Fate has this way of making herself known, by sneaking into the small spaces the limbs of my body create, no matter what I’m doing.
I was calling in to Jon’s radio show, when she stuck her head through my legs and rested her nose on my stomach.
She must have known I was going to be talking about her.
I’ve been thinking of things to talk to Jon about his radio show, Talking To Animals, so I noticed how when I call Fate out of the barnyard after feeding the animals and she doesn’t come, it’s probably because I’ve trained her not to.
Not intentionally, but inadvertently. Because when I call her, I’m actually thinking of the next thing I’m going to be doing, not that I want her to come to me.
And I inevitably have to go back into the barnyard to fill the water or do something else I forgot to do. I think she picks up on this and over time has learned that I’m not really ready to leave, that I don’t really mean it when I tell her to “come”.
Surprisingly, my conversation with Jon on the radio this afternoon, may have helped me figure out how to get Fate to come when I call her out of the barnyard without having to yell at her over and over again, which is what I do now.
It’s not surprising that it was helpful, but it is surprising to me that Jon and I never talked about it before, enough to come up with the idea we did on the radio today.
I can’t quite recall all the necessary twists and turns in the conversation it took us to get to this point, (you can listen to a podcast of the show here if you’d like to hear that conversation and the rest of the show) but the idea is for me to have Fate follow me out of the barnyard instead of me leaving her with the sheep and calling her from the gate.
That’s one of the interesting things about the way Jon trains animals. It’s not as if there’s one text-book solution to a problem. It’s a matter of knowing the person and the animal enough to figure out a solution that fits them and their unique situation.
After I got off the phone I fed the donkeys and sheep and tried it out.
As I was leaving the barnyard, while Fate was just a few feet from me, I called her to my side and she came. Then I made sure she didn’t hang back with the sheep but followed me to the gate.
I didn’t have to yell once (not that she really responds to yelling) and she seemed happy to leave the barnyard.
So now it’s up to me to remember to be consistent and keep leaving the barnyard with Fate at my side. Because as Jon and I talked about on the show today, my mind tends to wander.
I see how it goes this week and give an update on next weeks show.