed in the gloom, pausing to pull on a pair of sweats and one of my husband’s flannel shirts. Oozie is switching her tail impatiently. Once the door is open, Oozie accelerates out, and I follow her fat waddle down the stairs. I ask her when the kittens are due. She stops on the landing, glaring back, as though to say that her humans are not as svelte as they used to be, either.

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Toes our Maine Coon Cat

She waits downstairs by the next closed door, that to the utility room, or cat room, as it has come to be called. I open the door, and she crouches against the onslaught as four cats push out at once. These are the late comers, the “kittens,” the hooligans that will not allow you a night’s sleep if allowed the run of the house. They have their own tidy little litter boxes, feed, cat trees, and variety of improvised sleeping places on the fridge, washer, dryer, and in the storage cabinets. They are an eclectic combination of red stripes, a calico, and a dark tiger. The undisputed leader is a still-growing male Maine Coon cat named Toes.
Oozie makes her way to the communal feed dish, and I go out in the garage to feed the outdoor cats, Gus and Bryant. More strays. Of the seven cats, only Toes was not a rescue, a stray, or an orphan that was forced upon us with a story of woe and dispair that I could not turn my back on. All are neutered or spayed, and live together in relative peace, as cats of leisure are prone to do.The feed dish in the garage is completely clean, and the water bowl, full last night, is also dry. A sure sign our raccoon friend has been here. I have trapped several ‘coons, and ferried them unceremoniously to the state forest, to begin life anew away from the free meals afforded in relative suburbia. I recall one evening watching four baby raccoons make their way in loose formation to the cat door in the garage. While cute at that age, some of these wild visitors have proven to be quite destructive. The current ‘coon seems to take what is offered easily, and leave without even tearing through the empty feed bags. Perhaps he is just happy to get his share of the high-priced, name brand urinary-tract-health cat food that he has become accustomed to. (This is certainly better than the whole tube of cat hair ball remedy-a certain laxative—that one hungry coon devoured one night!) I haven’t gotten motivated to set the live trap and prepare for another journey to liberate our uninvited guest.

I go back in the house, and make my way to the computer room. I am amused that I can say that; time wasn’t too long ago when computer rooms only existed in high-tech industrial buildings. Now most residences, and certainly anyone reading this over the internet, has a room that they might dub the computer room. In our case, five PC’s raise the temperature of the converted small office space to a cozy degree that can only be rivaled when the wood burning stove is in full roar.

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Linus and Peepers

Linus and Peepers: web page critics
Linus creates an intentional obstacle to my path, throwing himself on his side directly in front of me. I step over him, only to have to pause as Ringo, a cat who is blind in one eye, proceeds to make two quick clockwise circles in front of me, unsure of which way to go to avoid my feet. Having crossed the feline mine field, I finally reach my PC and sit down. I become a cat magnet.

Toes is instantly in my lap. He is not a cat; he is a presence. Accurate mousing is impossible, as he pushes my forearm for attention. Linus has lept to the printer, and with his soft pads against the klixon control panel, reset the printer in an error mode before moving up to the riser on my desk. Peepers, the calico, sits patiently by my feet. She knows Toes will soon grow bored, and she, the true lover, can come into my lap and purr herself to sleep while I try to type one-handed on the computer.

I awkwardly peruse my email, and sort through the list serv mail that threatens to bog down the server if not read daily. This is usually the best part of the day; quiet, surrounded by these little felines that want all my attention. Yet today, although it is still dark and cold outside, I am somehow impatient to start the day. I shut down the modem, and boost Peepers from my lap. I slip on a pair of low-cut rubber boots over bare feet, and my Carhart jacket over the long tails of my flannel shirt. I sneak outside to check the llamas in the predawn light.

They are just starting to stir, and seeing me approach, they rise from their warm spots, frost on their backs, and do their morning stretches. As I walk across the pasture, they come up to me. I pause, as crias find breakfast from their moms. When I seem to have everyone’s attention, I walk out and open the gate to the far pasture. They have followed me, and are pressed close, rushing into the pasture as the cats rushed out of the cat room this morning. And like the cats, in a mere few yards, they slow, wondering why they were in such a hurry to get here.

