Saturday, June 30, 2012
The past several days have been excruciatingly hot, with temperatures in the 100’s. This is a major problem in my mind, so I began contemplating ways to help the winter loving creatures coupe with the high temps. In the past I have used a garden hose to spray down their bellies and legs to alleviate some of that heat. However, given the extreme temps the past few days, I decided to try something that lasts a little longer. I’ve heard of other alpaca owners using kiddy pools to cool their alpacas, but it doesn’t take long for those stagnant pools to heat up.
Meet the sprinkler
Still debating the options, I happened to see a neighbor watering their lawn with a sprinkler, and it hit me. If Whitley and William enjoyed the garden hose, surely they’d like a low flow sprinkler. Fetching an old rotating sprinkler and setting it up in the paddock was the easy part. Getting the two alpacas to use it, on the other hand, was not so easy.
Upon spotting the spinning device, William and Whitley’s first reaction was: “What the heck is that?”
Needless to say I was a tad disappointed that they didn’t seem to like the sprinkler, but as always watching William and Whitley’s reaction to it was enough to lift the mood. As I have mentioned once before, the two alpacas have a set protocol when confronted with certain circumstances. This protocol, however, had no mention of what to do when it came to the strange spinning water dispenser. As they peered around the corner at the sprinkler, they looked at each other as if to argue who was supposed to lead the initial investigation. Normally, Whitley is charged with greeting people and cats, while William is responsible for leading the way when it comes to dogs. In the end, since William normally deals with the more threatening things, he had to check it out first.
Whitley followed close behind, using her hesitant companion as a shield as he approached the sprinkler. Slowly they nosed their way closer to the sprinkler, that is, until one of the water droplets hit Williams nose. Surprised by the water drops, William shook his head and took off. Whitley followed behind as her companion circled around the outer edge of the sprinklers reach, kicking up her heels as they dodged the little water drops. In the midst of dodging the droplets, they seemed to get a kick out of running past it and around it as quickly as possible, all the while trying to use each other as reluctant shields. As the day wore on, the two alpacas never truly got into the sprinklers reach, but they did get their noses and toes wet.
And so, even though the handy device didn’t go over as I had intended, William and Whitley do seem to enjoy playing around it.