Building Trust

I have only ever owned a miniature Russian hamster before in terms of small animals. He was very trusting and let me scoop him up fairly easily. Not so with Dame Maggie Moo McGonagall.

My goodness it’s difficult to build trust with a creature with natural prey instinct! It seems everything she sees makes her think “AHHHH! IT’S GOING TO EAT MEEEEE!!!” Then she stomps her back feet and speeds away. All I wanted to do was give her some celery leaves and a piece of apple! I had her out of her hutch to let her explore some of the house. She did take a couple nibbles of apple as I held it, but once she realized my hand was there, she got startled and ran away and hid behind a box.

It’s frustrating for me, being a dog person because I’m so used to my border collies being glued to my side and begging for my love and attention. Maggie’s totally different.

I have managed to finally create a “safe haven” in her hutch that she finds acceptable. It took a couple tries of positioning her litter box, hay, and food dish but I finally figured out which corners she preferred. Which means she is on the road to being litter box trained! Aside from going on my lap last night, she has peed exclusively in her litter box for a solid 24 hours now. Now, if I could get her to leave her poo in there as well, I’d be all set.

She hates the vacuum, but she is going to have to get used to that because my son would eat her poop if it is within his sight and grasp. I’d really prefer him not to. So, the vacuum cleaner will have to be tolerated.

She is warming up to my husband. She doesn’t love for him to hold her, but she will let him stroke her head. I’m working on building trust so that I can easily comb her angora wool because everything sticks in it! It reminds me of cobwebs. She is 10 weeks old so she is still a baby and has extra fine and downey wool. I have to remember it’s a process and her instincts are there to protect her and keep her safe. In time, she’ll learn how much we like her.

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