Today is the 1st of August, the horse’s birthday. Although I have not had the opportunity to spend much time with horses I do admire the grandeur of the creatures. And it seems an appropriate day to sing the praises of other domestic creatures.
A friend recently told me a story, a story which had astonished her, leaving her in awe of the intelligence of animals.
A parent from the school that her children attend had spent most of the day in search of her wayward pets. Her two dogs had escaped from her yard in the morning. Obviously enjoying their day of freedom, these canine scamps had not returned.
At 3pm that afternoon the woman had headed to the school to collect her children, whilst still searching the streets for the family’s two fury members, only to discover the dogs already at school and waiting for the children.
Dogs are creatures of habit; they know instinctively when they will be fed, when family members are to be picked up or due home, the time to go for a walk and when it is time to sleep at night. Wishing to please their humans, a dog will go with the flow of the day’s events, taught to them by their humans.
Instinct and intuition are an animal’s only means of communication.
Animals have no use for words. For that matter, they have little use for any of the human requirements that we all seem to feel are a necessary commodity to help us through our lives.
Shelter for any beast is whatever they can find; the canopy of a tree will do, to protect them from the elements, although based on my own experience, my dog prefers to curl up in front of the fireplace on a cold winter’s night, as opposed to curling up on the back veranda! However, my pets show absolutely no regard for the decor of their abode; their concern is far more inclined towards tactile pleasantries.
Animals require so little, yet know so much. If we could quieten our own minds enough to tune into the simplicity of the minds of our pets, what an array of wisdom we would have access to!
Each afternoon in my home, at 3.45pm, my two cats and one dog all head towards the front of my house and wait at the window that has the view towards the street. Knowing my youngest son is due home from school, they are ready to fuss over him when he walks through the door. This same ritual is repeated with the arrival home of each family member.
A dog’s love and loyalty to its human family knows no limits.
One hot summer’s day my eldest daughter was home alone and decided to go for a dip in the pool, but was prevented from doing so as our beautiful Nellie, a German Shepherd, blocked her way along the path. When a large brown snake (one of the deadliest snakes in the world) reared up at them, the reason for Nellie’s protection became obvious.
Before my two eldest children were born, my husband and I had another “baby”; a German Shepherd named Sire. I trusted that dog implicitly! Sire travelled with us wherever we went.
One hot summer, many years ago, during a trip to Dubbo, in the middle of New South Wales, we took Sire for a swim in the Macquarie River. My husband and Sire swam out to the middle of the river, while I stayed closer to the riverbank. After a while my husband encouraged me to swim out further, but Sire was not impressed.
Dog-paddling over to me, he took my arm in his mouth and swam me back to the shore. Amazed by his behaviour, I swam out again, only to be “rescued” a second time by Sire. Not too long after Sire’s unusual behaviour my husband noticed a current in the river…we all got out!
Sire stayed in our lives for fifteen years, before old age got the better of him. What lessons Sire taught me during those fifteen years! He spoke with his eyes, he protected with his manner, he loved us from deep within his heart.
We are told that we, as humans, are the superior race…but are we really? Perhaps the answer to that question is yes in the majority of instances. But I have to question the use of, or rather lack of use, of our own human intuition.
If we were able to peel back all of the layers of pretence, wrapped around us during the years as we progress through our lives, wouldn’t we discover the same animal instincts, which I so admire in the pets I have had the pleasure of sharing my home with?
We teach our pets the “niceties” expected of them; controlling their natural impulse to lunge at a person in happiness upon seeing them, walking them on the street with the use of a lead as that is what the law requests of us, sit, stay, don’t sniff, don’t bark, on and on it goes.
And then, I’ll be in a room of my house, wondering where my animals have wandered off to, but the wondering doesn’t have to last for long…next moment, they are standing next to me.
Instinct has brought them to me…words are unnecessary. Animals “know”, without any words.