Lady watched Rana’s treatment along the fence with fascination and rapture a few days ago.
We treated Maia and Rana along the fence line again today – this time, we had a third person with us, so Kat did the treatment on Maia near the gate at the square where yards 1, 2, 4 & 5 intersect. Meanwhile, Scott and Shirlei treated Rana further up the fence line.
Lady was not around when we began, but quickly appeared and started watching Maia with the same fascination we saw before with Rana. When doing any treatment or training, we use a whistle. With Maia and Rana (and somewhat with Lady) we use ‘terminal bridging’ meaning we whistle when their requested behavior has been completed. So when we have Rana lean in to clean her eye, the whistle lets her know she is done, she can move, and a food reward is on the way. (FYI – We use whistles as it keeps both our hands-free, but “clickers” are also commonly used.) Lady also knows this sound means treats.
Just like before, Lady was engrossed. She got closer. She was fascinated. When Maia and Rana were both finished, Rana came back over to Maia. So, on one side of the fence (near the square where the four yards meet) was Maia and Rana standing together. On the other side was Lady, almost close enough for Maia to touch.
As you may recall from our Friday post, Rana showed great restraint last time. She showed great control again.
Maia, however, reached her trunk through the fence towards Lady to say hello in that very Maia way.
Lady took a step back. She paused. She took another step back and tucked her head as if she expected aggressive behavior from Maia. Of course, Maia just wanted to say hi and wasn’t aggressive at all. After another moment, Lady turned around and took a few more steps away. She didn’t go super quickly, and she didn’t go super far. She stayed pretty calm about it.
Lady seems to resonate more with Kat over the other humans at the moment, so Kat gently spoke to Lady. Kat used a sweet voice, calm tones, and positive words, and Lady started to walk back over. Rather than bring Lady directly back to where she was, across from Maia, Kat decided to give Lady more treats further down, but still along the fence. This reinforces Lady thinking through her concerns, coming back in the right direction, but not pushing her boundaries.
Maia, Rana, and Lady continued hanging out in that general area and seemed good, calm, and comfortable. The humans removed themselves and quietly left the area so the girls could interact as they chose.
Lady is getting there, and we couldn’t be prouder of all of our lovely ladies.
Photo is Kat in the square where the yards meet (the “human cage”), with Maia’s rear to the left, Rana facing Lady, and Lady on the right with an open mouth.
If you missed Friday’s post on Lady watching Rana’s treatment, you can read it here →
February 3, 2020
Read More About the Girls on Their Pages:
LOCATION OF “THE SQUARE”