Archive for the ‘Animal Behavior’ Category

A Dog’s Compassionate Wish

A  dear friend just shared these beautiful thoughts with me.  A while ago,   I had assisted their  family with the transition of their aged kindred spirit who they loved so dearly.  Though this may seem quite anthropomorphic to scientific ethologists, we continually see evidence of  compassion between animals that  sometimes defies our current scientific acknowledgement of what is possible.  Their are a number of youtube video’s of dog’s remaining with their deceased companion as well as other animals or assisting an injured animal friend.  When I read this, my own heart opened to memories of so many suffering animals that I have treated over the years and how many I wish I could have helped more in some way.  There are no words to describe the joy in one’s heart when one sees  the joy in a dog in need that you have just given a loving home to.

In my practice using complementary therapies to try to help animals where conventional medicine is not working anymore, I do end up assisting people with their animal companions death, when even the best of complementary therapies are not sufficient. As I have assisted many clients with the emotional transition of the loss of their kindred spirit, I have seen many ponder the question of if and when they might consider sharing their lives with another animal.  There is no right answer to this question and the perfect time unfolds for each individual.  I do love and agree with the sentiment of the thoughts below, that the love we share with another is the greatest gift that carries on beyond physical death. Sharing that love with another being that is yearning for that love is indeed the greatest memorial we can give to our deceased friend.  So often I see someone who is resistant to adopting another dog or cat for various reasons, yet once one has found them, their hearts re-open with joyous abandon.  This is the essence of our connections with dogs and all beings!  Rejoice in the love we share with others in need, whether they be two-legged, four-legged or winged!

 


Trans-species Friendship

A friend of mine collected a series of animal friendship video’s and sent them to me recently to share with all my kindred spirits!  So delightful to see so many friendships that transcend species, limited belief systems,  biases, labels etc.  Our programmed beliefs and patterns can limit our perceptions of reality so much that we  can miss the  interconnected oneness of all beings.  These heart warming, joyous video’s assist in awakening our inner joy, our awareness of our oneness and what fun life can actually be!

My invitation to all of you today is perhaps try to see each being that you interact with today, beyond labels, and just someone to connect with with joy, offering them simple thoughts of loving kindness recognizing that we truly are all one.

 

http://mashable.com/2012/04/30/animal-friendships-videos/#

Can We All Be Horse Whisperers?

The Bond Between Horse and Human

Throughout my life,  I envisioned sharing lives with animals with a much more compassionate perspective than what sometimes happens in the “real” world.  This heartwarming equine training video with a Czech horse trainer exemplifies what is possible when we interact with loving kindness and compassion for all beings, connecting through the silence, the “oneness” that is within all of us.   When working on my Master’s degree in Animal Behavior, I was committed to only conduct studies that would not harm animals and that could provide potential improvement in their lives.  Throughout my veterinary career, I always focused on more human training methods for all animals, horses, dogs, cats etc.   I also gravitated to clients that were focused on more humane training and treatment of animals.  I am pleased to see that more and more video’s are showing “horse whisperer’s, horse trainers and others who are interacting with horses in more humane ways and working together with their natural behavior patterns.  I am interested to hear from anyone working with horses what you think of this video.  Is there a way one can incorporate more of these approaches into your own work.  Perhaps it can stimulate us to explore new ways of interacting with horses with more fun, love and compassion.

Watching this video, I sensed that I could feel what I call the “Trans-species Field” interaction between them all.  I believe that there are other levels of interspecies connection and communication that transcends what we understand and I feel that this is a beautiful demonstration and documentation of these fields of communication.

Recently I attended a showing of the documentary “Buck”, with the director Cindy Sheehan.  It was touching to see how Buck transformed old childhood wounds and emotional trauma into a positive force in his life and has helped so many people and horses through that.  There are some touching moments in the movie, showing the deleterious effects on horses, when people’s emotional trauma impacts on their treatment of horses. This is the exact same with all animals, horses, dogs, cats etc.  Our emotional trauma impacts significantly on the well being of our animal friends.  It is a unique opportunity for us to heal and transform our childhood wounds and trauma so that we do not impact on our kindred spirits in a destructive manner.  So often, if one is observant and aware, we can see how our old destructive patterns can be mirrored back to us by our animal companions as well as humans.

As so much is happening in the world these days, it is more essential than ever that we heal our old wounds so that we can be of benefit to all other beings and assist in the creation of a more compassionate society.  May all of us heal our old wounds and destructive patterns and have more fun with our animal friends and enjoy creating a world filled with loving kindness!

