Last night, Jake (our black alpaca) growled like a madman at Gib and me, and we loved it!
Poor Jake had an odd reaction to a West Nile virus vaccine, and has been acting like a creaky old man for the past two weeks. He's been walking stiff-legged, lying down more than usual, and has been very docile and quiet.
That's definitely not our Jake. If there's any danger around, he's the first to sound the alarm, literally. Whenever something unusual enters the barn area, Jake lets us know with a high-pitched, shreeking hum that's usually much scarier than the thing he's spotted (like mule deer, foxes, elk, and neighbors coming by to say hello).
Jake is also the most unwilling paca to be haltered or held. He'll growl, rear like a horse, twist his body into a spring, and generally be most uncooperative if I so much as approach him with a halter. When he finally gives up (I have a leg up on him in the stubborn department), he'll shake his head hard and dive it into the halter, daring me to fasten it before he rears again.
So, when Jake is quiet, gentle and slow, something's up. We called the vet, who gave us Bute, an anti-inflammatory drug that's like heavy-duty aspirin for animals. He's been on the Bute for about five days, and has regained most of his attitude, although he's still a little klutzy when he tries to run and hop.
But, he still hasn't returned to his role as warning siren, something I hope will happen soon ~ we need protection from those big-eyed does.