Friday, June 8

Friday, June 8th... The Farm Is In Mourning For Another One Of It’s Own...

Rafiki...gone to greener pastures on June 7th...2012

Yesterday, we lost Rafiki, one of the seven alpacas living here on the farm. Rafiki was an alpaca we acquired from up in the Helderberg Mountain area and presented to our friend Dawna as a gift. When we received Rafiki, he was an intact male and about as wild and wooly as any creature of Satan! He bucked and jumped...ripping and tearing...almost dislocating my arm as he reared and bucked. He would at times have all four feet off the ground at the same time...clearly measuring three feet in the air and literally lifting my two hundred and thirty pounds off my feet, as we made our way across the lawn to the trailer. Getting him into the trailer was another major feat...and Isabelle, our friend, was unsure if we could ever tame him. Well...almost two years later and up til the time he got ill, I had him to the point of standing contentedly, while allowing me to hug and pet him. I entered the paddock daily to feed each and every alpaca. I held them all around the neck individually and talked to them and petted them, until they were perfectly comfortable with people being around them. I never allowed them to be my equal, but did show them affection, while keeping the upper hand and remaining in control. Rafiki was a gentle male after gelding him and our loving care for the last year and a half.
After shearing, he began to go downhill... getting worse and worse as the days past. Shearing was last Saturday, and he died yesterday. The Vet was here to treat him on Tuesday and he was on medicines that Vick and I administered according to her instructions....around the clock. It appears that he was anemic, stemming from a parasitic infection of some sort...perhaps one parasitic disease where a bacteria attaches to the red blood cells, leaching from them, causing the anemia. We feel so bad for Dawna, because she lost Rafiki (as we did also), but also because of the ridiculous six to seven hundred dollar vet bill for one visit, a few shots and some blood work and a fecal float! She cancelled some of the tests after his death to eliminate even more cost, which they were still going to run!!! We know that health care and meds are expensive, but this is outrageous!
Vick and I had our friend Steve come with his excavator and bury Rafiki in our pet cemetery to lift that burden and cost from Dawna. We ALL will surely miss him.
We really didn’t feel like doing a whole lot after that, even though Ashley (our farm intern) was here cleaning when Rafiki expired, She was upset too, but continued with her duties until time to leave. We went for a bite to eat while awaiting Steve’s arrival, because he was in Rensselaerville working all day long and had no phone service. As soon as he entered a service area, he returned our call and came directly here to bury Rafiki. What a friend...coming before even stopping to eat, after working all day long. Even in our lowest and saddest of times, we are surrounded by true friends....
On Sunday we drove to Home Depot to pick up our two windows for the upstairs. This afternoon around three, we will go pick up the scaffolding to install them in the upstairs. The windows there now, are so cloudy between the two panels of glass that you cannot see out. They were cheap windows and are now around twenty-two years old, so it’s time for them to go!
I’ll have the scaffolding for a week, so I can easily do both gable windows upstairs and also make good on my birthday promise of two years ago, when I promised to install a very high swing in the back yard for Vick. The chains will be anchored on steel cable between the two large pine trees in the least thirty feet off the ground. That will give her a smooth, long and graceful southern plantation style ride. It was to be installed two years ago when Jeff was going to bring his lift here for me to do the upstairs of the barn....but he never showed up with it. The project has been on hold, awaiting a way to get the cable and swing up that high. Now we can do it!
Jeeze um.....I better make sure all the stuff is still around.....chain, bearing hangers, cable and the cable clamps too........... Hummmmmm........

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048991 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC

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