Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Guest Blogger Day!


This is Rufus the Bravehearted

Today I have a guest blogger. She lives in Minnesota and raises alpacas too. Her name is Sandy Kunath and her ranch is Glacial Ridge Alpacas.

We both belong to a huge chat site comprised of about 2,000 where husbandry tips are passed down, triumphs shared, tragedys wept over and alpacas worshipped- but of course!

This post caught my eye and Sandi's unique way of writing captured my imagination. It is a long story, but well, well worth the read. I hope you enjoy it, and you can visit her website at: http://www.glacialridgealpacas.com

Here goes!


today i am humbled, my heart full and i must write to the only people who will understand, a year ago or so i wrote the message below about how my junior herdsire went with me to our local senior center and as i put it back then-"they were not only on their best behavior but were extra quiet, extra slow and well, it was just down right touching to watch them stand still for a soft shaking hand to stroke them in awe and nervousness and bend down to those in wheel chairs and those too frail to get out of their beds without even being told to, offering kisses to anyone who wanted them and trying to persuade those more timid to try to kiss them ...the outpouring of gentle love and respect humbled me", well today was different, in a way,...

i awoke early still sore from doing only 1/2 of the hay we should have done yesterday and looking forward to a soothing hot shower to take the cramps from my shoulders so i can get outside and begin my cria watch, day 335 today and i'm eager to see what should be our first cria of 2007 and a gorgeous day at that, our first warm sunny day this spring. then i have an outside stud service late this afternoon and then whoopee the rest of the hay has to be put away and stacked...

but at 7 am the phone rings, not a common sound around here that time of day, a deep sighs and i'm sitting by the bed looking at the caller id display, the old folk's home? why? my mind buzzing, could it be my knitting buddy who wasn't feeling well last month and is only 1/2 through a wonderful sweater she's making for me merino and alpaca soft as butter yarn, my own father is back east and coming to live with us this summer and my mom passed away 2 years ago (starting me on my crusade to visit older folks every week and give them something to look forward to, whether it's an animal or knitting or spinning or even dyeing fiber, anything to wake up and smile about, the way my mom always did), the administrators voice asked me quietly if rufus was home, now rufus is now a proven stud of many ribbons who has retained the gentle loving nature he was born with...and if he was busy this morning...

she sounds strange and i ask why, charlie was asking for him, needing to see him asap she says to me, she's sorry to call, she knows i'll be there later this weekend but i was planning on bringing a new 2 week old lamb and 2 week old angora rabbit, but charlie ,well grouchy old charlie, he's dying, and is only asking for rufus over and over again, is there any way, any way at all please could i bring him now??? my mind reorganizing my day quickly, remembering the stud service later, ..sure, we'll be there within the hour i say, hmm, maybe you need to be faster sandy she says quietly, i know he's a cantankerous coot but i don't think he'll make the hour...

i'm on my way... calling to dear hubby what's going on, the hot spray of the shower on my aching back forgotten, the truck keys in my hand, by the time i've haltered my boy hubby has the trailor hitched and the cell phone in my hand, let me know he says, i'll do morning chores, call me if we have cria i say, i'll be back by 10 probably (we usually stay about 2 hours)...and we load rufus and start the engines..it's a 30-40 minute drive and rufus is unnaturally upset back there, usually a pro at travel (he does drive by breedings besides p.r. work), he's not happy and not cushing and upsetting me even further....he's eager to disembark when we pull into the van zone and is dancing all over the place, he can't go in there like this i'm thinking and try walking him along the walkways like a dog to calm him, talking quietly and calmly... what am i do to now, i can't take a wild barely controlled alpaca into a nursing home, resigned i walk him back to the trailor thinking i'll just have to trailor him and go in myself to see what's up in there...but he has other ideas, lol, he's a big boy and i'm a lil woman, but i have the lead and he's going back in until at least he's calmer i tell him....... he cushed in front of the doorway and won't budge.

now this sounds like no big deal, but honestly he's never ever acted this way, females i have had had to be lifted into a trailor or van but never him. he's like an alpaca i've never met, humming to himself and fighting me, i sit on the ground beside him and relax since we're going nowhere at all, neither in the home or in the trailor..carrie (the home's admin of nursing) comes out a side door and calls to us to come on... in a blink of an eye, almost jerking my arm out of the socket my big stud is up and ready to go to work, standing by my side, still and quiet and eager...

