Sunday, September 29, 2013

Schubert is In A Good Way

I knew Schubert was going to have a special role in life from very early on in his life.  He was unique from the first days on this earth.  He was so curious and unafraid of people.  He was actually too unafraid.  As he got a month or two old, I had to start setting consistent boundaries.  He thought we two-leggers were alpacas and would do the foot biting and wanting to neck wrestle and chest butt thing with us that is typical mostly male behavior.  Most of my normal techniques to get an overly friendly alpaca to be more respectful didn't work.  I was worried about him becoming what they call a berserk male alpaca syndrome where once the hormones kick in, the male goes crazy on you without notice and can be very dangerous.  I even spoke to the vet about gelding him at a younger than normal age.  However, the consistent training and setting of boundaries worked.  The one thing he did love so much were visitors especially young children.  He was very gentle with them.  I was very watchful and careful during visits but he was always so gentle.  I knew if I could train and get rid of the undesirable behavior and keep the wonderful qualities he showed, he would become a great ambassador and possible therapy alpaca for someone. 

Schubert was a young boy when he met Teddi from In A Good Way.  This organization and non-profit is such a great group helping men that have various challenges and they teach farming skills and mentor these men.  They are located now in Oklahoma.  When Teddi came to visit, she was still seeking their farm and I was politicking for them to come to Oregon.  However, they found the perfect spot in Oklahoma and I told her when she was ready for her place, Schubert would make a great ambassador for them.  It took a couple of years for it all to come together but this summer, Schubert and Tecumseh, a friend from another farm, left for Oklahoma. 

Rocky is one of Schubert's first clients.  Rocky has a traumatic brain disorder and is now coming to the farm to visit Schubert and learn various farm skills.  I was sent the picture of Schubert and Rocky and my heart filled with such joy and pride in Schubert for his the job and role I knew he could do.  It has been such an honor knowing Teddi, Greg and In A Good Way.  I'm humbled with the amazing work they are doing and growing into.  I can't wait to hear what more good work Schubert will be doing. 

Schubert (black alpaca) looking intently at Rocky (two-legger) and becoming fast friends.

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