A full backstory doesn’t always come with adopting a pet. Sadie (12 years old) and Sugar Baby (14 years old) came home to us June 2018 and all we knew was their owner had passed away. These two senior ladies had lived together for years. We adopted them together so they wouldn’t be separated. And even though they shared the same past, they each adjusted quite differently to their new home. Sadie warmed up to us very quickly. But Sugar Baby took some time. Four months to be exact.
While Sadie rolled over for a belly rub in an instant, Sugar Baby kept her distance for months. Proof that an animal’s personality, combined with its lifetime of experiences, will determine how long it takes them to relax and trust. Adoption doesn’t always mean instant bonding and fluffy happiness.
We recently took the two ladies on a road trip to the Redwood Forest. We rented a cabin and mostly hung out and relaxed. The drive to the cabin was very stressful for Sugar Baby. But once she realized we were not ‘dropping her off’ anywhere, that we were staying together, she started to relax. I think I even saw a smile on her face on the drive home. It was as if that trip showed her we are a pack, we are together, and we will be with her for the remainder of her days here.
Back home, Sugar Baby started to inch up onto our laps for pets. I knew we had fully achieved her trust when, for the first time, she slept right next to my leg on the couch for over 30 minutes. Now we are able to pick her up, hold her and snuggle with her… and she loves it.
So keep in mind each adopted pet will be different. Patience is all it takes. Prove to them that they are safe, loved and here to stay and with time they will open up to you. And it’s their trust and love, that in the end, is the biggest thank you of all.
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