By Liana Jacob
THIS JOYFUL ALPACA is putting smiles on faces as his carer takes him on adventures to some of the most unlikely PUBLIC PLACES including a car dealership, a cafe, and the local PUB.
Hilarious photos show Strudel the alpaca strolling with his owner, fitness instructor and massage therapist, Shandelle Peters (32) from Cessnock, Australia, at the beach and at a bar.
Strudel can be seen putting a smile on her gran’s face as he visits a care home for the elderly and being a passenger in Shandelle’s car.
Quirky pictures illustrate Strudel’s love of books and wearing various hats, while another shows him being carried by Shandelle.
This baby alpaca, who is 10-months-old, was bought by Shandelle from a breeder, they have since been on various adventures together and she is planning to buy another alpaca soon to serve as a playmate for Strudel.
He has been to her kids’ playgroup, the beach, cafes, vineyards, the pub, the elderly care facility, a car dealership and her friends’ houses.
“I’ve always been an animal lover, growing up with horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and ducks,” Shandelle said.
“I had the opportunity to keep three alpacas at Lovedale whilst I was living there and fell in love with their curious nature and playful antics.
“When I needed to move back to suburbia, I couldn’t part with Strudel and decided to try him in the car and going for walks.
“He took to it easily. I’ve been watching him for signs of loneliness and have concluded that he does need another alpaca to live his best life.
“I hope to ‘adopt’ his brother Noodle next week, bringing them home in the afternoon. This way he will be happiest with a playmate and more space.
“His visits started with my own children’s playgroup and my 95-year-old grandmother’s aged care facility. Elderly people light up when they see him.
“They are amazed and say he’s beautiful. The best reaction was when one elderly lady said she had tears in her eyes because he was so beautiful.
“Children love to pat Strudel and can be wary at first but are soon won over. I love toddlers that point and say ‘dog’. His funny hats make them laugh.
“Strudel has also been to the beach, the cafe, the vineyards, the pub, a car dealership, local playground (with play equipment), bushwalking, to friends’ houses, the local sports oval. It’s a regular thing that he walks or goes in the car to places.
“The strangest place he’s been to is probably when I walked him down to the car dealership to pick up my car after it was serviced. He walked straight into the office with me, to the receptionist.
“He has just had his first trip to the beach which he seemed to enjoy, especially rolling in the sand. Along the waterfront he was met with astonishment from holiday makers and patrons of cafes.
“Everyone wants to get a photo with him and to feel his super soft fleece. It’s like being seen by the paparazzi; phones out everywhere.
“He makes people smile wherever he goes; the most common reaction is ‘you don’t see that everyday’ and ‘that’s made my day’.”
Strudel has made such an impact on children that Shandelle hopes to one day write a children’s book based on him.
With over 1,700 followers on Instagram, she enjoys sharing his antics with the public and enjoys buying him accessories such as hats.
“Strudel needs shelter, grass, alpaca pellets, water, a dusty area to roll, daily walk/s, training to keep him co-operative and non-dominant,” she said.
“The furthest he has gone is down the freeway one-and-a-half-hours in the car to visit my mum. I buy Strudel accessories; he needs his own wardrobe. Alpacas aren’t costly to keep; they are low maintenance.
“I hope to write and illustrate ‘Strudel’s Adventures’ into children’s books one day. I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book.
“Alpacas are very cute but also need proper care and training to avoid them becoming aggressive and hostile towards humans.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/strudel_alpaca/