Pet of the Day

December 3, 2001

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Jypsy's Junebug, the Pet of the Day
Name: Jypsy's Junebug
Age: One year old
Gender: Female
Kind: Llama
Home: Grayslake, Illinois, USA
   About five months before my fifteenth birthday, I visited a neighbor who had a herd of around fourteen llamas. For the next year I went to her house every monday and brushed one llama each visit, until one day my dad finally said I could have the two-year-old pair that I'd fallen in love with. We built a fence to close off our pasture, and my dad and my two brothers built an eight-by-ten 'house' for them. I was supposed to get them on a Wednesday, but we were finished with their house two days early, so they arrived that Monday evening. Two days later when I came home from school (the day they were supposed to come), there was a cria (baby llama) laying drowsily in the pasture next to her mom!

    I named her Jypsy's Junebug, which is her registered name (Jyspy is her mom - Chip is her dad), but most everyone calls her Bug. She is a very affectionate and curious llama, and so far I have trained her to accept a halter, to lead, to pack (which involves a modified 'backpack' that cinches onto a llamas back, to carry loads up to 90 or 100 pounds), and to lead without a halter - just a lead rope around her neck. She is remarkably patient, and will stand up to 25 minutes without fussing (I never taught her that). Llamas have lots of uses, like packing, wool, milk, meat, guarding sheep, and pulling a small buggy, but my favorite use of all is hugging!

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