One thing I love about Facebook is all the posts about animals. Many of my Facebook friends are animal lovers and we freely share with each other pictures and stories of our animal brothers and sisters.
Some of the most heartwarming stories are those where animals came to the aid of their fellow human beings and saving their lives. We are finding more and more that animals are a lot more intelligent than we ever gave them credit, and not just domesticated animals such as dogs and cats.
There’s the story of a potbellied pig that ran out to the street to get help after his owner collapsed in the house from a heart attack. The little goat who slept by her owner for five days after he collapsed in a pile of manure on a cold wintry night. The Beluga whale that saved a diver who had found she could not move her legs, so the whale gently took a leg in her mouth and swam to the surface so that the diver could get air. The parrot who started screaming and making a wild commotion while screaming “Mama baby!” over and over until the babysitter came back into the room to find the two year old child not breathing. The silverback gorilla that protected a young boy who accidentally fell into the gorilla pen, kept him safe from the other gorillas, comforted the boy, and then led the other gorillas away so that the humans could get the boy out of the pen. The cow that swam to his elder owner during a tsunami to help keep her alive until they could reach dry ground. An elephant that put a four year old girl onto his back and ran for higher ground also during a tsunami. The dog who kept a toddler afloat in a swimming pool by holding the boy’s head out of the water after he had fallen in.
Story after story is told of animals from all species coming to the aid of their fellow humans. I can’t help but shed tears whenever I read of these stories. Animals help so unselfishly and asking nothing in return.
Many dogs are being used to alert their owners of health issues before they occur such as seizures, stroke, heart attack, diabetic complications and anxiety or panic attacks. There’s the story of the cat that lived in a nursing home and would constantly stay by the side of a resident to alert staff that the person was getting ready to make their transition.
Personally, I believe that animals are just like we humans only in different form. They have feelings and express emotions. They feel pain, loneliness, and heartache. There was a great movie released in 1995 called “Powder” about an albino boy with incredible intellect, telepathy, and paranormal powers. He ends up as a ward of the state and lived in a boy’s home. The deputy sheriff took the boys on a hunting trip and upon hearing a gunshot, Powder runs to the scene where he sees that the deputy shot a beautiful doe. Frantic, he grabs the deputy’s hand and puts it on the dying doe’s stomach. To the deputy’s horror, he suddenly feels everything the doe was feeling… pain, fear, and death. It traumatized him so much that he put up his guns and vowed that he would never kill another living thing ever again. I bawl like a baby every time I see this scene in the movie.
Those reading the pet section more than likely are great animal lovers. For many of us, our pets are our children just as much as anyone’s human children are to them. I love animals so much that I could no longer justify eating them; therefore, I became a vegetarian about thirty years ago and haven’t looked back. I also personally believe that animals have souls, and for those of us who are very connected to animals, we see it in their eyes. We feel that soul connection.
I will leave you with a few of my favorite animal quotes… Saint Francis of Assisi said, “If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” And Einstein said, “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”