The acclimation of the donkeys' into Rocky's life goes on. In the morning, the donkeys go into the sheep pasture and Rocky grazes. In the evening, Rocky goes into the stall and spends the evening nose-to-nose with the donkeys but with a gate in between. This process is time-consuming but necessary, I think.
Simon and Rocky are aware of one another. They smell each other, hear each other. Rocky is very calm and fixed in his routine. He gets grain the morning, grazes in the outer pasture all day, returns in the late afternoon for more grain. He does not seem to want or need to flock, pays no overt attention to the donkeys or Simon if they are leaving him alone.
I put myself between the two, as if to show Simon how to be. I talk to Simon, give him treats around Rocky. He does not ever go after Rocky if I am there, only if I am not. So the two will not be alone for some time if Maria or me are not around. Simon does seem easier around Rocky, not as charged up. My rule is simple: because he is blind, Rocky has to be protected, as he can not protect himself.
My instincts say we are making progress, but that it will take more time. Tomorrow, I'll let the two of them out together in the same pasture and sit with Red in between them. He and I sat out there for nearly an hour today, and sitting in the wind still blowing from Sandy, it felt like a meditation. Perhaps it is.
I have come to feel that I am a part of this equation somehow, not quite sure yet how. I always tend to underestimate my role in these animal challenges. When I am out there, it is as I wish it to be. Simon pays attention to me, when Rocky comes near, he looks at me, not at Rocky. If I say "no," or shake my head, he backs off. Rocky does not seem to care, at least not in any way I can see. I am certain he does not want to be kicked or bitten or butted into a fence.