Saturday, June 7, 2008
An alpaca gets the zoomies
Most dog owners are familiar with those sudden bursts of energy where their dog suddenly tears around the house or the yard with great exuberance. But an alpaca with the zoomies?????
Tonight, just as I was closing up the barn, Martin the alpaca came wandering up to his pen looking, rather belatedly, for his evening meal. I took him his grain and closed him in the pen while I took the dogs for one last romp in the pasture.
When we returned it was nearly dark. I put the dogs in the house, and turned to see Martin about to charge his pen gate – two , three, four times.
Okay, I said to myself, he is making it clear that he wants to sleep out in the pasture as he did for the many years he was abandoned. That’s fine with me – in winter I made him stay in the pen overnight so I could be sure to get feed and water to him in the morning and he had no objection when the pasture was bare of everything but snow. With lush green grass beckoning, however, he has different ideas and as a camper myself I understand the lure of sleeping out under the stars.
Except that wasn’t what Martin was telling me. As soon as I opened the gate to his pen, he stormed out and tromped into the back yard. "Fair enough," I tell him, "You want to munch the weeds here – you haven't had a chance to do that for a few days."
But that wasn’t it either. He ran through the back yard and right up to the back door of the house, wheeled around, RACED back through the pasture gate and all the way down the pasture, wheeled around, RACED back up the pasture and into the back yard, did a wheelie that would make a 16 year old on testosterone and a Harley envious (leaving nice skid marks in my grass), RACED back down the pasture, and repeated the act all over again before finally sauntering, even swaggering, up the rise to settle in his favourite “I’m camping out over night” spot on the hillside.
There is nothing quite so comical as an alpaca running at full speed. They don’t really run, they.....um......bounce. Hop hop hop hop hop like a giant Easter Bunny, kicking up wedges of dirt as they go. Tigger incarnate. BOING!
I still don’t know what set him to the frenzy of activity – whether he sensed danger (though he did not make his distinctive cry of alarm), or was spooked by the motion light coming on near the barn, or has poor night vision and didn’t realize it was me standing there. Or maybe he just had the zoomies. But I bet he sleeps well after all that exercise. What a silly alpaca.