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Yellow Wood Male Barn

I stop by the gate a few minutes, and scold Max, the German shepherd/Chow mix that belongs to our good neighbors Pam and Rich. Max knows the routine, but he feels it is his duty to announce the arrival of the llamas, and particularly my presence in the pasture. He knows my voice and quickly quiets down, though his ruff remains raised and he remains alert. The llamas pay no heed to their neighbor dog, as they know he will not venture through the electric fence around their pasture. Woe to a strange dog, however; I’ve seen the llamas chase along the fence as a dog passed down the road, and watched unnerved as even Gus and Bryant came close to leaving this world at the stomping feet of Kodacolor, our most aggressive guard llama.

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Toes Relaxing

The boys, consisting of our senior stud Curry and several youngsters, watch longingly by the fence as the girls move farther away. Curry makes a plaintive hum, more like a whine, ending in an upward, questioning note. I’ve investigated extending the boy’s pasture along the narrow lane between the girl’s fence and the edge of the ravine, in order to allow the boys to follow the herd in their meanderings back and forth between the near and far pastures. The difficulty of installing fencing in this hard to maneuver area has prevented me from asking Paul, our “fence man,” from giving me an estimate on the work. That is if he even wants to attempt it.

I grow cold in my slightly underdressed garments, and head back to the barn. The llamas watch, and a few follow me. They know it is not feeding time, but perhaps I have a treat hidden in my pockets. Either that, or I am the only fresh entertainment they have had recently during this bleak, early winter gray weather.

As I close the gate behind me, I see several sets of perked ears atop long extended necks; llamas straining at the fence to see me leave, as though beckoning me to come back and play. What do they want? Probably food. Maybe not; maybe something more. Although most my llamas give you a look, as though they only condescend to having a halter put on, they almost always seem to enjoy the walks around the pond and woods. I really think they enjoy my company. They seem to enjoy certain visitors too; some people they just become at ease with almost from the start. After an initial wariness, they will allow strangers to scratch their backs, seeming to nudge them to the best spots. Many of these people, though animal lovers, have never been so close to a llama before. They comment that they can’t believe how I can come right up to them, and handle them. Then, when they can do the same, they begin to realize the joy that comes from knowing these special, gentle creatures.

I turn my back on my buddies, heading back to the house. I have umpteen litter boxes to clean, and the trash to take out before the trash man cometh. Then a sink full of dishes and the usual house cleaning. Well, a half-hearted attempt at house cleaning, anyway. I will spend more time cleaning out the barn (now that the llamas starting pooping in there again since the last snow!) than I will the house. At some point I will wear down and take a nap; but it will have to be coordinated with the cat’s nap time; otherwise, their tearing around will wake me up. A long winter’s nap, with Ringo on my stomach, sounds rather good about now, and makes Fridays worth the wait.

I Can’t Remember

Just a line to say I’m living,
that I’m not among the dead,
though I’m getting more forgetful
and mixed up in my head.

 

I got used to my arthritis,
to my dentures I’m resigned,
I can manage my bifocals,
but I sure do miss my mind.

 

For sometimes I can’t remember
when I stand at the foot of the stairs
if I must go up for something
or is I just came down from there.

 

And, before the fridge so often,
my poor mind is filled with doubt,
have I just put food away,
or have I come to take some out?

 

There are times when it is dark,
with my nightcap on my head,
I don’t know if I’m retiring
or just getting out of bed.

 

So if it’s my turn to write you,
there’s no need for getting sore!
I may think that I have written
and don’t want to be a bore!

 

So remember that I love you
and wish that you were near,
but now it’s nearly mail time,
so I must say, “Goodbye, Dear.”

 

P.S.
Here I stand beside the mailbox
with face so very red—
instead of mailing your letter,
I have opened it instead!

 

Author unknown

Centering

Today I learned what a centering activity was. After arriving at work at 5 am to answer mail, I left at 7 am to spend the next 6 hours running between hospital, doctor and clinics with mom, who was undergoing some tests. By the time we had lunch, I was beat. By the time I got home, I couldn’t keep my eyes open, falling asleep several times behind the wheel on the quiet highway that was my 45 minute drive to our country home. I napped briefly in a recliner, then forced myself to rise and feed and water the llamas in the sticky humidity of an unusually hot June day, one made into a steam bath after the passing of a brief summer storm.Fortunately, my husband was in charge of dinner that night. That freed me up to start the enormous pile of laundry that was overrunning our closet. After getting a load started, and preparing the next, I knew my next job for the evening was to chase down a problem in a database I was working on. With a weary mind, I just couldn’t bring myself to stare at a computer screen that evening. Instead, I began the process of cleaning my closet of clothes I no longer wore.

