Lady usually enters the barn in the mornings and waits for breakfast. The other morning, she came into her stall, turned around, and went into the chute.
She put her feet in the empty jacuzzis and looked expectantly at her humans. She was ready to go – it was her humans that weren’t ready. She’s just charming that way. Some days, she wants things in specific ways.
It’s easy for anyone – human or elephant – to get into a routine without questioning it. We try to ask ourselves frequently, “does it matter?” Lady usually has breakfast before her foot soaks, so when she decides to go out of order, it’s so easy to think, “oh, no! Breakfast happens first!” and change what she is doing to fit a routine that doesn’t matter. During these moments, we stop and ask ourselves, “Does it matter?” Sometimes it does matter, but frequently it doesn’t. If Lady wants her foot soaks first, that’s ok. It truly doesn’t matter (no matter what our silly human brain thinks reflexively!).
Once we saw Lady standing cheekily in her empty jacuzzis, awaiting her soaks, the caregivers switched up what they are doing. She enjoyed her breakfast during foot soaks and then had treatment after.
She gives us what we ask for all the time, so it feels good to show her we appreciate her and can give her what she asks for when she asks. After her out-of-order morning, she was a total peach. She was super light and happy all day.
Photo of Lady in her new afternoon favorite place – the mud wallow
March 21, 2020