Being so animal-deprived, I watch a lot of wildlife rescue documentaries, and one fact that stands out is how working to gain the trust of animals is so similar to the principal of working with human children and preteens.
The key in common is staying calm, creating a calm, safe, secure atmosphere, and slowly building trust and rapport. Nothing else will get accomplished or achieved until that basic relationship is established. Then consistent training, reinforced with appropriate rewards, builds onto that foundation. Fear, anger, panic, blame, guilt, punishment, or neglect have no place or effectiveness in building trust and mental/emotional development.
So when I watch wildlife/rescue shows like The Zoo (Bronx) and The Aquarium (Atlanta), and yes, Pitbulls and Parolees, my favorite, I’m also learning about and preparing for my imminent grandmothering role. Not saying my grandkids are little wild, feral animals! But there are similarities in development common to many intelligent species. And it’s going to be a zoo!
And now back to our regular program. Today I conquered my latest (of many) mechanical challenges, and figured out how to use Jess’s laminator/paper cutter to make long-overdue bookmarks for Avdi. My son is a bookmark fiend! He can never have enough bookmarks! (There are worse addictions.) I’ve made him dozens by hand over the years, but he requires more!! So I made another dozen by machine. Each one is double-sided and unique. It’s a start.
As for the usual habits, I made a healthy, balanced meal, did a few laps, saw a few tenants in the hall while doing laps, not that that counts, and the rest you know. Now I’ve earned my reward, more animal shows!