I had once emptied out many outfits that I had found out of season, or just wasn’t wearing any more. These had taken residence in a closet in a spare room. I was soon sitting on the floor in the spare bedroom, folding old oxford cloth shirts that had been my mainstay in the office, trying to make them presentable for their next life with a new owner. As I folded, I ran across blouses and fancy pullovers that, I do believe, I had left from college days; and even high school! I reacquainted myself with some older flannel and chambray shirts, three of which had been hand sewn for me by my mother. I had saved these time-worn, honored friends of simpler days to perhaps one day piece them together into a heavy quilt, their soft textures and faded colors reminiscent of times past. But I could see the quilt would never come to be. I sadly folded the friendly flannels and added them to the memories that were stacking, one by one, on the bedroom floor beside me.

I found myself immersed in this activity. While it was another of those “priority B” items that I had put off forever, once started, I found I was content to keep working as long as their were old clothes that beckoned to be rediscovered in the back of the closet. Here was serenity, solitude, and a dividing wall between the clattering TV downstairs and omnipresent email awaiting my attention. Each of our five housecats had visited the room in turn, but now only two remained. Ringo sat kushed in a meatloaf position to the side of the pile of clothes, watching intently from one good eye, trying to understand the meaning of all this. Peepers took a more active role, alternately lying with head on paws, and then suddenly grabbing at a passing flannel sleeve that waved to close to her whiskers to be ignored. She, too, seemed content to idly share my reverie.

I have always read about doing a centering activity to relax and draw ones thoughts inward in a sort of meditation. Any activity, even doing dishes, would suffice, according to the experts. Not for me! Dishes were something I did in a hurry, either to quickly clean the kitchen before company came, or because we were out of silverware. The next best chore, cleaning manure, was too hard of work to stimulate meditation, at least for me. And even feeding the llamas took more concentration than you might think; trying to be sure everyone gets their fair share of grain, and feeding females, weanlings, young males, and studs in different areas, did not make for a relaxing activity, especially with thirty some faces all watching and waiting on the next course of either grain or fresh, sweet smelling hay. So my daily routine did not allow for much “centering;” what a delight to find this closet cleaning was providing that which I could not find elsewhere.

I finally, and almost sadly, finished the chore, and had all the clothes sorted into piles. I broke the silent meditation with a phone call to my mother, first to inquire how she felt after the day of uncomfortable hospital visits, and second, to ask a favor. She agreed to act as the coordinator to find the old but usable clothing new homes. She would either send them to “The Sharing Place,” a church sponsored outlet that distributes clothing based on need, or to AmVets. We talked about the many articles made by her, that still held her love, woven into the fabric by her hand stitching of many years past. My reluctance to give away these memories led her to agree to save these special clothes to make into a quilt! While no promises were made of when this effort would begin, I at least knew that the “special pile” would not have to be resorted to give away to those who not appreciate the source of my time-honored textiles. Indeed, the very thought of the soft fabrics, woven together as memories of my youth in a patch-work quilt, was almost as good as having the genuine article there before me. The thought of the soft flannel and warm denim stitched once more with my mother’s love, gave me a respite of thought, a tangible object, even if only in my imagination, to center a quiet meditation that would bring back memories past, and bring perspective to my hurried life.

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A Showin We Will Go…

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Gypsy

It has taken longer to bathe our beautiful, all white Gypsy this morning than we anticipated. We are taking 9 llamas, a record for us, to a show in Kentucky. As the weather is quite cool, we opted to wait until late in the morning to wet down Gypsy, as we do not have an indoor wash room for llamas (yet.) As a veteran of many shows, Gypsy has learned to stand quietly beside the garage door while we pour on warm water and various concoctions to bring out the beauty in her shiny white fleece. Scrubbing knees and toenails are accepted by her easily. We cannot take the credit for her well trained behavior, as we only recently purchased her. She is obviously a veteran of these affairs.Gypsy_face

Once finished, we moved Gypsy back to the barn where a kerosene “salamander” is running. Fred begins the task of blow drying Gypsy. The metamorphosis from “drowned rat” to gorgeous, woolly llama is a slow one. The total process consumes about 3 hours. And this is after starting with a relatively clean llama before washing!

In the mean time, I finished packing the jeep and trailer. I also had to do some last minute grooming on the other llamas; most of which got no more than 15-20 minutes each! Fortunately, several had been at the Regional show just the previous weekend, and so they were in pretty good shape. Fred however had to do some serious work on a couple, which began to back up our departure time seriously.

