I carefully sat down on the squishy armrest and whispered to her. What happened to you, sweet girl? It must have been really scary, huh? But it’s okay, you’re safe here now. Everything’s going to be okay… You’ll see...
I tentatively stroked the top of her head in the darkness, waiting for the shivering to start. But she was still and quiet.
I kept talking. To my surprise, she rolled over and let me gently scratch her chest and tummy. We stayed like that for about twenty minutes. I kept my excitement in check so I wouldn’t scare her off, feeling like we’d make a real breakthrough.
But over the next several days, it was a delicate dance of letting her come to me. If I tried too hard to connect, she’d shrink back into a ball of fear. It was painful to see, not just because it’s hard to see any animal or person suffer like that, but also because I could relate.