 

 

Trans-species Mourning and Grief

Elephant Mourning

Elephant Mourning

It seems as though as we connect with different animal species at a more intimate level we are able to communicate with them with such depth that the illusion of separation slowly dissipates.  This article concerning mourning and grief of elephants with a human called “the elephant whisperer” is one stunning example of the depth of such deep communication.

The life of Lawrence Anthony is a testimony to a depth of  trans-species communication, respect and love that goes beyond our minds limited perceptions of what is possible.

The blog post on delightmaker  asks the right questions as stated here “So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know?  “A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”  The blog, delightmaker also states ““If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.””

From my limited, exploratory perspective, this is one further documentation of my “Trans-species Field Theory (c) and my thoughts on the potential of a “love particle” (c) that may be formed from the instant when the energy of love turns into a potential form of matter of love through the thoughts and emotions of that connection.  The research and concepts at Heartmath  may also be appreciated as truly being “trans-species” as is seen in this example of elephants recognizing the death of a beloved human and traveling so far to connect at that moment.  The levels of interspecies communication and their potential implicatons  are only being glimpsed from our limited three dimensional perspective.  We need to witness and experience these connections to become aware of their existence.  The potential of  where that can lead all living beings is unlimited.  If we create a space of inner silence, quiet within our hearts  and allow a spacious emptiness of love and compassion to arise out of that to connect with all beings, perhaps there can be a global shift back to a living garden of eden here and now.

 

 

http://delightmakers.com/news-bleat/wild-elephants-gather-inexplicably-mourn-death-of-elephant-whisperer/

Happy Mother’s Day: Cooperation in Protecting Children Between Whale Species

Do animals have concepts of other? other species?  I pondered this question after reading this story of cooperation between humpback and gray whales in defending a baby whale from Orca whales who attacked it.  This article offers excellent documentation of this cooperation.  It also proposes which parts of a mammalian nervous system are designed for this level of cooperation.  It is wonderful to see continued documentation of behaviors in other species that we oddly consider limited to humans  due to our species centric egoic perspective of life.  Perhaps if we begin with a perspective that we are essentially the same, rather than essentially different, we might behave differently to other species and not destroy them and all our shared habitat.  Again perhaps we should  begin with asking the right questions or begin with a unified field theory, that we are truly all one.

On Mother’s Day, it is sad to see one species killing the baby of another for food.  Yet, it is also beautiful to see other species trying to help the mother protect her young.  On Mother’s Day, perhaps we can view each other as being mother to all beings, to our environment and to all of nature and perhaps we can create a world where we care for and love all of nature as our child.  May all beings assist in protecting our precious children from harm whether from other beings, or from harmful ecocidal practices, from control issues that are not in the best interest of all beings and from the lack of truth.  Happy Mother’s Day to Mother Earth as well!

 

 

 

Canine Loyalty

This heart wrenching video  of Canine Loyalty of one dog standing by his dead companion who was hit by a car is another illustration of emotions and caring in dogs that goes so beyond what one had previously thought possible in their hearts and minds.  One can only wonder what this dog, grace, is thinking and feeling at this moment.

As I continue being a bit “time-challenged” seeing my beloved patients, I just wish to share this with you and continue building our video study documenting the heart and mind of our kindred spirits.

What are your thoughts and feelings when you watch this video on Canine Loyalty?

Kindred Assistance

Dolphin Connection

Dolphin Connection

I am grateful to readers of the kindred spirits project who are kind enough to share video’s and photo’s that continue to document how it is truly in our hearts to help one another.  Someone just sent me this heartwarming video of average beings confronted with a challenging situation and just instantly choosing to help  save these stranded dolphins.  Watch this video of people relaxing on a beach and then jumping into  Saving Dolphins.  Personally, each time these situations are documented of how we naturally want to help one another, it builds a solid foundation for demonstrating the highest good in all of us.

Thank you all for sharing these. The kindred spirits project is truly becoming a storehouse of documentation for who we truly are and who we can be!

 

Animal Morality: Compassion, Reconciliation & Empathy

Compassion

Compassion

A friend shared this educational video from TED talks on Animal Morality.  The TED talk summary states “Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity — caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share. In the midst of being “time-challenged” with seeing patients, I wanted to just quickly share this heart touching, hopeful, promising video of how humans can choose to act rather than some of the more violent, greedy behavior that seems to be in the news so frequently.

