Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sargon and Renee: Two Beautiful Spirits

I recently lost a friend of mine.  Renee was one of my counseling friends I made while I was interning to get my Marriage, Family Therapy license.  We worked at the same clinic.  She was a fantastic therapist and a super human being.  I was always so impressed with how she threw herself into life including hard challenges.  She was taken from us way too soon.  I'd like to dedicate this blog to her memory.

The one down side of having alpacas and being in a livestock business is the fact that we occasionally (and thankfully it is occasionally), we lose an animal.  If you haven't noticed, I deeply care about my animals.  And when I lose an animal, it is very difficult and sad.  None was more painful than when I lost my boy Sargon.  He was my buddy alpaca.  Sargon was an extroverted alpaca which is so rare.  He loved people and actually preferred to be with us two-leggers than with his herd mates.  I so enjoyed taking him for walks around the farm I boarded my animals at.  He would come running when he saw me and we would walk the 25 acres and I could even drop the lead rope with him and he'd just follow me.  I clicker trained him.  Sargon was so smart and such a character.  I taught him so much.  He just loved to learn and to please me.  We were learning dance steps and I was going to get him to do a little routine to show off to folks.  He was going to be my ambassador on my own farm some day and he was just going to be a big star when folks came to the farm. 

Unfortunately, Sargon took sick right after I moved up to Oregon and just before I moved my animals.  They discovered him doing poorly when they did the vet checks that needed to be done before they were transported up to me.  He was doing so poorly that he had to remain back after the others came up here.  It was so hard being so far from him when he was so sick.  Friends did all they could for him but his illness was too strong and I lost him.  It broke my heart.  I felt so guilty because I wasn't with him when he needed me most and although I know all did everything they could to save him, it wasn't me with him. 

The day he died, I was just grief stricken but I got to witness one of the most magical moments I have ever experienced in my life.  That evening my alpacas were enjoying their new pastures.  Just as dusk was setting in, they got the zoomies.  The adults and cria started to pronk and race around their big pasture.  I stopped what I was doing to watch but it was with such a heavy heart because I so wished my Sargon was there enjoying my beautiful pastures too.  As I watched, my alpacas started to pronk in a huge circle.  They were spread out but followed each other and pronked in a counter-clockwise direction.  They ran in that circle a few times around and then stopped.  The alpacas were still spread out and making the huge circle.  They all faced the center of the circle.  They stayed staring at the center for about 30 seconds and then one by one, they lowered their head almost to the ground as if to bow and walked away to go graze.  It made me smile thinking of how "taking a bow" was Sargon's favorite trick I had taught him.  Tears streamed down my face but my heart wasn't as heavy.  Their dance lifted my spirits.  The energy they put out doing their dance and the ritual I witnessed felt like such a gift. 

I have never seen my alpacas do anything like that before nor have I seen it since.  It appeared and seemed as if they were performing a ritual dance and the way they looked so intently towards the center of their circle, I believe my Sargon was there.  It was a beautiful and touching sight.  Watching such an amazing spectacle, made me so grateful for my alpacas and although I was so deeply sad that I lost my Sargon, I was also so honored that I had my boy in my life and that I got to witness their ritual dance.  I would have wished for much longer with him but even knowing the pain I suffered in losing him, I wouldn't have traded all the joy and happiness he brought me and others while he was here.

Sargon Hamming it Up for the Crowd

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