Friday, October 18, 2013

Olivier Hits The Road

Calzada's Manchu's Olivier now available for Stud Services at Alpacas At Hum Sweet Hum
 I took Olivier for his date last week.  We were on hold getting him off the farm to his dates while we waited for the arrival of our last cria (who happened to be the first Olivier baby to be born!).  Once Kipling was born, we were set to hit the road.  He had a date about an hour from our farm.  Olivier is my handsome guy that was I purchased from Hayley Jessup from Alpacas at West Ranch.  He is such a gem.  I just love this boy.  Not only is he an incredibly beautiful, statuesque alpaca, he has exquisite fine fiber that is keeping consistent and fine even after multiple shearings, plus he is the easiest alpaca to handle.  He is such a joy to be around.  He is curious and fun. 

I have been clicker training Olivier and he just cracks me up.  I taught him to bow.  I thought it would be a real hoot to take him to an alpaca show and have him win his ribbons and take a bow as the judge handed us his ribbon.  I didn't quite get it perfected in time for last show season which is a shame.  It would have been an even more memorable moment as he took his 1st place ribbon at Nationals to take a bow!  Maybe we will have it down for next year's shows.  I have also been teaching him to touch his carrot toy that I have hanging in their pasture.  He really likes that game.  Mowgli is better at getting the carrots out of it but having that toy hang there, gave me the idea of using it for the touch clicker game.  Olivier picked up that game quickly.  I lured him to the toy with a hand touch.  Within a few clicks, he was getting the idea of touching his nose to the toy instead of my hand.  Now when I go out to play the clicker game with Olivier, he isn't always quite sure if I want him to take his bow or touch the toy.  So when he isn't sure, he does both!  He first takes a bow and then touches the toy.  You can just see the light in his eyes as he plays this game.  He looks at me after he is done touching the toy as if to say, "Did you see me?  I did it!" 

Last Friday, I loaded Olivier in the car.  He is so easy and loaded immediately into my Honda Element.  It fits an alpaca perfectly.  We headed down the road.  He has done this before so he wasn't too concerned yet he hadn't gone that distance before.  His other dates have been more local.  This one was just over an hour away.  He was humming a bit so I often put the radio on when the alpacas sound anxious to see if the music helps calm them.  I had it on a classic rock station.  His humming got louder so I didn't think he liked that.  I tried a different station that had lighter rock.  Nope, still humming.  I tried Country Western.  Nope.  Well of course my classy guy would want classical music!  I turned to the classical music station and the humming quieted.  He liked the Tchiakovsky symphony I found.  We settled in on our drive having found a suitable channel to listen to and we tootled along Highway 5 until we reached our exit.  The farm was only about 10 miles off the freeway.  As soon as I got off the freeway, the humming started up again.  He knew we must be close since the car's smooth pattern had shifted and he sensed it.  I began keeping an eye on what roads I needed to turn on so turned the radio off and listened to Olivier's music instead.

I talked to him as we got closer telling him how much he was going to enjoy the destination.  I found the last road I had to turn on and Olivier stood up in the car.  I told him we were almost there.  He had been facing towards the rear of the car and looking out the back window on the entire drive until I made that last turn.  When he stood up, he turned around and had his head looking out the front window.  I was concentrating on looking for the address and driveway I had to turn onto when I heard a familiar sound in the rear of the car.  "Oh Olivier!  You couldn't hold it two more minutes?  Really buddy?"  I exclaimed.  Ah well.  That is why I love my Honda Element.  It cleans so easily.  I have rubber mats down too so even easier clean up.  He finished his job just as I drove up the farm's driveway and arrived.  He was at least cleaned out and ready for his date. 

I hooked his lead rope onto his halter and he jumped right out of the car.  He looked around and we led him to the pen where they had his date all ready for him.  It didn't take him long to figure out what his job was.  His girl was very happy to see him too and they both got busy quickly.  I enjoyed getting a tour of the farm while Olivier had his fun.  About 45 minutes later, we were loaded up and heading back home.  Olivier wasn't picky about music stations this time.  He was quite pleased with the car ride now.  We settled back to our drive home.  He looked out the back window again watching cars and seemed very relaxed the entire drive.  I was about 2 minutes from home when he stood up again and faced towards the front.  Uh oh, I thought.  I hollered at him we were almost home and to hold it but to no avail.  I heard the tinkling again.  I opened my window and drove up my driveway as he finished.  I now know how long Olivier's bladder holds out!  I had to laugh and shook my head as I walked him back to his pasture.  The boys were eager to hear what happened.  No fussing between them as I unhooked Olivier's halter.  They seemed curious about Olivier's going and coming back.  I made sure all was calm and set about finding my cleaning supplies to tackle cleaning out my car.  Oh Olivier.  You gotta love that guy! 

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