Lavender has died. She had been ‘elderly’ for some time now, but on a fairly rapid decline for the last few weeks.
That said, I would never have thought this morning that today would be the day when she would finally lay down near the barn, and not want to get up again. At 9 o’ clock she led the alpacas down to the Secret Garden and ate a hearty breakfast – business as usual. She hung about there during the day, seemingly content, but at some point decided she had had enough. I found her lying on her side with just a little life at 4.30pm. The vet came over and speeded her on her way, (which I hope someone will do for me when I get to that stage).
So – end of an era here at Pistyll Gwyn. For the first few years Lavender was most definitely Queen Lavender with more than a little touch of the Lou Beale about her (early Eastenders matriarch – no nonsense, sharp tongue, sensible shoes, family-comes-first etc). It was a common sight to see her scolding one of the other alpacas, particularly the lads, (though never her blessed cria who could do no wrong). The last couple of years she has sat back and chewed the cud while Diamond and Olive battle it out for the crown, and has seemed happier for it. She could still give a good cussing if someone encroached on her feeding, but I can’t remember seeing her spit.
Lavender started life as a Jolimont cria in Australia, and after travelling all the way to the UK we know she had at least one cria at Bozedown Alpacas before she arrived here, via Alpacas of Wales. To my mind that is far too many miles for an alpaca and I am pleased that we could give her somewhere pleasant in which to settle. In return, she gave us the awesome Dylan, Molly-with-the-wonky-neck, Iolo the quiet one, and the gorgeous Rhiannon.
Thank you, Lavender, for your work here, and your splendid company. You will be missed.
A final note to thank the vet (Market Hall Vets at St. Clears). He came quickly and did the business efficiently and compassionately. We have always felt very lucky with Market Hall – some of our friends and colleagues struggle with poor veterinary experiences, but we have had nothing but excellent service from this practice.