Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good-bye Jolly Llama

Good-bye Jolly Llama

I’ll miss you.

My male llama Jolly, who has been down for a little over a month, died yesterday. Jolly was injured when he tried to romance his pal, Dolly. Dolly kicked him and apparently injured his spine. The thing about a llama is they are very stoic, very brave. I never knew if Jolly was in pain aside from the few times he would grind his teeth. There is some comfort in knowing that I did everything I could for him. We gave him painkillers to help him feel better, steroids in hopes to build up his strength by counteracting the inflammation around his spinal cord, eye drops when his eyes became infected. He actually was acting as if he felt better. He was able to drink from a bucket if I held up his head, he had a good appetite, but no matter how hard we tried, he couldn’t get up on his feet.

Jolly died on the side of the hill in his pasture. His mate Dolly was with him as was his arch nemesis, Bucky. I recall the other night having a feeling that Jolly was preparing to die. Dolly was sleeping by him which is very unusual. The dogs made a point of walking down to see him. His eyes cleared up and seemed to actually see me.

The next few days will be difficult: Dolly will mourn his death. According to others who have lost animals, it is a good idea to let the body in the area so that he can be mourned in a way that is appropriate for his mate. I will mourn his death. It has been a long time – over a month – since Jolly has been able to stand and give me kisses or follow me down the hill. Over the past several months, we’ve lost a goat, a baby llama, and a chicken. I thought my kids would have a more difficult time but they seem to understand and to go on. They are able to say good-bye but then focus on the animals we have left.

I’m sure in a few days, the pain will subside and I won’t feel like I’m missing something when I go out in the morning and in the evening to see the animals. I hope that wherever Jolly is now; he is running with his baby Sunflower and munching on clover. In tribute, Bear, Sebastian, and Max all went down to where he was lying next to the fence, lifted their legs and peed. I'm not kidding.
The 3 legged salute.

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