December 7, 2009

Minnie has some competition! This morning on the way to breakfast, tiny Java (tiny Mountain Feist dog) was frolicking in the pasture around Ronnie and Debbie. Apparently, they obviously thought this was very exciting, as both girls began trumpeting, spinning, and running in circles! With ears sticking out, trunks and tails outstretched. Minnie wasn't going to leave and miss the fun, so she came back to the fence line to get in on the action. Lottie, her usual quiet, lovely self, was making her way into the morning sun on the way out to field 7.
Ronnie, Debbie and Minnie spent a long time interacting lovingly over the fence. Min, however, behaved differently this time: she stood quietly, even put her head down a few times, as Ronnie took the lead in all the noise-making. Deb kept watch for the tiny Java while Ronnie raised her head, touched Minnie all over her head with her trunk, and squeak-squeak-squeaked! Min even picked up her front foot for Ronnie to touch, and then they traded off with this for a few minutes. Ronnie put her mouth over the top of the fence, for support, and then lifted up so that both front feet were dangling down. She did this twice, then lowered her bottom down and put her front feet on the bars of the fence and lifted her head high while Debbie stood close by, seemingly impressed by her sister's rare display of agility. Each time Minnie would move up/down the fence, Ronnie would set off with another session of vocalization, assisted by Debbie as they spun, dug up clumps of dirt and ran in tiny circles. Minnie even did her face-plant, scooting across the dirt on her trunk, one back leg kicking high in the air. Eventually Minnie decided to leave and follow the caregiver and Lottie out for breakfast. Shortly after that, Ronnie and Debbie were waiting out in the Night Yard Extension for their meal. What a way to start a morning!
Shirley got back a little more of her old self this week. In a past Ele-Note, it referenced how strange it is for Shirley to be completely silent when she enters the barn. During one of the chilly nights this week, Shirley came back to the barn just after dinner. Shirley and Tarra share two stalls, and Shirley came in just a couple of minutes after Tarra. After stepping in, Shirley did a little trunk pop, intentionally hitting the lower portion of her trunk on the floor making a thud sound, something that hasn't been heard in months. After that, she made a couple of her "belching" noises, followed by a long rumble. It wasn't the floor-shaking greeting from the past, but it's a big step in the right direction. Tarra has been wonderful in Shirley's healing process, their relationship growing all the time. The further development of her relationships with her other sisters is also allowing her to fill some of that care-giving, teaching role she has always played. The next morning, when hay was brought to Shirley, she was in total "silly mode." She put her head all the way down, her back foot up, there were rumbles, trumpets, belching, trunk pops, and eye squints (which are absolutely wonderful). She went on like this, interacting with her caregivers for several minutes until she was joined, once again, by Miss Tarra. Shirley has handled all of this with such grace; it's not that she hasn't seemed happy; she has just been more subdued in how she expresses it. It is nice to see her joyfully letting everyone know she's is still finding utter happiness in every day. 
With these cooler days and nights, Tange and Flora move a little slower & sun bathe a lot. They enjoy follow the sun spots while they are browsing.  Sometimes no matter where you put the hay out they bring it back to the Barn, which seems to be the best sun spot of them all.

November 30 marked the sixth anniversary of the "elefanherd,"  that amazingly loyal and dedicated group of supporters who not only manage a chat board about all things Sanctuary, but who also raise money each and every month with their amazing wish blitz. Congratulations to the herd!!


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