okay, i'm the crazy one i'm thinking as we walk silently into the assisted care area and straight down the hall, the smells in here always scare me, the lack of happy sounds always make me sad and slightly ill feeling... and my animals are rarely allowed in this section, usually we go to the main areas and people come to us... she motions us into the room and the man i haven't seen in almost a month, because "he didn't have time for such nonsense as me and my silliness" is a mere shadow of what i remembered him as (i never really knew what that term meant until i started our work here).

he looks terrible and the silence in the room except for a soft hissing is just awful, the alpaca knows what to do and stands still and tall, until he's called over by a frail shaking hand, then we go forward to hear him whispering to rufus how beautiful he is , how he's missed him, how he's so glad to see him, how he-charlie- is an old fool who has many regrets, through it all he's stroking the neck of my big boy who is bent down so the man can touch him while in bed, no jerking, no jumping, soft whoofing from his breath he merely allows the man to stroke and talk to him, many of his words i cannot hear, they are not for my ears anyway, he's talking to my big macho man, not to me, he's on a halter and 8 foot lead and i'm way on the other end of the lead and don't want to hear his whispers to my alpaca.

i'm watching closely and after about 10 minutes rufus is humming while charlie's mouth is moving but i hear no words, looks to me like charlie's eyes are closed as i move in closer to be sure all is okay. he's so tired he tells me and thanks me for bringing is friend back to see him. he asks me my name again and i tell him again and remind him we'll come back again, he merely smiles and closes his eyes again... beep beep beep whoosh whoosh are all the sounds i can hear and i'm getting prickles on the back of my neck as my dear alpaca cushes by the bed side, his head within charlie's reach as charlie's hand falls onto the back of his neck,

i move to gather the lead up and let the man sleep and take rufus to the common center to say hi to anyone there only rufus isn't going anywhere, refuses completely to stand or even move. he's staying. he humms to me quietly and suddenly i feel terrible, tears choking my throat i feel like i can't breath as i realize my alpaca intends to stay with the dying man until he's gone, how does he know, where does he get this insight, this calm acceptance, this strength and caring? about 50 minutes later the beeping is erratic and i see charlie smile for the first time ever as the last word he says is rufus.... his fingers in my alpacas top knot ... the nurse who has joined us says we can stay for a bit since my alpaca isn't quite ready to leave yet and she does a triple take at the smile on charlie's face..

within 15 minutes my boy is standing up and whoofling at charlie's face before heading calmly and silently out the door, he's not in the mood for the common room any more then i am and is heading right out the exit steadily and quietly...we're home and outside in about an hour and he's wandering around his pasture quietly, no rejoicing and prancing as he normally does, he's reserved and seems to me (who personifies my animals my hubby says) thoughtful and subdued.... he greets his "date" 30 minutes later and does what is expected of him then resumes his munching and looks once over his shoulder at me as i let him out into the big pasture to enjoy the rest of his day..."just another day at work on the farm mom, no worries" and i weep at the gentle alpaca souls i have been blessed with caring for...
sandy in minnesota,
whose throat is sore whose nose is red whose heart is full and who is truly truly blessed
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
Wow, I just cried again while getting this ready for posting. Thank you Sandy for being a guest on my blog today. We should all be as wise and caring as Rufus....
Rachelle

10 comments:

singleton said...

Absolutely beautiful. Wordless. Just beautiful. Thank you.

Lori said...

You were right about this wonder story. I guess I copy what singleton wrote. Wordless!

Rachelle said...

Dear Singleton- I will convey your wordlessness to Sandy.
Powerful story, no?
Maybe I could convince you to paint me some pacas someday? *dreamy look*
See you soon,
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Hi Lori! How are you?
Thanks, I will make sure Sandy visits and reads all the nice comments. I love this story!!
Smiles,
Rachelle

dawn said...

Thanks for the comment Rachelle I actually wrote a new post from it. Hope you like it

Shrink wrapped scream said...

I'm so touched, I can't see to type. Thank you for sharing, bonny lass. I feel richer for passing by. x

Robin - Erithacus rubecula said...

I am love!!! Why can't I find a man like Rufus? Beautiful eyes, long lashes, big heart...and ......

Thanks for visiting..I have been hiding for the winter now I am back and writing again...as always I love your writings.

Rachelle said...

Dear Shrink- I am coping.... thank you for being there.
I am going to be checking in from KY on everyone, so hugs till we talk again.
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Robin!!!! so great to see you out from your hibernation!!!!
Can't wait to read what's new at your place.
Missed you!
Slainte~
Rachelle

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