Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bidding Farewell.....

We’re bidding farewell soon to Andrea Schwab. Andrea has been involved with Fear-No-More Zoo since about 1992.

She has been integral to the last few years and more of steady growth and improvement, helping in all aspects of the existing zoo and the new camel developments.

Andrea, we couldn't have come this far without your creativity, drive, patience and inspiring commitment. We and the animals will all miss you, and wish you the best as you step out into new things. Send postcards!

I, personally, will miss you very much.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Muffin (4 years) gave birth to a strong, healthy, baby girl today.... Muffin's first calf.

The birth process took just over an hour. As soon as the baby was out, Muffin turned and connected with her... another very good mama camel...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Camels & Babies - some pics

Ginger meets Barack

Ginger meets Google

Riley meets Peaceful

Bringing Up Barack

Our new baby camel was recently named, "Barack", which means "blessing".

Google Mama, her mother, is raising her within the herd and both are doing well.

As she grows, each day the baby is full of new surprises. Taking my cues from her mother I'm letting the calf be fully expressive, emotionally and physically, while letting her learn the consequences and rewards for everything she does. In another month or two I'll start becoming more direct with her about what she can and can't do around me... jumping on me will have to stop, kicking out at me exuberantly will have to stop, pushing on me will need to stop. But for now I'll let her do those things. She's at a size where I can handle it, and I think it's important to let her be expressive and participant in ways that she's naturally moved to do. And at the same time I can get to know her character, her infant strengths and weaknesses, and help to guide her growth as she develops.

We also spend periods lying together in the grass, napping on each other, forming a deep trust and understanding through this. She already wears a halter easily and I'm starting to teach her to sit (kush) by inviting her to sit with me and connecting a word with the action of sitting each time. Today I began introducing a cue for every time she rears up on her hind legs.

As we go along in this way she'll be able to learn, in the natural course of things, close to everything she needs to know in relationship to people with very little formal training having to be done. Just as she grows up with her mother and within the herd, learning everything as she goes, she can also learn things from me in the same natural kind of way.

It's good that Barack is living in the herd culture, with her mother. This will ensure a well rounded individual, interested in people but not dependant upon them. With the contact she is having with humans each day, her inter-cultural up-bringing will allow her to know herself as a camel while at the same time learning how to relate to humans happily and respectfully.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Baby at 6 Days

Video filmed 6 days after birth

Also view earlier post of baby at 2 days old...

Google Mama's New Baby

Around midday on March 25, 2008 Google Mama easefully delivered a silvery gray female calf.

Enjoy the video, taken 2 days after birth

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Update on HiHo

Little HiHo is a bit bigger but still pretty small for a camel over 18 months of age. He's most likely going to stay on the short side. He's about the height of a medium sized horse at this point.

I guess this entry is basically a further acknowledgment of the excellence of Carolyn Resnick's method with horses, which we employ with our camels. For whatever reasons (size, breeding, born character, karmas) HiHo is an unusual mix of traits from sweet and loveable to mean, cranky, incredibly stubborn and willful, mischievous, even sly.

Now at 18 months or so he's of an age where we are now concentrating on bringing him through all this, but still retaining his special spark for life.

The basic method we are employing is what Carolyn Resnick calls "leading from behind". We walk him without lead rope or halter, walking behind him, moving him forward. And we walk quietly and gently for half an hour or more. All the camels love this "herding activity". It calms and balances them and serves the creation of a bond of respect and affection like few other things can.

As expected HiHo requires more "leading from behind" than the others but the results are really encouraging. He's becoming calmer, more receptive to contact, more respectful of boundaries and better at listening and responding.


Appreciation for Ron Bartlett

Its been 4 months since the last entry here.... But before I get back into more on the camels I want to briefly express my appreciation for a man named Ron Bartlett.

Now retired (he used to be some big-shot back in Ohio), Ron has been invaluable to the Camel Gardens, willing and available to help out in all kinds of areas -- feeding, cleaning, building, carrying water, sleeping overnight with baby camels, running errands, putting up with my nonsense and more...

Ron, thank you! And take good care of yourself because we want you around and involved for years to come.