Sunday, December 5, 2010

Royal Ranch Royalty

 Photo courtesy of Rocky Mt. Llamas & Bobra Goldsmith

Today I will not even try to stop the flow of tears, I really deserve this cry.  I have lost my friend and mentor Bobra Goldsmith.  Three weeks ago she was diagnosed with Leukemia and Friday morning she passed away.  That's that.

Long time readers will recognize the name, because Bobra gave me Thunderboy.  And I have never been so proud of a gift in my whole life, especially now.  Let me give you a little background on my relationship with this amazing woman.  Many years ago, when I first decided to get into llamas I chose to take one of Bobra's training classes.  Now, keep in mind that all of the people in the class were there to train their llamas, and I went to train myself.  Which I think is what really impressed Bobra; she knew that I was taking this seriously and wanted as much information and knowledge about these majestic animals as I could get before I brought one (or ten...) home.

She was then the person who put me in touch with the organic farm that I rescued Marcel and Jasper from; as a matter of fact, back then I didn't even have a trailer yet, so she delivered those boys herself; in a van I might add.  I'll never forget the compliment she gave me that day.  Marcel (my lead llama and also the llama on the cover of my book) was not used to being handled, and had been very difficult for her to catch.  She told me that she never, ever has left a halter on a llama, but was worried that we might not be able to catch him again if she didn't leave it on him for a few days.  She said to me "Judy, I have the utmost faith in you, and I would never do this with anyone else, but you will have this wild boy in shape in no time flat.  Work with him daily to get him calmed down, and get that halter off as soon as possible."  And that is exactly what I did.

Bobra Goldsmith was one of the first people to bring llamas into the state of Colorado.  She worked tirelessly with the Forest Service and her train of pack llamas to keep the forests around Boulder clean and trails maintained.  She even developed her own line of llama equipment and pack gear that is absolutely unrivaled in its usefulness.  And this is all after she was an accomplished professor at CU!  But one of the main things that I really loved about Bobra was her sense of family.  She had suffered the loss of her husband and mother, and cared for her ill step-father until she herself could no longer do so.

I told Tom last night that she was one of those people that you just assumed would never die.  She was old when I met her, and although she had aged, she just was "Bobra".  Even the boys knew how sad I would be...I had gotten the message via a text, and my sweet little daughter quietly made sure her brothers knew that Mommy was sad.  It seems the whole llama community is probably really sad today, we lost a pioneer, a teacher, a volunteer, but most of all a dear friend.  My hat is off to you, Bobra, you were one of a kind!


pshepherd said...

Judy, what a beautifully written tribute. I'm very proud of you. I love you, Mom

Jim and Pat Shepherd said...

Well, mom beat me to it. I knew that Bobra was a very special person to you. I am glad that I got to meet her. Your post was obviously written from the heart and beautiful.

Love, Dad

lfhpueblo said...

I'm sorry for you loss, she sounds like she was closer than just a dear friend. After reading your tribute, she sounds like you almost regarded her as an extended part of your family.
Part of her will live on through you and all of the others that learned from her.

L'illette Vasquez said...

Judy, your words have me in tears... a frequent state of late, but this time, it's in a good way. I know how much she thought of you--you have long been one of her favorite people. She'd be so pleased to read this and know how much you care. All my love, L'