Friday, January 11, 2013
Well...Bo, the new whether is coming right along. He has always been a bit shy..and it makes me sad to think he was in a petting zoo..being afraid of people. How traumatizing that must have been for him. I have been taking it slow with him...talking softly...offering him grain from my hand...and today, we made a MAJOR breakthrough. I went to feed everyone this morning and Bo was out in the pasture. As always, when I walked to the gate, my 3 ewes met me with "good morning" Baaah's. Bo stood back, looking at the "going's on" and I could always see the longing in his eyes. Today was no different....at first. I fed the pig...and moved to the barn to dish out hay and grains...and kitty food, tripping over the "herd" of cats that met me in the pasture as well. I know most people say...."don't feed the barn cats" well, since people are so generously donating kitties...we have 11 of them in the barn, and they are running out of mice! So, there is a need to feed some kibbles. Anyone need a few cats? :) I dish out everyone's breakfast and as I finished up, I turned around to see Bo was standing right behind me. I moved slow...got my folding seat out of the stanchion...and moved to the center of the floor. I sat there, talking to Bo, telling him he was in good hands now, and he can trust me...he watched me, listened for a bit...then started to cautiously make his way over to me. My heart was racing...he was actually coming to me! I reached out my hand..and he walked right up to it..so I scratched his head...then cheeks...by this time, he is literally inches from my face..I leaned down..and he pushed his nose to mine...and there we were, nose to nose. I gently gave him a kiss on the nose as I scratched under his chin. He didn't flinch. Tears welled up in my eyes...I have done it. I have gained the trust of this wonderful creature. I sat there with him for probably 30 minutes...talking to him, scratching him...loving every minute. Then, I thought...I wonder if he would let me touch his feet? I reached down slowly, rubbing my hands down his legs talking softly. I came to his hoof and picked it up. He didn't pull away. His poor foot is HOT with pain..so I got the trimmers, and started to trim. He let me do this for a few minutes...then he was done. That's OK. I was able to get about half of one hoof trimmed....and did not stress him by doing it. I am excited to see how the next few days go....I will try to trim all of his feet. I am sure he will feel so much better once they are done. From what I can see, there is not hoof rot, thankfully....so far. When I finished trimming, I scratched him for a few more minutes...then decided to let him rest. After I put away my trimmers, and my chair...I grabbed my feed bucket and started across the pasture to the gate....3 ewes and a whether in tow! He followed me to the gate. Yes, I think I have gained his trust....what a big breakthrough!! Today was a good day.