Louis the Llama
“Compassion is difficult to give away
because it keeps coming back.”
Kate Borton, All Mosta Ranch Montana
Lament of Louis the Llama
page 4, Clark Fork Valley Press/Mineral Independent, June 7, 2006
At first I cried, and then I got mad. Mrs. Starkey and her daughter had rescued him from along highway 28, around mile marker 6. He had lain there for more than a week. No one appeared to have stopped. No one reported his presence. There were no notices that someone was looking for him. He had been alone, suffering, and he has no voice to tell me how long or what his story was. Mrs. Starkey and her daughter, in their compassion called me in to finally Rescue “Louis the Llama”.
Had he been handled and loved once? His sweet temperament, sad eyes and easily acceptance of human companionship told me: yes. At least he had been handled somewhere in his past. His acceptance of first a rope gently placed around his neck and then his easy tolerance of a halter told me so. He struggled to stand, to follow on his crippled front legs, humming is acknowledgement that I was there to help. The tears began to well up in my eyes…and then freely ran down my cheeks as he strove, willingly, to load into my trailer despite his general bad condition and weak, contorted legs. His long wool was so matted with briars that he could not even lay down comfortably, and lie down he must, because he could not stand for long. He was dehydrated and panting from the heat, lack of water, stress and misery.
Had he been abandoned there along the highway? Had he escaped his owner’s care and couldn’t find his way home again? Was he thrown away because someone could no longer afford to care for him? Or, perhaps, had they tired of the novelty of owning a llama? Was he found to no longer be “cute and cuddly”, like so many of our other resident, rescued critters? Had he gone off by himself to die, as sometimes animals will do? Was there truly no one looking for him?
It doesn’t matter. He is safe now and I will make sure that he gets the care and compassion every creature, man or beast deserves. We are a non-profit livestock rescue with limited capabilities and I will probably have to send him to the Large Animal Sanctuary for long term care (IF they have room) because we don’t have the facilities, the donated funds or support from our community that we need to serve Louis the Llama and others like him. But we do what we can. He will not die, alone and suffering, next to Highway 28.
All Mosta Ranch Montana