Dar Long (darlong) wrote,
Dar Long
darlong

Happy Shearing Season!

It's that time of year again. I stepped in as medical support for the first shearing of the season. It was relatively calm because our shearers Fred and Dee are really the best. Since eliminating the shearer from Hell from our group (and our lives hopefully) I no longer have to see or deal with horrific gashes the length of an animals stomach or animals stuck on a shearing table for over an hour while people goof around. A tiny nick that just needed some blue spray and a toenail that was trimmed a little too close and bled was pretty much it. Not that it was a relaxing time. Every second I am prepared for mass chaos. I give the annual shots and check out any skin issues while the animal is on the table. After a long winter in full fleece there are often all kind of skin issues hiding in there. Mites, fungal issues, dry skin, signs of vitamin deficiency - all hidden by a full crop of fibre. So I treat and reassure the animals, and we get them sheared and vaccinated and supplemented etc and off the table in about 20 mins or so. maybe a little longer if we have to trim teeth.

But I travel with enough supplies and equipment to handle everything from a human heart attack to an emergency c-section (alpaca) and I'm on alert until the last animal is safely in his pasture and eating hay.

I will be at our frien Dee's place this weekend for her shearing and then it's the 3 day paca palooza that is our shearing weekend. I am planning the menu this week and trying to lay in all the necessary supplies. Our actual shearing will be Sat May 18 and Monday May 19th - our main shearer has a family thing on Sunday. Anyone willing/able to show up and help out - whether by holding an animal, carrying bags of fibre or just cooling alpacas with a hose is welcome!

As for me, well I am struggling this year. Elliot's birthday - he would have been 27 - and the upcoming anniversary of my dad's death (he died on our shearing weekend 3 years ago) combined with the situation with one of our former alpaca group members has really left me pretty drained. I think I need a few days of nothing to help re-charge. In the last 4-6 weeks we have had a flood that has meant the entire lower level has been ripped out and is under construction. What could be salvaged is now everywhere else in the house - so I am stepping over things. We've had 2 late term abortions of perfectly lovely crias in our herd - that's never happened so we've been busy trying to nail down any potential cause. The car is dying - and trying to figure out how to replace that has been stressful. The previously mentioned former alpaca pals have threatened me,tried to sue our group for removing them, and generally done their best to make life difficult. Trespass letters have been sent. Lawyers involved. But the stupid just never stops. I don't even respond. But it wears on a person. SO yeah...not only is it past time for a vacation, it's past time to move the heck out of here and away from the crazy.

So that's life here, how about where you are?
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