Good morning! Well, we survived Cookie Day and look forward to telling you more about it another day when I am not so tired and have gathered up a couple of recipes. Anyway, today is Sunday which means it is time for me to introduce you to this week's Royalty. Hmmm, who shall I choose?
This is my buddy Jasper. He came with Marcel, so was in the second group of llamas to arrive here at The Royal Ranch, and the first link of llama rescues in a very long chain. Jasper and Marcel lived on an organic vegetable farm before they came here. They were well taken care of, but had no human interaction what so ever. I was excited to find out that Jasper was actually born on my mentor's (Bobra Goldsmith) farm, so we felt like he was already part of the family.
Jasper is one of the visitors' favorites because he is so pretty; solid black with just the tips of his ears and toes with "spats" of white on them. That was his name when Bobra named him, Spats. Jasper was not at all into packing when we first got him; he would just lay down on the trail when he was tired. That all changed very quickly when I whispered to him one day, "Jasper if you don't work the old man will pull you out of the pack string and there will be no more free rides for you!"
We were hesitant to take him the next trip, as he'd been such a pain on the previous drop camp. But, I told Tom I'd had a chat with him and to give him another try; I don't think he has laid down on the job since! He really enjoys his hikes with his humans, just maybe not have to carry anything would be better-ha! Jasper is now one of my best packers.
When we do drop camps or go to pick up a camp, we usually each have a string of llamas. With Jasper it is so nice because he is never too picky about his spot in line. This is very helpful late in the day when one of the boys is getting irritated with the llama behind him and we can just use Jasper to mix it up a bit. Here at the ranch, he is low man on the totem pole, maybe not last in hierarchy, but close. He doesn't care too much about that stuff and just prefers to lay in the sun and eat hay instead of messing with his spot in "the club".
Jasper is about 14 years old and is in great health; llamas can live late into their twenties with proper care. With pack llamas, one has to watch for "falling in the pasterns". That is when the llamas ankle joint tends to start bending due to the weight of their bodies, or from misuse (carrying too much weight) while packing. Even at his advanced age, he looks as strong as some of the young llamas. A little over weight, but not too bad.
We are really blessed to have Jasper, and like I said, he is quite a looker, so he adds to our ranch tremendously! People just enjoy watching him, as a matter of fact I think he might be the star of the show when HGTV airs the episode we were in. He sat in the sun with the camera man right in his face, loving the attention, what a ham!
Make a miracle today!