Meet Max

On 2/23/2011 I lost a beloved pet, though calling him a pet doesn't seem to do justice. Max was a great animal and one of the original alpacas that my Aunt and Uncle bought, he was also the second alpaca that we had lost on the farm.

I had time to prepare for this day, I knew Max wouldn't live to be 15-20 like most alpacas (he was only about 9 I believe) and every winter his health would get worse and worse, though during the summer time he would flourish and I would forget that he was anything but a normal alpaca. But when winters came creeping along it was evident that Max was hurting.

At one point Max was just barley able to stand up to go to the bathroom, let alone walk around. My Aunt and Uncle moved him into the warm birthing barn with the expecting mothers (he was a gelding) hoping that would help him make it through this winter. But when he was moved over he got worse and you could see that Max was miserable. We had the vet come to visit and had discovered that Max had a lumbar spinal injury (the lower part of his spine). When the vet would put slight pressure on this area Max would collapse to the ground. It was so hard to watch and I had to fight back the tears. I knew what the outcome was going to be and I was prepared, it hurt me more to see him in this much pain than the thought of putting him down. The decision was made a couple days later and the vet made another visit to put him down.

Why was Max so special? Max was the only alpaca that wouldn't run away when I was on crutches. He would come up to me and let me pat him, and if he wanted to get away he didn't try to rush around me, he'd calmly walk around me and just walk away.

To prove how sweet this boy was, this was my senior picture:
When this photo was taken, I was on crutches and non-weight bearing on my foot. I had to lean up against the pole to really get some balance. We were attempting to get a picture of me kissing Max by feeding him treats (Max would take treats that were between your lips), but instead Max thought my hat would taste better.
Though this is a smaller picture, this is Max a couple days before we said good-bye. I was also on crutches during this time and Max just let me sit beside him. At times he would even let me lie down on his side and use him as a pillow.

I completely adored this boy, and I still do, and I still miss him terribly but I know he's in heaven and pain free.

When Max was alive we always put the weaned crias in with him because he was so gentle but also taught them manners. Now when we loose an alpaca we say that he has another one to look after.

Love and still missing you Max, since February 2011.