Maia’s Baby Steps to Learning to Trust

Maia at sanctuary

We have talked about Guida, her feet and how she responded to being closed in on the patio, but we also did some work with Maia as well.

While Guida showed an initial moment or two of being anxious, Maia became downright nervous when she was closed in the patio. She never acted out or lashed out, but it was obvious that she was concerned over what what going to be done to her. Maia would try and turn to see what Scott was doing and kept a very watchful eye on him the entire time.

Due to her circus past, her reputation as the ‘bad girl’ and her known trust issues, this wasn’t an enormous surprise, but still sad to see. The original goal was to see if we could get a better look at her feet. This immediately changed to simply touching her and letting her know that nothing bad was going to happen.

Scott walked around Maia, petting different parts of her body and reassuring her things were ok while she received treats and praise. This was kept short, but because we will need to medically care for her, we need her to realize that whatever happened in her past will not ever happen here.

We often say how it would be wonderful if walking off of the truck into sanctuary was enough to fix everything, but many emotional wounds run extremely deep. Guida has the confidence in herself to be more comfortable with the work we have done with her. Maia simply isn’t there yet. She has a lot of her past that she needs to move on from. As she does so, her confidence in who she is will increase exponentially.

The next day we repeated the same scenario. This is not done to make her uncomfortable, this is done so she can understand it all a little better. She was trusting enough to walk into the patio with the one gate already closed, which was a good sign. We’re not trying to surprise her by closing her in, we don’t do anything with them in that manner, we always tell and show them what we’re doing. She was closed in and this time she was much more relaxed.

Once again Scott walked around Maia, touching her rump, her legs, her feet and giving her praise. She did really well and didn’t have the same intensity or distrust for what was going on. Maia received her big reward, the gate was opened up and she slowly walked out.

This is something we will repeat on a somewhat of a regular basis and move forward with her feet when she shows she is comfortable and ready. Each part of this process is a step towards her trusting in us, herself and her new life.

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