We were now into middle afternoon, and the realization that we would hit Louisville at rush hour; on a Friday evening before the Breeder’s Cup! Our patience was running thin by the time we started moving the llamas into the trailer. Five in front, four in back, and they were a tad crowded; but they only had to put up with each other for a couple hours. A last minute trailer check, and then I thought we should check the oil first. Sure enough, it was down a quart, as was the antifreeze level. By the time we added fluids, the llamas had crossed paths and began spitting in the trailer. Images of our beautiful white Gypsy covered in slime was raising my blood pressure! We needed to be on the road, so the llamas would kush down and quit vying for precious territory in the tight quarters.

Suddenly I recalled that the right rear tire on the jeep had been low; once checked, at 24 pounds, I began to check all the tires; and they all needed some leveling out. We brought out the portable canister, and squeezed out the last breath of air from it as we finished topping off the last of the 8 tires. More spitting sounds could be heard from the trailer, and droopy-lipped llamas could be spied between the slats.

Fred got in the driver’s side, and I went back in the house for one last check. A round of turning on lights and closing drapes, and Fred was back in; he announced, “you must have left the lights on. The battery is dead.”

I knew better than that! But I did recall leaving the hatch open, maybe since this morning; could that have pulled the battery down? Fred got the charger from the barn, hooked it up, and we went inside to twiddle our thumbs while the battery charged. The llamas had been in the trailer for almost an hour before Fred tried again to start the car.

And guess what? Now the alarm system had shut off the fuel pump! Thank heavens the horn was not sounding, but the lights were flashing, and there was no way to start the car. He tried disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, and even resorted to reading the manual; to no avail. We simple could not start the car! At this point, I was ready to unpack the llamas and stay home. It seemed this show was not to be.gypsy_national_crop.jpg

(Of course, gentle reader, you realize by this time that all these things are my fault, don’t you? With two engineers running this charade, either one could have checked out the rig long before we loaded up. Since I was packing, obviously this was considered MY job. And of course, it MUST have been me that left something on to drain the battery. And I am sure that somehow it was even my fault the alarm system was now going off! Enough said, you get the idea….)

If all this was my fault, then it might was well be me to fix it. In a flash of inspiration, I grabbed the keys from Fred and jumped out of the car. I walked to the driver’s side door. I reached in, and pressed the lock button, then shut the driver’s door, with Fred inside. I used the key to open the door, and was able to do so without the alarm sounding. I gave Fred the keys, and he tentatively tried the ignition. Presto! We were running!

“How did you know how to do that?” Fred was incredulous.

“Sometimes you just have to think like a car,” I said matter of factly.

Someday I will explain to him all the times, usually at the local post office on main street, that I have bumped the lock button with my knee as I reached for a stack of mail on the passenger seat. I have found myself locked in my car, with the alarm set. Have you ever done that? Embarrassing, isn’t it? I found that I had to open the door, setting off the raucous alarm, exit the car, close the door, and unlock it with the key. Imagine doing this in public next door to the local-yocal police station and fire department.

At long last got on the road, and made good time (finally!) We hit only one major snarl in Louisville. We got set up at show, and found that Gypsy had escaped most of the spit battle; her nifty show cover had helped. A couple of the younger llamas fared worse, but they were quickly spruced up and all was well.

Reunited with old friends at the show, and making new ones that stopped by to chat during the weekend, we soon forgot the hassle of “getting there.” Sometimes things don’t work like you planned, Murphy’s Law and all that, but it was worth the trouble. The best part for the llamas, of course, was returning home. Even our newest gal, Gypsy, was glad to be back in her newly adopted home Sunday night. She raced to the barn, where she enjoyed a “victory roll” in the sand once she returned to her home pasture!