I am about to participate in a two day conference at Western Connecticut State University with Buddhist scholars, faculty and students on April 20 and 21, titled  ”Creativity and Compassion”.  It is part of a preparation for a visit from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.  Based on the integration of my personal journey and my professional journey, I will be part of a panel discussion titled “The Art of Compassion: bringing creativity and compassion to the ordinary tribulations of daily life.  It is heartening to see how compassion, empathy, creativity, are being recognized as essential behaviors as we choose to evolve to a more conscious world, all working together for the benefit of the common good.

Enjoy this educational video and recognize we all are able to make choices regarding our behaviors.  Let us choose ones that are moral and for the benefit of all beings!

 

Kindred Cats!

Happy Cat

Happy Cat

One reader suggested that they would love to see more posts about cats.  This post is honoring that request!  I thought about this and chuckled as I am such a cat person! My very first animal that parents let me have outside of a cage or tank was a cat.

Here is a video of a study that asks the questions are you  cat or dog person.  Here are the Cat Person Questions.  Let me know what you think.

I am also a dog person, a horse person, a wildlife person,  really an all animal person and on and on.  I truly love all animals, yet we see and hear about endless differences between cat and dog people and certain preferences and tendencies do indeed define unique qualities that can have one identify themselves as either a dog or cat person or whatever.  What defines one as specifically a cat person?  Independent yet wanting to share their lives with some furry four legged being?  Someone that does want to be tied to specific hours to walk a dog?  Thoughts?

Friends and family are sharing their various thoughts on what makes a cat person a cat person….one interesting cliche…”Dogs have masters, cats have servants” says a lot.  Yes, they seem quite royal.  No wonder the Egyptians had worshipped them.

I cherish my time with my cat friends.  I feel such joy when I hear my cat’s meow as I come home, or their purr on my chest as I rest from a long day of seeing patients, or being awakened by their paws brushing my beard and meowing for their breakfast.

Neuroscience talks about mirror neurons and how we tend to mimic others.  I often wonder if this is one reason why people tend to choose animal companions that look like them or if it is related to why people choose animals that reflect different parts of their personality or physical traits that they like to reflect outwards in a greater way.  Is it why people prefer not just dogs or cats, but whether they are male or female, or what breed of dog or cat. How often do we see photographs or even books of photo’s of humans look like their animal friends.

I offer this question to my cat loving readers, “what makes you feel like you are a cat person?”

Kindred Spirits Helping Each Other

A friend sent me this photo essay going around the internet.  I found it incredibly touching.  Personally, it felt like it was a demonstration of intelligence, trust, and nonverbal communication between species that was perhaps the way it used to be, prior to so much division and fear having developed between  humans and other animals. It was heartening to see how the fisherman and his family assisted them.  It is a promising illustration of how perhaps we can all help each other in the midst of the global environmental challenges we are confronting in 2012.

Perhaps we can all use this as a healthy, joyous reminder of how we can help all beings in need beyond all labels of species, predator, prey, us vs. them, self vs. other.  We can all support each other in creating a more peaceful world in 2012!

A DEER STORY FROM ALASKA
A Heart Warming  and Amazing Rescue , in Sitka  Alaska
Amazing story…a  miracle of sorts, really!
The Best Day Of Fishing Ever!

I’ve heard of salmon jumping into boats, but never anything quite like this…
Tom Satre told the Sitka Gazette that he was out with a charter group on his 62-foot fishing vessel when four juvenile black-tailed deer swam directly toward his boat. 

 

Deer Swimming for Help

“Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at us.  We could tell right away that the young bucks were distressed.

I opened up my back gate and we helped the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals onto the boat.  In all my years fishing, I’ve never seen anything quite like it!

Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.”

Deer Resting on Board

Deer Resting On Board

“This is a picture I took of the rescued bucks on the back of
my boat, the Alaska Quest.  We headed for Taku Harbour.

Once we reached the dock, the first buck that we had pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back as if to say ‘thank you’ and disappeared into the forest.

After a bit of prodding and assistance, two more followed, but the smallest deer needed a little more help.

Deer Rescued

This is me carrying the little guy.

 

Deer Rescued

My daughter, Anna, and son, Tim, helped the last buck to its feet.
We didn’t know how long they had been in the icy waters or
if there had been others who did not survive.  My daughter later told me that the experience was something that she would never forget,

and I suspect the deer felt the same way as well!”

Thank you for sharing these photographs and story with all of us!