Caleb came to us for his first session just over a year ago. He was a very sensitive, beautiful child who was scared of, well, everything. Caleb had a fear of anything new or unexpected, and it took us months to gain his trust.
We started with a ball game, Caleb loves to throw things! This ball game extended to interaction with Echo, who shared Caleb’s love for balls.
Echo seemed to know how important it was to go slow with Caleb and gain his trust, and he was never far away from Caleb, shadowing his every move, forfeiting walks, just being there for when Caleb was ready to acknowledge and include him in his safe bubble.
We progressed to playing with drums and hats, as long as mom and dad were around!
Caleb went through a stage of throwing everything down the water filled hole in the tyre, mostly my hat but also things like brushes, and Bridget….
From brushing Echo he progressed to brushing Bridget.
We were so proud when he started hugging the animals, starting with Echo of course. This was a huge step in a child who couldn’t even meet our eyes when he first came. This stage was followed by staring intently into the eyes of various animals (firstly Echo) and then hugging us and meeting our eyes with confidence. Wow, the privilege of that moment, such trust from this lovely child.
He learnt to leave mom and dad with confidence to join in with the activities we had planned for him.
He and our special Eldorado go on many adventures together.
And Eldorado is teaching Caleb confidence in independence.
Isn’t it truly amazing the life skills animals teach us, the confidence and self worth they give us, without expecting anything in return?
We feel incredibly privileged to have worked beside these animals, to have watched Caleb grow in independence and trust and begin the road to healing. He has shown us his amazing sense of humour (we won’t mention a particular incident with a bucket of water and Aileen, or the numerous dunkings my hat has had) and the most wonderful and trusting love in his heart.
Thank you Caleb!