When people ask if we still have the llamas, I always say no, we don’t, but Captain OCD does. He feeds and waters them, I ignore them. Until I wake up in the morning, take a look outside, and look again because do I see a llama in the back, a considerable distance away from their fenced pasture? Which I now notice has a gate gently swinging in the breeze. Seeing one llama in the wild is a problem because there are two of them. They always stay together, though, so I was reasonably sure the other was close by, and he was. But because I’ve just woken up, I don’t know how long they’ve been free or if they’ve caused any damage.
They are big animals and they eat just about anything that is or was green. Which comes in handy because any weeds I might pull or blackberries I remove get tossed into the pasture, and they think it’s dessert time. Not so handy if the neighbors have any green material they’re fond of. Captain OCD once gave them a bag of freshly cut grass and now, whenever they see the lawnmower, they stand by the fence like they’re waiting for Santa Claus to come over and empty his bag of treats.
They don’t actively try to escape but they’ve gotten out of the pasture a few times when Captain OCD forgets to bungee-cord the gate closed in addition to latching it. Because that happens right before he leaves for work, he’s never had to try to capture them and get them out of potential harm’s way. Because of that, he’s experienced my extreme displeasure only after the fact. Big animals like that on the road could make quite a mess of both them and any vehicle they get in the way of.
Our dog goes nuts when the llamas do anything she thinks is inappropriate, like rolling in the big dust hole they’ve developed over the years. She barks like a madman and, if she’s not contained, runs out to the pasture and barks and pesters them until they humor her and stand up and behave the way she thinks proper livestock should behave. But a couple of llamas outside the fence, munching on the neighbors’ lawn (lucky for us, the deer dispatched their rose garden years ago)? Apparantly not a problem for her. Not until I attempt to herd them back where they belong, because if there’s any herding to be done, she thinks she’s the dog for job.