How to Train Your Human

  1. Make dung piles all over the pasture, instead of in one spot like the book says to. Your Humans will have to mow’n’vac the entire pasture for that manicured, clean, weed-less look.
  2. Potty in the barn when it snows or rains. Humans are fastidious creatures, and will clean it up everyday, allowing you indoor sleeping AND indoor plumbing.
  3. Always come running when you hear the feed box open; your Human can be trained to reward you with a treat of grain.
  4. Lie down or potty in the show ring. This will tell your Humans and the audience what you think of the judge.
  5. If another llama potties in the ring, it is good etiquette to show solidarity by going in the same spot. This domino effect is very effective at telling Humans what you think of the class.
  6. Let your Human know that there is NO REASON to cross one of those silly man-made obstacles on the lawn; it is much more dignified to simply walk around the obstacle. Be patient; it may take several repetitions for your Human to learn this.
  7. When standing in line in the show ring, always slouch. Otherwise you might win first or second place, and have to stick around for the boring Championship round.
  8. Be sure to lie down in a recent potty-pile just before your class is called. That cool wetness around the knees and belly can feel great in a hot show ring.
  9. Never potty in a public potty pile before entering the show ring. It is much cleaner to use the fresh sawdust in the show ring instead.
  10. Dragging on the lead line will cause the Human behind you in line to go around, thereby allowing their tail-sniffing llama to walk in front of you where you can keep your eye on him.
  11. If you get really desperate, act up, kick, and jump; the steward will ask you the leave the ring. Your Human will take you back to your stall where
    you can get back to the important business of eating, napping, and watching the other llamas go by.
  12. When loading in a trailer in public, plant your feet and refuse to enter. If you keep this up long enough, other Humans will come by to help, and your Humans will have an opportunity to make new friends.
  13. Wait until your Human tells a newcomer to llamas that you don’t spit. Then lay your ears back and regurgitate a wad into your mouth, and roll it around visibly. This will back off any attempt at a newbie poking at you, or-worse yet–wanting to buy you!
  14. Be sure and tell your Human if you don’t like your hay. Run up when they bring out a new bale, then back up a couple steps and give them a “sad puppy” look. Humans are scared to death that you will starve to death, and they will bring out a bale with more alfalfa in it.
  15. If you happen to get loose outside the pasture, run around in circles and don’t let them catch you until they produce a feed bucket. Next time, they will go get the feed bucket right away.
  16. Always check your Human’s coat pockets for a treat. Batting your eyelashes in anticipation will train your Humans to keep their pockets loaded with goodies.
  17. Grab a loose feed dish and throw it over your head when your human is watching. They will think you are hungry and might feed you a treat.
  18. If you stick your head through the creep feeder and push, you might find that you can still squeeze through. If not, sometimes you can knock down the whole feeder gate and get in that way.
  19. Always check latches after your Humans. They are always in a hurry, and sometimes get careless and leave the latch to the front yard gate open, where the best grass is.
  20. If your Humans are outside working, but not paying attention to you, here is a sure fire trick: Lie in a dust pile on your side with your belly towards the hot sun. Your neck should be stretched up and over your back. Do not move. Repeat: DO NOT MOVE. This may take awhile, but be assured that your Humans have noticed how long you are laying prone. They will eventually become alarmed and come over to investigate. The best effect can be achieved by not reacting at all the first couple times they poke you. Wait until they bend down with a serious look on their faces before sleepily raising your head in acknowledgment.
  21. After your Humans have groomed you for a show, be sure to find the nearest dust pile and roll around generously. Loose grass, hay, leaves, and even the edge of a dung pile provide nice additives to return your wool to its original loftiness. This will give you the much sought after rough-and-ready, “wild thang” look that the other llamas will envy.
  22. If there is going to be a fresh snow or hard frost, be sure to kush in an exposed part of the pasture, but near the barn where your Humans will see you first thing in the morning. When they arrive, rise slowly, showing them the bare spot you lay in all night, and be careful not to shake the snow off your coat, or especially your eyelashes. They will feel sorry for you and make sure there is plenty of room in the barn the next night, maybe even with a bed of nice straw to lie in.

by: Cyber

Axioms for the Internet Age

1. Home is where you hang your @
2. The E-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail.
3. A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.
4. You can’t teach a new mouse old clicks.
5. Great groups from little icons grow.
6. Speak softly and carry a cellular phone.
7. C:\is the root of all directories.
8. Don’t put all your hypes in one home page.
9. Pentium wise; pen and paper foolish.
10. The modem is the message.
11. Too many clicks spoil the browse.
12. The geek shall inherit the earth.
13. A chat has nine lives.
14. Don’t byte off more than you can view.
15. Fax is stranger than fiction.
16. What boots up must come down.
17. Windows will never cease.
18. In Gates we trust.
19. Virtual reality is its own reward.
20. Modulation in all things.
21. A user and his leisure time are soon parted.
22. There’s no place like home.com
23. Know what to expect before you connect.
24. Oh, what a tangled website we weave when first we practice.
25. Speed thrills.
26. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the Net and he won’t bother you for weeks.