Memories of Providence Brittany (RIP)
“Brittany was the first alpaca born here.”
Sister Ann Sullivan remembers the birth quite well. Providence Brittany’s mother was Alba, a Chilean reddish black female and her father was – at the time – one of the top sires in the nation.
On Tuesday, Providence Brittany was laid to rest after discovering the alpaca was suffering from cancer. The entire Sisters of Providence community mourned for the first alpaca born at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Sister Ann – who was the director of White Violet Center for Eco-Justice at the time – took some time recently to recall her memories of Providence Brittany, who she said, was quite the socialite with a tinge of spunk.
“We tried a new type of socializing recommended at that time, of touching the crias as much as possible to accustom them to touch and making it easier to handle them,” Sister Ann said. “However, in the process, we created a rather over-socialized alpaca.”
Sister Ann said Providence Brittany constantly wanted to know what everyone at White Violet Center was doing.
At all times.
“She would let us know if she approved, or not,” Sister Ann said. “And she was the only one of our females that might spit at us, just because she wanted to.”
Sister Ann added that alpacas normally will only spit at each other over food or fear.
She also recalled when Providence Brittany became a mother for the first time, addressing Brittany’s propensity for stubbornness.
“However, she was always a terrific mom to her very large, healthy babies,” Sister Ann said.
Sister Ann said when visitors came to White Violet Center, there was some concern because of how tame Providence Brittany was.
“But she was always gracious to them, particularly children, whom she seemed to love,” Sister Ann said.
However, Sister Ann did recall one time when four sisters from another community visited Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and wanted to get a closer view of the alpacas.
“Predictably, Providence Brittany came sauntering right over,” Sister Ann said. “I quickly reminded the sisters not to meet her gaze. One of the sisters decided to check out her teeth anyway. Yep! A face full of spit.
“When I asked her why she didn’t take my advice, she replied ‘I didn’t exactly know what was meant by spitting.’ But she never forgot, and Providence Brittany sends her a Christmas card each year!”
Sister Ann added Providence Brittany will be missed.
“She was a perfect beginning animal for us to make our early mistakes in raising alpacas,” Sister Ann said. “She was a unique personality, which we unwittingly helped to create, a great mother, a peaceful part of the herd, and a focus for great stories.
“She will be sadly missed. She leaves a few of her offspring to carry on the traditions.”
Click here to see a brief video of Providence Brittany interacting with former White Violet Center intern Liv Charlton. Is Providence Brittany tugging or munching on Liv’s hair?