It was the worst case of VHCFD I’ve ever had.
There’s a common condition that can afflict some block owners every so often. It can be virulent among new block owners, but seasoned veterans can still contract it.
VHCFD – Very High Cute Factor Disease – is where you spot an animal of some kind for the first time in real life, and completely, unexpectedly, you must have it. MUST HAVE IT.
The problem with being the editor of NZ Lifestyle Block, is I’m often meeting people who have livestock with a VHCF and I have very little immunity to it.
The first time I was infected was while doing a story on miniature horses. I love horses, but I did not get minis. You can’t ride them. You can’t milk or eat them. Why?
Her property was a long slope. Around 20-or-so minis were a couple of hundred metres away, at the bottom of the hill. She called them and I sat down with my camera, ready to get a photo as they charged up towards us.
I never got the photo. I was completely enraptured. Within seconds, I was surrounded by these tiny, perfectly-formed horses, enveloped in delicious ‘horsey smell’ (the good kind, not the manure kind). They were curious, affectionate, like dogs in horse form.
It was the worst case of VHCFD I’ve ever had. It took a long lecture from my barefoot hoof trimmer about his really bad back to put me off.
This month, we meet some people who have gone to extraordinary lengths to get the cutest sheep in the world. The cute factor of Valais Blacknose sheep is so high, these NZ breeders contracted VHCFD from a photo. Meet Abraham (below) and his girls on page 18. I’m resisting temptation.