This little lamb in Fobes Hill is part of the neighborhood
Doug Ramsay photo
Olivia Marzolf, 9, leads Arlo the lamb for a usual stroll in her Fobes Hill area neighborhood west of Snohomish last week.
SNOHOMISH — “I’ve seen a lot of people walk by here over the years but I haven’t seen this,” a neighbor said as he shut off his lawnmower to go get a better view: a lamb was strutting down the road.
He’d just spotted Arlo the Lamb, contently grazing the grass on the side of the street while on a walk with her owner, nine-year-old Olivia Marzolf.
Olivia takes Arlo on a three-mile walk every day, together with her little brother and her parents, Sam and Karla Marzolf.
As one would imagine, a little girl walking a young sheep down the road isn’t part of a typical afternoon, but residents of Fobes Hill have come to expect and enjoy seeing Arlo.
“I like that she makes people smile,” said Olivia. “Usually someone will stop their car or quit mowing to watch us.”
At three and half-months-old, Arlo is the talk of the neighborhood. She’s a breed of hair sheep.
Although Arlo is happy and healthy now, she had a rough start to life. She was the smallest of three lambs and shortly after she was born, she was pushed behind a board in their enclosure, out of sight from the mother ewe. Luckily, Olivia spotted the little lamb, but realized she was not going to be nurtured like the other lambs.
Olivia took on the task of raising Arlo, bottle feeding her every day while the lamb spent her first few weeks living in the laundry room. When she became too big for the laundry room they made a special spot for Arlo in the barn.
Arlo became so attached, that Olivia’s grandfather, Mark Marzolf, who raises sheep and cattle, decided Olivia should keep Arlo as a pet.
Arlo has adapted well to her new life, so much so that the sheep has taken the role of a more common house pet for the family.
“She’s a lot like our dog,” said Olivia.
Sam Marzolf nodded his head in agreement, and added that not only does Arlo come when she is called, but she greets the delivery drivers and even likes to play with the dogs in the neighborhood.
“She likes to stay in our sight, too,” Sam said. “If she can’t see me when I’m outside working, she runs up to the house and tries to get inside.”
As schools are closed by COVID-19, it gave Olivia time to spend hours every day bonding with and training Arlo. Because of that, Arlo is already well trained on a halter. Despite the occasional detour in search of an appetizing patch of grass, she can be walked just like a dog.
The family plans to get an alpaca so Arlo can have a friend when she is moved to her permanent enclosure. Sam stated that he was going to fence off a large portion of his property and build a new barn for Arlo and her future friend.
Olivia believes that Arlo came into her life at the perfect time. Karla expressed that during times of such uncertainty, it is nice to have a distraction such as this to slow down and appreciate life a little bit more.
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