When the first good rains came to sanctuary, Lady ventured to the back of Yard 5 again, which was no surprise. After Pocha’s passing, Lady did not return to the small yards by the barn, instead moving further into the deeper parts of the habitat. As time went on, she began to walk closer to the barn, still staying in Yard 5. Yesterday she indicated that she wanted to come in for foot soaks, which meant that we opened up the barn for her to enter the treatment chute. She walked into the stall and was visibly unsettled. We keep the gate behind Lady open so that she can leave whenever she wants and she didn’t choose to leave, but was incredibly watchful of everything around her.
It seemed that any small change caught her attention: when the dogs barked, she would step out of the jacuzzi; when she heard 4-wheelers in the habitat, she would step out of the jacuzzi. Lady would only take brief breaks, but it was clear that there was an unease in the air. She appeared to want to have her foot soaks but, at first, had trouble getting comfortable in the setting. There is probably a different feel to everything surrounding that area that she is picking up on. Lady always seems to have an awareness of when strangers have been nearby, and that was the case with Pocha’s necropsy. There have been different voices, different smells, and just a different vibration in the air. Because Lady is very sensitive to these things, they undoubtedly impact her in ways that only she may understand.
The longer Lady was in the cute getting her foot soaks, the more settled she became, and seemed to appreciate working through things. But there is no mistaking that Lady can tell that something is not “normal” at the moment. For now, she is still in Yard 1, but has access to Yard 5 and can leave any time she wants. If she seems to want to stay close to the barn – and depending on where Guillermina is – we may open up Yards 2 and 3 for Lady so that she can go into Yard 3 and try to get a grasp on what has happened on her own. Until then, we will leave things up to Lady and let her lead the way on where she is most comfortable spending her time.
Photo of Lady