A heartwarming story of a little life…

Only a few days ago, Mont Blanc approached the fence welcoming us.  Perhaps somehow he knows how much we care. See his story below

When we first arrived on the Watson Alpaca Farm on January 19, 2016, we had an experience with one of the cria, Mont Blanc, son of Giselle that we’ll never forget as shown in this post from January 26th. 

Mont Blanc was born on January 10th with blue eyes considered an anomaly, which Trish explained could indicate possible future health problems often observed in rare blue-eyed alpacas.

It’s been hard to get a good photo of Mont Blanc’s blue eyes with his long lashes. 

Somehow the tiny alpaca had maneuvered his way under the wire fence and was separated from his mother when they were in the paddock next to our house. 

We were inside when this occurred, but with the doors wide open we couldn’t help but hear his cries, his mother’s cries, and the cries of the others as they all worried about the fate of the separated cria at this point only a few weeks old.

Mont Blanc, the day he was reunited with his mom after escaping the fence.

Inexperienced as we were, we feared lifting Mont Blanc over the fence would be stressful for him or risky for us if Giselle was upset if we’d picked him up. Now we know better. We could have lifted him over the fence, returning him to his distressed mom.

Contacting Trish by phone she explained that she and Neil were on their way home from work to check on the alpacas as they do each day at lunchtime. In no time at all, they arrived, lifted Mont Blanc over the fence as we watched the joyful reunion of mother and son. 

Mont Blanc, on the left wearing his green collar sitting on the patch of dirt with the other much larger, younger cria only a few weeks ago.

We watched Mont Blanc and Giselle for days noticing how he never left her side, remembering all too well the distress of being separated for almost an hour. It was during this period we developed a special attachment to Mont Blanc and his quiet shy demeanor, less playful than the other cria who romped about the paddock in the evenings as the sun began to fade.

Since the alpacas are moved to “greener pastures” every week to allow grass to regrow from their constant grazing and to restore the area from parasites as a natural part of the animal’s defecation contributes to the growth of a variety of parasites that can ultimately affect the health of the alpacas.

Mont Blanc, a few days after he and his mom were moved out of the paddock with a few new moms and cria as opposed to the larger herd. 

Trish and Neil are diligent in managing control over the general health of the alpacas including management of the parasites both in the paddocks and the alpacas to ensure their continuing well-being. We’re continually amazed by the alpaca’s great health as a direct result of their diligent love and care.

When the alpaca group we’ve been observing these past two months spent time in the paddocks nearest the house, we couldn’t help but notice Mont Blanc’s small stature and over time, how he didn’t seem to thrive. 

Mont Blanc, a few days ago, bigger and healthier, nursing without sharing.

The many other younger cria surpassed him in height and weight. He seemed to struggle to get up and down when he hunkered down on the patch of dirt outside our living room door where the babies often cuddle together. Over time, we noticed his rib cage showing. 

When I mentioned our concerns to Trish, she mentioned they’d tried to bottle feed him but with the alpacas at a distance from their house, they weren’t able to see him as easily each day as we were at such close proximity.

About 10 days ago, as I sat on the deck lost in watching the adorable behavior of these precious beings, I observed this unusual scenario, another larger cria nursing off Mont Blanc’s mom. 

Mont Blanc, the smaller of the two in this photo, was being pushed out from nursing by this other youngster. Alpacas only have one cria each year and rarely nurse another baby.

Immediately, I sent Trish the photos, and that evening after work, Trish and Neil came and moved Mont Blanc and Giselle to another paddock where he wouldn’t have to compete for food from his mom. We’d rarely seen him nursing or even grazing that all the younger cria had begun doing regularly.

Each day after they were moved we walked to the distant paddock to see how he was doing and much to our delight, he was often nursing and munching on grass.  In only a matter of a few days, he began to fill out. His ribs were no longer showing. Now, he’s thriving and quickly growing.

Mom growled a little at the other cria when she noticed what was going on.

Yesterday, Trish stopped by to drop off our insurance documents that had arrived in the mail from the UK and to tell us that Mont Blanc has gain 2 kilos, 4.4 pounds since they were moved. 

When she said to us, “You may have saved his life,” our heart flipped in our chests. How much better could this experience have been for both of us? 

The pinkness of his nose and mouth is changing as he matures and grows healthy.

To be instrumental in the birth of a two cria while we “babysat” in Trish and Neil’s absence and then to play a small role in alerting them to the critical situation with Mont Blanc, our experience on the farm is complete. 

Although we haven’t had to “do the work” that Trish and Neil do each day and the work and responsibility of our ancestors living on farms, we’ll be eternally grateful for a new understanding and appreciation for life on a farm.

Mont Blanc with a blade of grass in his mouth is looking great!  His name tag says, “Mt. Blanc” like the name of the pricey pen.

Soon, our journey continues on with more life-changing opportunities to expand our personal growth and embrace the scope of the world around us.

Be well, dear friends…

Photo from one year ago today, March 18, 2015:
One year ago, the food in the Oasis restaurant at the resort was delicious according to my sister Julie who was visiting us in Kauai. Her lunch of fish taco was prepared perfectly. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one item on the menu that worked for me and I wasn’t hungry enough to ask for special modifications. I ordered an iced tea and was content to be with my sister as we looked out at the sea. For more photos please click here.

Comments and responses A heartwarming story of a little life…

  1. Staci Finch Thompson Reply

    What a great story – how special to know you were instrumental in the life of Mont Blanc! Thanks for sharing that with us!

  2. Michelle Burger Reply

    What a great story! It brought tears to my eyes. I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin so I understand your affinity for the baby alpacas.

  3. Jessica Reply

    Michelle, how wonderful of you to comment. Having grown up on a dairy farm you can certainly appreciate our affection for the cattle in the neighborhood who approach the fence to see us each time we walk by. They kick up a leg or two, shake their heads and swipe their tongues across their lips which may be construed as aggressive behavior. Instead, we think of it as a friendly welcome keeping an appropriate distance. Farm life must have taught you a lot that stays with you today.

    Thanks for writing, Michelle!

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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