We know that all of our critters thrive on routine. Each morning, the boys get two baby carrots each after they’ve touched their nose to my hand. While distributing their yummy treats, I’ve been sneaking soft touches on Nigel’s forehead. I think at first he may not have realized I was touching him… perhaps because he was so focused on the delicious, crunchy par-tay in his mouth.

Over the past week, I’ve become more assertive about touching Nigel… the touches have turned from gentle, barely touches to full on scritches that I give to the other boys. I think he’s been okay with that for two reasons: 1) there’s a fence between me and him; and 2) he’s in the midst of a crowd.

I’ve also noticed that as we stand around their feed tub, it used to be that Nigel was okay standing there with Don or me as long as there was another donkey between Nigel and me or Don. Lately, Nigel’s been okay without the donkey barrier… just as long as we don’t try to reach out for him. That’s progress too.

Each day at lunchtime, I cut up one granny smith apple to share between the goats, sheep and donkeys. I’ve been sneaking Nigel scritches then too. Yesterday, when I moved my hand from Nigel’s forehead to his cheek, he was okay with it!

And that’s progress too! Just look at how calm he is. Woot-woot! ♥