On the loveliest of Sunday afternoons, the first four of our dams stepped out of the trailer and onto our farm. As did Tom Goehring, from Ranch of the Oaks/Fiber Mill in Lompoc, CA, their shepherd/chauffeur for 14 hours on the road. All were glad to be out in the fresh air, moving their legs, strolling along.
We escorted the girls to the pens set up with hay and water. What a celebration for the old red barn to once again have livestock within its walls! And what a thrill for us to see our own animals on our own land!! I immediately called Mette to let her know that Tom had arrived safely, and Bonnie, from whose ranch they had come, to let her know the girls had made the trip just fine. Actually, eight alpacas arrived, since each of the dams are pregnant.
Over the past few months, I have visited other alpaca ranches to help to quell my missing these critters. But that was nothing compared to seeing the alpaca faces that I know so well!
Since purchasing two dams in 2005 and agisting (boarding) our growing herd these three years, the girls' arrival marks the realization of our dreams and plans. Tom was marvelous, and so reassuring for us nervous "first-time parents."
Indeed, it is much like having your first baby, with all of the excitement and anticipation of the impending arrival. We had the Layette to prepare: readying the barn, building feeders, buying water buckets, getting hay, stocking the medical supplies, reading the articles and manuals.
Then with their Arrival, the shift in focus and responsibility. No longer does Kelly-dog get our sole attention, and she has learned that there are new rules for her to obey, like waiting for "mom" on the other side of the gate. And husband Mike has less of my attention, too, for all of my going out to check on the alpacas, or to just watch and be with them.
And so many Photos of alpacas at every angle, just like with a new baby! Then there's the Showing Off to family and friends (like this blog!), and people stopping by to see the new arrivals. Best Wishes from so many, and a Celebratory Toast.
It's such a delight to watch the girls explore their new home, full of sounds and smells and sights and tastes they've never experienced before.
Sheba is the oldest one in this group, and she is the designated Watcher. The others keep close to her when the dog is out with us, taking cues from her attentiveness. But this morning, Summer was the first one to romp into a new pasture, and Lace and Nutmeg danced among the low branches of one of the trees, relishing the back-scratching.
Soon two more females will join this group, and then the boys will begin to arrive. Galileo is at home at Eclipse Alpacas in Michigan part of the year, and on his way westward, the transporter will collect Orion to join him. And the rest of our girls and growing crias from Canzelle in Carpinteria, CA. They're finally all coming Home.
And then the new cria will start to arrive, and I'll be a nervous mama all over again.