Rattlesnake Ridge




King AsherA dog adopted us in 2010 -- showed up and wouldn't leave.  She has been one of many that have been dumped near here over time by irresponsible owners that drive the several miles out of town and just leave them abandoned next to the road to fend for themselves.  Most we find homes for, but not this one.  Now named April, she looks like a Maremma sheepdog except taller and lanky but of course her pedigree is unknown and is likely a mix, perhaps Labrador Retriever.  At this time she was still a pup but had just about reached full size.  After being here long enough for the llamas to learn she was resident, to keep herself entertained April took to "herding" the llamas, which they adamantly refused to do.  When April got playful the female llamas would instead chase her out of the field but with April and the llamas equally bored it turned into a game.  April would dart into a field and run around them, and llamas and dog would take turns chasing each other.  Marley O'Joy, a llama in the gelding field, would at times dance with April -- him pronking and both leaping and spinning around, they seemed to be having great fun.  Sometimes April would run around with a stick as a toy while playing with the llamas.

Well, things took a turn when she slipped into King Asher's field for the first time to play -- who's our large intact male -- a field which he has all to himself.  Asher had observed the play with the other llamas over a couple weeks time.  He cornered her near the fence opposite the gate, standing about 15' from the dog, whereupon Asher picked up a stick -- actually more of a log, about 2+ feet long and 3" in diameter.  He first shook it like a dog, then swinging it side to side like a bat he stepped towards April.  Seeing this she got real scared and ran.  She was accustomed to the other llamas running after her only half-heartedly in play at a relaxed pace for short distances but Asher was right behind her and was relentless.  In a panic, April, a fast dog, accelerated to full speed doing all she could to evade. Asher loped along effortlessly with his head low to the ground about two feet from her butt, log in mouth.  This was fun!  Running laps around the field April ricochet off the gate a couple times as she passed by hoping it would spring open so she could make her escape, to no avail.  I then walked over and cracked it open so she could dart out during her next pass.  Asher's fun was sadly cut short.  April hasn't wanted to play those games with the llamas any more.

Now I often see April restraining her exuberance just laying next to one of the llamas in the field when they are cushed or grazing, and our fence jumper, Pharaoh, often wanders about outside of the pastures and April usually accompanies him wherever he goes.  They just hang out together feeling the need for company and I've seen the two of them playing together with Pharaoh doing happy dances and April bounding along with him.  They all get bored at times and the hanging out turns into play, but it's now more on the llama's terms.

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Last modified: 15 May 2012