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Animal Blog: Our relationship with wild animals

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: February 10, 2014

By Dale Preece-Kelly

Spring Lambs in a field
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We have talked throughout our time together about how pets and domestic animals can help us. In this blog I want to talk about other animals – Our Wild World.

This was inspired by a story I saw on Facebook, where a 3 year old called “Boo” switched the TV over to find a fox hunt being shown. She asked several questions of her mother, to ascertain what she was watching, and her mother answered honestly (and quite rightly) describing in simplistic terms what was happening. The child thought that the men on the horses were trying to save the fox – in her innocence – but she was corrected. Her final statement, before breaking down inconsolably in tears, was “All those men, all those dogs, and one poor foxy”. I will leave that thought with you.

I sit here at the moment with my pet skunks on my lap, two dogs lying with me on the sofa, and Beanz (our therapy dog) lying at my feet. I feel like I’m in heaven, as I type this, total bliss – I lead a very privileged life!

All of the domestic pets that we now spend our life with were all wild once! I meet many people who claim that a lot of my animal companions should not be domesticated, but should remain in the wild. When I reply, with the statement that started this paragraph, I am told “but yes, dogs and cats have gone through thousands of generations of domestication” but we had to start somewhere.

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So how can wild animals help us? Nature can help us – Mother Nature is quite the therapist! You take a walk through the country and you see birds, bugs, you may see a fox, deer or hedgehog. You stand and you watch for a while – you take in the sounds, the smells, the sights – these are all wonderful sensory things, that help you to relax. Moreover – they make you SMILE  One of my favourite things used to be, to drive into the countryside in the Summer, and find a meadow. I would lie in the grass, looking at the sky and watching the clouds, then close my eyes and take in everything else. These are some of the most relaxing moments in my life.

It is February, and at the end of this month and beginning of next month, it is lambing season. My favourite time of year, when I think about the farmland that abounds. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face (with the exception of our skunks and ferret) like watching the lambs frolicking in the fields. Their cuteness, the lovely sounds they make, the way they hop, skip and jump around just enjoying being alive. A real lesson that we can all learn, right there.

If we look further afield, we see stories of elephants remembering the kindness of park rangers, who have saved them from the horror of the ivory traders. These animals form a real bond with their rescuers. Those of us who remember Born Free, will remember just how wonderful and emotional the story of the McKenna’s and their lions were – wild animals, not pets, but showing total trust, gratitude and unconditional love. Then there was the guy who rescued a lion cub, and raised it to adulthood, before releasing it to the wild. 14 years later he returned to the reserve, and the lion ran to greet him – after 14 years of absence, the lion not only remembered its rescuer, but greeted him with nose nuzzles and licks. Amazing the relationships we can have with wild animals, if we only try and put the effort in to love and appreciate them for what they are.

If you find yourself in need of a pick me up, a smile, a place to think, something to inspire you, then look no further than your back door. Go for a walk in the country, and take a few moments to stop and “smell the roses” – remember “Stop! Look! Listen!” the Green Cross Code? Do the same when you go out! Stop ; Look at everything around you, taking in the wonderful sights that abound; and Listen to the sounds of nature, because they are wonderful and uplifting.

Now going back to the thought that I left you with at the start of this blog: “She is proof that no child is born with a desire to torture and kill animals. The basic human instinct that they are born with tells them that it is wrong”. As adults, sharing Our Wild World with Mother Nature and her amazing assortment of beautiful flora and fauna, we need to find our inner child – we are all children of Mother Nature, we are all animals together so lets respect each other!

This blog is written by Dale Preece-Kelly from Critterish Allsorts, if you would like to find out more information about them please visit their website.

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