Dear llama owners, (Past, Present and Future),

If you got a llama from me…. I loved them first.

I thought about and planned for them years before you may have even realized you wanted to own, love, and raise one.

I have worried about your future together before you knew there would ever be a future.

I researched the bloodlines of the parents of your llama.

There  were hours upon hours spent…Going over lines with trusted fellow  breeders, scrutinizing my Dam and potential Sire and tracing their lines  back as far as I could. I gained knowledge not only for myself, but so  that I was prepared to go over every detail with you. I wanted to be  able to answer the questions that you may not even know to ask yet. 

I  Watched your cria’s parents grow, loving and enjoying them as part of  my family. As we trained them and socialized them, I watched how they  matured. I scrutinized their conformation, how they moved, and assessed  their temperament…. 

When  I decided on a pairing and finally put your crias parents together, for  the next eleven and a half months I worried, I obsessed, and I grew  excited. I watched your crias mom like a hawk making sure my expectant  mother was ok. I monitored her diet better than I do my own. I carefully  made sure she was getting enough of the right nutrients and that your  growing cria was getting the best start possible. I spent hours in the  barn and the pastures, on the couch, floor, and bed monitoring my  cameras watching her tummy grow and anxiously waiting. Many months into  her pregnancy I was, at last, able to lay my hands on her belly and feel  the first movements of your cria. As the time grew close I spent most  nights in the nursery paddock and barn comforting and reassuring her. I  wanted to make sure she didn’t go into labor without me knowing. And in  case something went wrong and one of our llamas needed help I had  veterinarians phone numbers and alternate phone numbers at the ready.

When  the cria was born, and for the first 36 hours of its life I was there. I  dedicated myself to the health and well-being of your cria and its Mom.  I watched them and made sure I was doing everything possible to ensure  it started its life the right way. I painstakingly made sure it was  getting enough to milk, was warm, and got enough socialization time. In  some cases the cria was medicated. They all received necessary  immunizations and were given vitamin supplements. I was probably there  and the first person they saw when they opened their eyes. I kept them  safe, and prepared them for the day they would transition to your farm.

When you and I first talked about llamas, I tried to read your character as we spoke. 

Would you love this special creature as much as I do?

Would you love them, care forever them, and make them a part of your family?

The  day you took your new baby home was harder than I'd ever let on. I was  excited for you but I was also terrified. Had I chosen correctly?

My  love and worry did not end there. I thought about your baby regularly,  concerned when I didn't get updates and ecstatic when I did. I hoped you  were caring for your llama the way I care for mine. I answered your  questions happily and answered them again just as happily if asked once  more.

I loved your llama first, and I will never stop.

- Original Author:   Heather Andelin 

- ReWritten by:   Sonya Salisbury

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