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Me, Ronel and our 50 first dates

IMG_2545Those who have watched the movie, 50 First Dates, will relate to my relationship with one of our latest rescues.
Now while I may not be as funny or charming as Adam Sandler, I know exactly what he went through, day after day.

So the Drew Barrymore of this story is a beautiful girl named Ronel. To make a very long story short, she lived next to a busy road, in the bushes. Alone, fending for herself. Everything around her was the enemy. Cars, Noises, Plastic bags but most of all …. humans. We dont know what happened in her life and why she is so scared of humans but she is, and that was made very clear to us in the many attempts we made to get her to safety. Im sure most of you already know about the rescue of Ronel and how we finally got her to safety and that is where my story actually beings. Our 50 first dates.

IMG_2541My day starts with me slowly approaching Ronel’s garden, trying to figure out how to whoo her. How to make her look at me and how to get her to trust me, that is my one and only goal, every day. Some days I walk in, sit down, present her with treats and bam, she walks over, sniffs me and takes the treat. That moment takes my breath away, I am in awe of her forgiveness of the human race. She sometimes allows me to touch her softly for a few minutes before she walks away. I always let her do what she wants, she gets to choose how much we interact and what she allows me to do, its all about her. The next day, I wear the same type of clothes, the same hairstyle, the same posture, the same movements as the day before and its like I am a complete stranger. She wont even look at me. Nothing I do is right and I have to back away, and let her be. How is this possible when this worked the day before, she was comfortable with me? Then it hit me, no matter what I do and if I do it exactly the way I did things yesterday, today is not the same Ronel as yesterday. What worked for her yesterday, is not working today and may not work again tomorrow.  It took me a long time to understand this.

Now, today each day is a challenge, there are no guidelines and there are no recipes for gaining her trust. I take each day as it comes and the best part is that whenever I make a breakthrough, its HUGE, no matter how insignificant it may seem. New experiences are scary for her, and if every day she sees me and its new, then I understand why shes reluctant to interact with me. Its a scary world out there, not all humans are good. And if it takes a while for her to label me as one of the goodies, then by all means it will be worth it, all the work and patience will be worth it, because Ronel is worth it.

Each day is a new day for me and Ronel and I wish that one-day she will start trusting humans but until then, every day is like the first day, which is like a beautiful first date over and over ….. I still feel butterflies when she musters up the courage to come over and lick my hand, it may not be much to some people but to me, its everything. So I am going to take each day as it comes and enjoy every single step …  until our next first date again tomorrow morning ….

By Wilmi, Caregiver