Saturday, October 3, 2015

World Animal Day and Feastday of St Francis of Assisi :

Animals don't only have feelings - they have a sense of joy, grief, compassion- and loyalty  

In Observance of World Animal Day, October 4, feast day of  St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment.
                                                              Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog 
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday                                                
"If humans and animal biologically share common characteristics, from physiologic to instinct, then where is the dividing line of feelings which both of them share? "  
Longing for Freedom and Natural Home 

A family of Orangutan in a Metro Manila zoo in pensive mood.
Man may have succeeded in domesticating animals, but the Orangutan is better of in its natural habitat. More than the attention these primates receive every day in a zoo, they are apparently sad and are missing one important aspect of their wild life - freedom and home, which is the vast forest they roam as a family. 
                                      Hug a Bunny
 If you feel blue, drained, or you just lack pep - hug a bunny. Bunny shares your pain and discomfort. It calms down your tension. Its gives you company and comfort. It never argues. It creates a quiet ambiance.
Bunny at home.
Bunny needs tender, loving care - TLC, the very things which you  actually give to yourself. You are back to your feet and face the real world again - and bunny is back hopping with joy and a sense of fulfillment.
                                              Watch Dog
Last days of Kulit at home watching over a sleeping baby in a 
stroller, while keeping company with an budding painter. She 
died a month later, age 13. 

                             Two roles had she, to her own brood, 
     and kids a generation past;
And now in her sunset, homely
     sharing still a mother's task.  

Her life spans across - children
     to grownups - to children again;
A pet is always a pet, is more;
    a guardian and trusted friend.~

Pet Therapy
Time out from work with Nikko, a Dobberman.

Pets compensate for the lack of feeling and concern in modern day living. They heal the wounds of broken relationships and help fill out the vacuum of absence. They buoy the sagging spirit, accept us when we are rejected, and give the “human touch” to the high tech world of specialized medicine. Everybody seems busy doing his thing. After a hard day’s work, a dog wagging its tail meets us at the gate, begging to be touched, revealing unashamedly how much it had missed us. A hug or pat may be all we can give, and our pet soon settles down, fully contentment in its world. That is because it has found our company again.
Aquarium Pets

Top: Pako grows big in a garden pond. Although claimed to be a relative of the ferocious piranha, it is gentle and safe.  Conditioned learning makes aquarium fish wonderful pets. Lower photo: Oscars respond to music like listening in a  concert.    
Here are animals that express their feelings which humans observe and relate to rationale behavior.  Certain studies point out that animals have feelings over and above instinct level.  These are associated with love, joy, grief, compassion, and the like, that we often underestimate or fail to recognize.  

1. Crow - It may be dark symbol of human mythology, ugly biblical character in Noah's Ark, and a visiting spirit of the dead in Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, but the crow appears to to have a heart.  It is deeply moved when one of its kind dies, to the point of gathering together in a wake. Grief which is known only in humans is manifested by the crow - so with other animals, like the elephant.

2. Elephant - Elephants may attend the body of a dead member of the herd for days, and reverently examine the carcass or bones they find on the way.  There are elephant cemeteries believed to be a sacred ground for the species, a place elephants spend their last days. An infant may remain with its dead mother, nudging and crying, and may die of starvation. Quite often it joins the herd where it finds a foster parent and is ultimately accepted. 

3. Bonobo and Baboon - A mother may carry a dead baby treating it with care.  Adults will fight to protect the body of a dead troop mate. 
Like bonobo a baboon mother carries her dead baby for many days.  Stress level in the blood rises after a relative or close social companion dies. 

4. Dog - The dog is the most attached animal to humans. One Akita in Japan went to a train station looking its deceased owner every day for a decade. 

"There's Hachiko, Japan's legendary Akita whose grieving appeared to extend across species lines.  Hachiko accompanied his owner to a Tokyo train station each morning to see him off for work and then returned in the evening to greet him.  When the owner died, the dog maintained its vigil, going to the station  for a decade - and always plodding home alone." (Time April 15 2013, p 36) 

Another case is a dog that guarded the grave of its master day and night.  We can only imagine the tragic ending of this story. It challenges us if Aesop is true after all that human love and loyalty may not be the ultimate on this earth. More so to realize the consequence of unrequited love even to animals in William Blake's  Auguries of Innocence:

"A starving dog at its master's gate
predicts the ruin of the state."

5. Rabbit and Cat  - In one reported case, a rabbit survivor spent a week making tragic search all round looking for a departed friend.  Cats visit and revisit places in a house a deceased companion used to be found.  Their grieving may be accompanied by crying. 

6. Horse - Remember Black Beauty, the novel by Anna Sewell?   Written a hundred years ago when the streets were busy with horse-drawn carriages, the story is about a foal growing up with its own kind and with humans. Generations love the story because of the man-horse relationship that grew with progress, how it survived change, and most important how it built character. ~   

Silly Duck

Little Mackie talks to her pet E-Duck as she pronounces it

What the world this silly duck sits for,

     bundled all from cold and rain;

a coiled brand new garden hose his nest,

     in a sort of funny reign.  

Tell a joke, of all animals, it’s the duck;

     its behavior and look we mock;

Donald Duck! Daffy Duck! The crowd roars,

     each guy inside a little duck.

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