Smiles all around

Barbara Lawlor

It was a happy weekend for the many visitors to the Double B R Alpaca Ranch. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, were National Alpaca Farm Days and Bette Rittinger hosted an open house, a chance for children and their families to touch the softest creatures in the world.
The kids smiled. The parents smiled. Bette smiled and the alpacas smiled as they received praise and adoration because they are the so darn cute.
Although the alpacas and their luxurious fiber were the feature attraction of the day, there was also the ranch itself to marvel at. A fountain sparkled into a pond. Pumpkins lurked orange on the vine. Horses and a Shetland pony watched the people watching them. Big pink ceramic pigs squatted here and there and a gift shop held clothing and blankets and fluffy stuffed animals that cried out to be petted.
Bette answered questions and introduced each Alpaca by name, including the 4 and 5-week old babies whose antics were a roadside attraction in themselves.
One lucky boy got to ride around the property on Bette’s four-wheeler, on Bette’s lap — maybe a once in a childhood moment.
The Farm Days are held as an educational promotion of the alpaca industry and Bette tried to inspire the visitors to consider starting a ranch of their own. Who knows, maybe the people who visited the ranch over the weekend will think about those big, gentle eyes and that wonderful furry fiber and come back next year ready to go into business.