It is still very painful to write about Sunflower, Dolly's little cria who only lived for 4 days.
She was a surprise for us. My daughter went out to give the llamas fresh water and came running back in to tell us that Dolly had a baby! What a beauty!
At first, I thought that Dolly seemed rather aloof toward Sunflower. But internet searched revealed that llamas are often secretive about nursing their babies and that some babies are 'closet nursers'. But still, Sunflower would walk around and try to nurse on everything. She was walking around and seemed to be healthy.
The following day Sunflower was still walking around but no one had seen her nursing yet. I was concerned but by then Dolly, her mama, seemed to be taking care of her. We just hadn't witnessed her nursing.
On Sunflower's last day on this earth, she still was running around but something seemed different. I tried to give her a bottle which she refused and then the next morning when I went to check on her, she had died.
The kids seemed to accept this better than I did. It still really hurts to think about it. Somehow I feel as if I failed her. It was heartbreaking to see her mommy looking for her, staring at the goathouse where they had slept.
I would love to have a baby llama but not knowing Jolly and Dolly's history, I am opting to have Jolly castrated. I love my adult llamas and if ever there is a youngster needing a home, I would be open to adopting him or her.
After Sunflower died, I remembered feeling as if I wasn't cut out to be a farmer. Death hurts. But then I remembered the good parts: my goats jumping up to see me, Dolly's kisses, Jolly's looks of disgust at me (which always make me laugh), the soft clucking of my chickens, the quietness in the mornings when I go out to feed and water the crew.
While death is a part of farmlife, happiness and joy are a more constant part. I think I'll continue to risk the pain and enjoy the good stuff!