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I apologize for length.

After losing Snow and Luna last night, I decided to do a very deep clean and sanitation. We are still waiting on necropsy results, and I needed to just DO something productive.

Any how, after deep cleaning, I gave each of my girls some extra long free range time and some one-on-one. We worked on come and wait with four of my girls, but the fifth (Sweetpea) I've just been working on her socialization. I've written on here before about how she's completely anti-social and hasn't responded well to any immersion techniques; she just seems to like being by herself.

I noticed her tail was pretty dirty, so I warmed up the bathroom with a mini heater and let her go for a swim in the tub. Water is one thing she really does like that none of my other rats enjoy. After I cleaned up her tail and the water started to cool, I grabbed her towel (I put them in the dryer for a while) and wrapped her up. She usually fights this vehemently and I tend to try to get it over with quickly, but after losing Snow and Luna, I was in the kind of patient mood recent death brings. I sat down in front of the heater and gently rubbed her dry even as she struggled. I talked soothingly to her, called her my sweetie, and swaddled her until she finally calmed enough to preen herself. After that, I very gently started rubbing her head, right in front of her ears. It was very quiet and very warm in the bathroom, and I was talking to her like I would my daughter, and she settled into the blanket.

Suddenly, she boggled. She was so relaxed and happy! Her eyes started closing and she fell asleep. I thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing so I sat there for close to an hour and a half. I put her into her newly cleaned cage, cleaned up after the free range, and made dinner.

To test if something actually changed between Sweetpea and I, I went back to the cage and reached in slowly. She grabbed my finger, but didn't bite as hard as usual. She never tries for blood, but she will bite down pretty hard as a warning, I believe. I just crooned to her and touched that magical spot on her head, right in front of her ears. She allowed it! In fact, she immediately hunkered down right on the platform (she usually likes the hammocks or boxes more) and started to close her eyes. She fell asleep! She didn't boggle, but the sheer fact that I was caressing her in the cage was almost too much. I started to cry. Not going to lie one bit.

I don't know what I did differently, but I'm too happy for words. I've tried daily, for over a year, to socialize her with very little progress. I've tried everything. She is just so timid and so stubborn. Whatever changed, I am very happy for. She is still very timid; I can only rub her head when everything is quiet and she can hear me baby-talking her. Otherwise, she acts the same.

I didn't know where this should have gone so I apologize if this is in the wrong part of the forum, I just wanted to share. I'm happy. I hope this wasn't some fluke that will change, but if it does, I'm incredibly glad I got to be a part of such a rare moment.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me, and letting me share.
 

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I apologize for length.

After losing Snow and Luna last night, I decided to do a very deep clean and sanitation. We are still waiting on necropsy results, and I needed to just DO something productive.

Any how, after deep cleaning, I gave each of my girls some extra long free range time and some one-on-one. We worked on come and wait with four of my girls, but the fifth (Sweetpea) I've just been working on her socialization. I've written on here before about how she's completely anti-social and hasn't responded well to any immersion techniques; she just seems to like being by herself.

I noticed her tail was pretty dirty, so I warmed up the bathroom with a mini heater and let her go for a swim in the tub. Water is one thing she really does like that none of my other rats enjoy. After I cleaned up her tail and the water started to cool, I grabbed her towel (I put them in the dryer for a while) and wrapped her up. She usually fights this vehemently and I tend to try to get it over with quickly, but after losing Snow and Luna, I was in the kind of patient mood recent death brings. I sat down in front of the heater and gently rubbed her dry even as she struggled. I talked soothingly to her, called her my sweetie, and swaddled her until she finally calmed enough to preen herself. After that, I very gently started rubbing her head, right in front of her ears. It was very quiet and very warm in the bathroom, and I was talking to her like I would my daughter, and she settled into the blanket.

Suddenly, she boggled. She was so relaxed and happy! Her eyes started closing and she fell asleep. I thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing so I sat there for close to an hour and a half. I put her into her newly cleaned cage, cleaned up after the free range, and made dinner.

To test if something actually changed between Sweetpea and I, I went back to the cage and reached in slowly. She grabbed my finger, but didn't bite as hard as usual. She never tries for blood, but she will bite down pretty hard as a warning, I believe. I just crooned to her and touched that magical spot on her head, right in front of her ears. She allowed it! In fact, she immediately hunkered down right on the platform (she usually likes the hammocks or boxes more) and started to close her eyes. She fell asleep! She didn't boggle, but the sheer fact that I was caressing her in the cage was almost too much. I started to cry. Not going to lie one bit.

I don't know what I did differently, but I'm too happy for words. I've tried daily, for over a year, to socialize her with very little progress. I've tried everything. She is just so timid and so stubborn. Whatever changed, I am very happy for. She is still very timid; I can only rub her head when everything is quiet and she can hear me baby-talking her. Otherwise, she acts the same.

I didn't know where this should have gone so I apologize if this is in the wrong part of the forum, I just wanted to share. I'm happy. I hope this wasn't some fluke that will change, but if it does, I'm incredibly glad I got to be a part of such a rare moment.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me, and letting me share.
Aw! I'm happy for you. That's a huge breakthrough. I hope it continues and you guys become closer and closer :)

I'm sorry for the loss of your two babies 馃惥
 

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This really pulled at my heart, such a lovely thing to happen between you and your rat :) I hope this breakthrough eases the pain you are feeling from losing your other two.
 

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I had a similar experience with my Neera recently. She's a bit hand shy, but she got tired while we were playing and she sat and let me skritch behind her ears. She even bruxed, she liked it so much! I was so happy that she finally let me have a bit of time to love on her... I'm so glad you had a special moment with your girl too! I hope she continues making progress with you, I think it would really help you through this time.
 
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