Critter Encounter

May 11-17            Galahads Hair Cut

This is what I do to try to cool off.  Some times I just go all the way in and lay down in the water where it's nice and cool.  My fur...or "fiber" as they call 5 times warmer than sheeps wool!  So you can imagine how hot I feel right about now!  That's why Alpacas and LLamas need to get their hair cut!  It happens every year about this time.  Jane saves it and has it spun into yarn.  Then she knits sweaters with it.  Dottie just stuffs it in a bag to pass out to kids for show and tell!

No...I don't want to go!  You guys will have to lift me up and carry me to that big, blue, tarp!

I had to open my big mouth!  And Dottie wonders why I get scared when she goes to put my halter on me.  The only time I have to wear it is either for the vet (my shots), the ferrier (my feet trimmed), or the shearer dudes (my hair cut)!
When he holds me like this...believe it or not...I'm really relaxed!  I don't move around...I just kinda hang there! Wierd! 
Weeeeeee!  It looks like he thumped me down, hunh?  He didn't!  What he did was roll me over while he lowered us both to the tarp.  Then the other shearer dude cradled my head and held it down.  He was very gentle.  But these guys move quick!  I'll tell you!  They know what they're doing!
There's Terry helping him hog tie my back legs to the fence.  Then they stretch me out so that I can't squirm, so I just kind of lay there.  It's not like I can go anywhere, anyway.  Janes in the corner waiting for the fur to fly!  She'll stuf it in a bag as they shear it, to keep it clean.
Now the dude in the front hog ties my front legs while holding my head down.  If I can't lift my head....I can't try to get up!  That's why they tie's safer for us.  (And them!)  We have to get this fur (fiber) off us before it get's any hotter outside.  It's like wearing thick furry feet pajamas!  And when our fur get's wet, it's even hotter because it holds the heat in.
Here I'm getting my nails clipped.  It's like having your fingernails cut.  It doesn't hurt.  I can't feel my legs anyway!  It's good to get all these things done at once.  Oh comes the vet with my wormer shot.  What was I thinking!
I can hear the clippers going.  He adds a few drops of oil to make it work better.  Dottie's telling him she wants me to have a mohawk, like a horses mane.  And to keep my tail.  Oh...thank God!  I love my tail!  It's a good fly swisher. He said he never did a cut like this before...but there's always a first.  Oh great...just what I needed to hear!
Here we's loud and it tickles.  And I can't move. He's trimming the fur on my legs so that Dottie can do sensitivity training with me.  I don't like to have my legs and feet touched... Now every day Dottie will be rubbing my legs down to get me use to it.  After awhile, I won't even notice!  She says that's where we need to be.
Now he's going right up my neck.  It's giving me goose bumps.  He's tring to figure out how wide to make my mohawk.  Punk me up!
When he holds my head like this, he blocks my ears so I don't hear the loud buzzing in my ears.  This is a scarey neck...but trust me...I don't want to move!  I'll just keep my eyes closed, and put myself in a happy place.  It's really nice to feel the cool breeze blow across my skin.  I almost forgot what it feels like!  Each time it feels new again.  This is the eighth haircut for me.  One each year since I was a baby!  You'd figure I'd be use to it by now!
He's working down from my face and neck, to my chest.  Then he'll make sure he's happy that he got it all.  Once we're done with this side, they'll flip me over, and do the other side.
He starts at my belly, where there isn't any fur, then he'll keep shearing going right up my back.  All this "fiber"  will come off in one piece.  Jane calls this my "blanket".  That's the most valuable fiber on an alpaca.  My leg and neck fiber is called seconds.  They save it all!
And here I am getting the finishing touches! 
I'm getting my face shaved so when Dottie puts the halter on me, my fur won't get stuck in the buckle.
So what do you think?   I feel like a unicorn with out a horn...ooops.....don't give Dottie any ideas! 
We think you look pretty sharp there, Galahad!  Even the shearer dudes said they really liked the "look"!  Jane was saying she'd like to try it on some of us next year!  I guess I'm stuck with this poof ball for another year. 

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