Rest in Peace Signature

Fallen Tree

Thursday the 18th July we drive home through the hills in pelting rain and strong gusty winds. The roads are scattered with leaf litter, branches and even mounds of sawdust, a tell-tale sign that the CFS have already been busy with chainsaws to get tree trunks off the road.

We arrive home to find a huge Redgum has fallen in our front paddock close to the drive into our property. We remove a few side limbs that have crashed over the fence just to get past.  This paddock is usually home to 5 stud males. Further up the hill we can see four of them – huddled together and soaking wet. Our hearts sink, who is missing? No, no, no  – it’s Stansbury’s H3 Signature – the lovely stud boy we co-own with Buckley Estate Alpacas.

We quickly change from work clothes to wet weather gear and trudge down the hill with torches. The rain and wind  saturate us within minutes, all around us trees bend and creak – this is terrifying.  Our worst nightmare unfolds as we find him sitting in cush amidst what looks like a tree explosion. He is groggy with dilated pupils and immobile. Before long Greg Rodda from Meadows Vet Centre arrives, also co-owners Shane and Julianne Buckley. Signature shows signs of severe concussion with some bleeding and swelling to his face but we soon discover one front leg  shattered at the elbow joint, it flops about in odd and alarming angles. We shudder to contemplate the pain he must be in,  recovery is unlikely. He is guided to alpaca heaven by the vet. In those last moments he is stroked, soothed and so desperately loved – but my tears are of no consequence as the sky cries harder.

Our placid natured boy will be sadly missed and remembered with enormous fondness, R.I.P. Signature.


Hush – a brave balancing act

hush with mum

Haylilla Hush had a tough start to life, her rear leg was broken while only a few weeks old. A month later she was well on the way to recovery but she was spooked by the cat and re-broke the leg.

We were faced with three choices; complicated and expensive surgery to plate the fracture (with no guarantee of a full recovery), to amputate, or to kiss her goodnight forever…

Despite the broken leg Hush had always shown us a great deal of pluck , courage and irresistible charm – there was no way we could end her life when she clearly loved being alive.

Hush is now a three legged alpaca,  thanks to Willunga Vet the operation went well and she recovered quickly. It took about 3 weeks before she was strong and agile enough to rejoin the herd.  Now she can even run at great speed, her latest trick is balancing on two front legs to scratch with the remaining rear leg.

Clever girl.

hush face