It really doesn't matter how you explain it to them, llamas do not enjoy their annual grooming, which includes mani-pedis, haircuts, deworming, and booster vaccines. And they seem to dislike the mani-pedis and haircuts the most. Before shearing, however, they have to have the dust blown out of their hair, partly because it is the first step in cleaning the fiber, but also because clipper blades will last longer if they're not cutting through dirt.
So, here is Dolce having his fiber blown out. He is our only intact male, and he was so good this year that we were all wondering if he was sick or something. He didn't object to anything. Tuscany, however, was a different story. He is our smallest gelding, and he was not happy with any of it -- not even being put into a stall in the barn. In fact, he jumped right over the door the second we turned our backs on him. He kept throwing fits the whole time he was being sheared, shaking the chute that he was in and giving me flashbacks of the year when Dolce tried to tear it down.
But the real challenge of the day came when we tried to shear Sitara. It was easy to get her into the barn -- we lured her in with grain -- but as soon as she was haltered, she refused to move. She laid down in the stall, so we moved on to another llama. Finally, only Sitara was left. Somehow the shearer finally got her out of the stall and outside for blowing out her coat, but as soon as they were heading back into the barn, she decided to plop down right there in the middle of the barn, and she refused to move. She just laid there like a diva, and the shearer got to work. They rolled her from side to side while she made a noise similar to a mountain lion. Finally, they finished up shearing, cleaned up everything, and left. And Sitara just sat.
And we wondered if she'd dehydrate and die. After all, it was really hot. We put a bucket of water on the ground for her, closed the door, and left the barn.
An hour later she was still sitting. Two hours later. Three hours later. Finally, almost four hours after the shearers left, she stood up. Katherine happened to see her standing in the barn, so she took the end of the lead rope and led her out to the pasture.