Love, love, love

The other day, I wrote about the love between our two alpacas, Ellsbury and Kahuna. Since then, we have been doing what I refer to as “alpaca physical therapy,” where at least three times a day, we go make sure that Kahuna gets up and walks around carefully to make sure his other muscles don’t get to stiff or start to weaken. We give him his medicine, we massage his sore leg, and the whole time, Ellsbury stands guard. Kahuna walks outside to check things out? Ellsbury goes along. Kahuna gets a shot of anti-inflammatory medicine? Ellsbury stands right next to us as we give it. And when Kahuna is walking around, and Ellsbury gets boxed into a corner by the human helpers, which would normally result in Ellsy giving a swift kick to the humans? He just hums at us and moves away, no kicking involved.

Love, it’s love, pure and simple.

Love — smelly, fuzzy love

Love comes in many forms, and is not limited to humans. Humans love our animal companions, and those companions love us. But what about the love between our furry friends?

This past week, our Kahuna hurt his foot.  It seemed to be improving, then he seemed to be struggling more, perhaps due to the brutal cold and deep snow. So last night, the vet came to pay a visit, and see how she could help him feel better.

Now Kahuna is a big, furry, skittish male alpaca. He likes to watch people, but doesn’t really want to get near them a whole lot. His buddy Ellsbury? He loves to watch his people, and will let “his” people get near him and cuddle with him. But strangers? Nope! Ellsbury is very, very shy and will try to stay away from anyone new.

So here is the vet in the barn with Kahuna, who at first didn’t want to get up. She poking and prodding him, giving him shots, taking his temperature, listening to his heart. And the whole time, shy Ellsbury was right there. Yes, he was clearly very nervous, but his love for his buddy — the buddy who tries to take his grain every day — that love was so strong that he would be right next to a strange human so he could keep humming to his friend. He even got so brave as to come up to the vet as she was massaging Kahuna’s leg, and touch his face to hers, as if asking her to help his buddy.

Then, in a beautiful moment, he walked back to Kahuna’s head, and bowed down to touch noses with him, as if reassuring him everything was okay.

Much later that night, I went down to the barn to check on them, and Ellsbury was cushing across the door to the barn, right near Kahuna, but also on guard so no one could come near his buddy without him knowing it and protecting him.

Love comes in many forms. Sometimes it is romantic love between humans, sometimes it is a terrified and shy alpaca going up to the vet to ask her to help his friend.