MEET SCARY CARRIE
Unless you’re an animal person, it can be hard to remember that anything other than a dog has a big personality. Our farm is full of unique characters with silly backstories, and Carrie is definitely one of them.
We bought her 15 years ago, so she’s been in our herd since the beginning. As we were first looking into and beginning to understand the alpaca-life, we volunteered to help out at other farm shears. We knew this would be a good way to both get the lay of the land and familiar with what life with an alpaca herd could look like.
Side note: For anyone who is wondering why we shear alpacas, if it’s painful for them (no, it actually helps them so much) or what the process looks like, you can read our blog on shearing alpacas here for more information. You can also watch a shearing process here.
Okay, back to business--the farm we were volunteering at happened to be shearing Carrie on one of the days we were there. At this farm, they utilized tables that the alpacas would walk up to and then they would be secured, laid horizontally and shorn. James, at the time, didn’t realize that where he was standing would be a hallmark moment for him in his life raising alpacas: his first spit. The way Carrie was laying on the table positioned her to have her nose right underneath one of the leg openings of James’ shorts. Out of frustration for the process, Carrie spit--sending her acidic stomach juices up his pants. Since we were at another group’s farm and in the midst of a long day, James had to wear Carrie’s spit and its hefty odor for the remaining seven hours of the process--including the drive home.
Even though James and Carrie got off to a rough start, we ended up purchasing her because of her high quality fiber and welcoming her into our herd. Carrie’s name was formerly Josette, but changed to mimic the horror movie star, Carrie. As anyone who has been to our Open House, hung out with the alpacas at the local Owenhouse Ace Hardware or been on a Farm Tour knows, our alpacas are handled a lot and don’t spook easily like most other herds. We spend hundreds of hours with them to ensure they can be handled in case of an emergency, but also so our community can more intimately enjoy spending time with them. Carrie on the other hand, would tell you a different story. No matter the endless hours spent with her, if you come within a few inches of touching her, she begins to scream bloody murder at the top of her lungs. While she is sweet and low key (until you get too close), her screams too closely match the movie, so we said farewell to Josette and hello to screamin’, Scary Carrie.
Carrie was a screamer long before a tragic event 2 years ago, but since then has added to the list of things she desperately doesn’t like: mountain lions. James and Sarah came home one night to find Carrie lying on her side in the corner of the pasture saturated in a pool of blood. The Anatolian’s (to read more about why we have our guard dogs and their duties, click here) were creating a ruckus when we got home, so we knew something really bad must have happened. After close examination and seeing the claw and bite marks along Carrie’s side and neck, we knew she must have been attacked by a mountain lion. While she was pretty beat up, our Anatolian’s were able to save her and successfully take down the large cat trying to make her dinner. The mountain line had ripped a chunk of Carrie’s septum off, just at the end of her nose, and despite James’ best attempts to sew it back on, a bulbous area remains. After 38 stitches, a whole lot of antibiotics and endless love, Carrie returned to her normal, healthy self with just a few additional battle wounds. She’s a fighter, a screamer and one of our favorite old ladies.
Since adopting her, Carrie has given birth to five beautiful babies (including a hermaphrodite named Junebe) and is once again pregnant. We’re hoping to introduce baby number 6 come July of 2021, so stay tuned for footage of the live birth and the new baby’s first steps! For some cute baby footage to hold you over until then, check out this video of our baby alpacas running around in the pasture having the time of their lives.
We love knowing where our fiber is coming from and knowing our products come from well cared for and extremely loved alpacas. Don't forget to shop small and shop local this holiday season with our sustainable products!
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