photo-7That’s Debbie McLeish of Dreamland Alpacas in Meadowview, VA.  My sister and I went up there last Saturday to do a little research for “Jasper Lilla and the Wolves of Banner Elk.”  Jasper lives on an Alpaca farm outside of Boone, NC with his Aunt Maggie, his mother, Vernalisa VanderGuard (the famous writer of nature books for children), and a 90 pound white Great Pyrenees dog he named Kitty.  I’ve never been up close and personal with an alpaca before so it was necessary research.  Debbie and her husband, David, could not have been more gracious or helpful.  I got to hear them hum (I mean the alpacas not Debbie and David), I learned where to pet them (the jaw and the neck), and where not to pet them (the belly is where coyotes will bite), and I got a couple of pairs of gloves to boot.  In the chapter I’m working on now Riley (the girl Jasper can’t get out of his mind) meets an Aplaca named Beauty.  Thanks, Debbie.

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