When I first saw Vanilla, he came right over and gave me a kiss!

There were not that many kisses later, but I did get a few. He must have known he would get a good home.

My neighbors the Goodspeeds had horses and two llamas. Both Dick and I loved to stop and see them. As I walked to the fence one day the llama I came to call Vanilla, or often Feller walked right over and kissed me. This is the llama for me I thought.

Not a long time after that Kevin Goodspeed knew he had to part with some of his horses and the two llamas he had. I was game for the llamas but especially Vanilla. I had my good cow Steppin at that time. Vanilla had been in with horses at the Goodspeeds and they were bigger and had the power but at here at my place he was king. There was another Llama too who was bigger and much older than Vanilla at the time. He was Chocolate. Both Llamas were males and not gelded. We all know that Bulls, Stallions, Rams and other males can be aggressive.

Vanilla strutted around like a king, head up and even back at little to enhance his look. He would also leap straight up into the air when new things happened to excite him.

All was peaceful until Steppin, my cow, showed up after milking at the neighbors’ farm, belonging to Jay and Lori Hoyt, Steppin was dried off (milking discontinued) as she was due to calve. Well, Vanilla fell in love. He just adored Steppin and that led to problems. Soon after he attacked the other Llama and the fighting kept on and on. The slept and ate little and the sounds male llamas can make are many and bizarre.

Finally after about a week, I asked neighbor Kevin Goodspeed if he could take one of the llamas back to his place. He took Vanilla as Vanilla was easier to catch. Kevin exclaimed about the cussed llamas (not exactly his words) but then walked down the road back to his own place leading Vanilla with my car following as Vanilla made sounds like a growling tiger.

Vanilla went up to the horses ready to fight, but quickly found that to be a bad idea. He then stood at the gate looking down the road toward our home.

The llama left behind was old and eventually died. I felt badly and did not expect it but he was always distant and could not be touched.

I got Vanilla back after he was gelded on a pretty summer day into a hilly field of fresh grass by the shed he and Steppin shared.

So Vanilla had many good years here at our home and tiny farm, and eventually my good cow Steppin died close to 16 years old. At that time, Vanilla seemed saddened and it was after that point that he started to get old. There was a time that Vanilla was completely alone, and then there was the arrival of Star. And Star had never seen a llama before!

As the years went by, Vanilla, who was thought to be nine years old when he arrived at our place, began to show signs of age. And then last year, in 2023, he had some bad times in the summer. His legs had arthritis. His pasterns were weak and sometimes he would not eat well. He no longer handled heat well or the winter cold, and as last winter came along, he suffered from cold again and became weaker. And despite many efforts to get him well and support him, he was put to sleep the end of January and will never be forgotten.

Be Kind to Humans Day

Winter, my Bigfoot Days

Cross your fingers for my good Vanilla

A sick llama is a grouchy llama

Starlight Serenity – It’s all about her!

A Long Necked Tale