Willow chooses her new bed.…
Wed - Rescued. Pacing the fence, looking for a way for hours. Bolts out of bed to get away, runs away fast. Sleeps & sleeps, physically exhausted. Will eat only if I stand at least 10' away. She is caked in mud.
Thurs - Watchful - fearful. Interested in the smell of warm spaghetti. Ate a bowl of spaghetti while I was two feet away. She paced the fence for a way out, but with less urgency than yesterday. Continues sleeping the day away -continues to be physically exhausted. I continue with short, frequent contacts with a soft voice, slow movements and offers of tasty treats.
Friday - No fence pacing, no desire to escape. Watchful - cautious - brave & terrified at the same time. Responded with curiosity to my offer of spaghetti for breakfast & followed me to eating area but was afraid to walk on cement and ran away. Five minutes later I came out with new offer of food, and with gradual bites Willow ate and came onto the cement. Thanks to frequent contact with offers of treats by nightfall Willow responds to her name being called and comes out in curiosity.
Sat - In the morning she bolts out of her bed at the call of her name and comes running to me!! Still shy and timid. This is a joyful day! This is the day I say 'she wakes up'. She doesn't sleep the day away. She is up all day doing what the average sanctuary pig does, active, grazing or rooting, occasional nap, interaction with others. This is the first day she is curious about the other pigs.
Sun - Similar to yesterday but today at meal & treat times I attempt to touch her body. She responds with intense fear and jumps away, leery & watchful. I continue with offers of friendship.
Mon - Today she let me touch her while she ate. An arms length away - but continuous touch. I continue with frequent, friendly contact. Willow's progress has been wonderful. There is such a joy in watching someone transition from fear to happiness.
…A few days later I go out in the morning and see Willow at the gate waiting for me. After years of desperation Willow smiles because she now has a home for life.