life with llamas, rojo the llama, therapy animals -

Typical Rojo.

Original Post Date: February 10th, 2016

Yesterday I had the privilege of taking Rojo to a preschool.

These kids were such a hoot! When I showed them how to give carrot kisses they all just went, “EWWWWWW.” So what do I do to encourage giving kisses?? I only let the ones who were brave enough to kiss him go first. Selfishness is a funny thing. I don’t always consider selfishness a bad character quality. In children, you can use it to encourage them to step outside their comfort zone. They want to feed Rojo first. Kids always want to go first! So, if you want to go first, you’ll have to do something everyone thinks is gross. In return, they branch out of their comfort zone and kiss a llama! It’s hilarious to see and exciting when they realize it’s completely safe, harmless, and super fun!

I then proceeded to give each child 5 sliced carrots each, which is incredibly difficult when your 400 lb beast has a crazy long neck and wants to eat the carrots before you can even hand them to small hands. Somehow, I managed to juggle both the anxious kids and eager llama.

When finished, despite what teachers everywhere like to hear, I told all – maybe 12 total – of the children they could come feed him at the same time.

Talk about mass chaos. Here’s a video I took after they ran out of carrots. You can see their lack of fear wanting Rojo to treat their finger’s like carrots so they can feel his soft lips. I love it! Rojo is such a boss!

Personally, I found my real humor of the day came when I got home. Before I tell what happened, I need to set up the layout of the farm for you.

My parents live on 2.5 acres of land at the very end of a cul de sac… in a regular neighborhood. People always assume they live on a big “farm” in the country, but really, they’re in a regular neighborhood where each house has 2.5 acre plot of land. It’s the best of both worlds.

Anyways, in front of their home, running along the side of the cul de sac is their “front pasture.” There is a long gated path for the animals to walk to the “back pasture” which is split into two halves. The first half, closest to their home, connects to the therapy animal’s barn. The second half is farthest from their home which that’s for their two non-therapy animals. Occasionally they all get to play together, but for the most part, they’re treated as two separate herds – it’s a llama thing. Yesterday, they were all together with the gates open to all of the pastures. Now to get on with my story.

I’m always trying to think of cool new ways to show Rojo for social media so I was super excited to see all of the herd was out in our front pasture. This means, Rojo would have to go through the barn, across the back pasture and down the side to get into the front with his pals. Typically llamas like to be with their herd so in Napoleon’s case, it’s super cute to watch him sprint around the house to get to everyone. This is what I was hoping would happen with Rojo: that he would run and look like Fabio to see his buddies.

In anticipation of this, I got my camera open on my phone, released Rojo from his halter and sprinted across where the bend is to go to the front field. In true Rojo fashion, he took maybe 5 steps out of the barn and stood. Regal as ever. Just watching to see what I was up to. Then he proceeded to walk out to the farthest back, empty field. He looked around for his friends, then decided it was time to graze… on his own.

So much for my cool Fabio shot. I turned to my left and what do I see? Oh, here comes Smokey followed by Jean-Pierre and Charlie. Why it surprised me I don’t know, but of course Rojo didn’t need to go to the front pasture. He knows that everyone comes to him. What a stinker.He always marches to the beat of his own drum. And for this, I love him dearly.