If you’re reading this blog I don’t need to tell you how amazing animals are! But I was inspired to run a theme for the next few weeks to share some thoughts, examples, and stories about the inspiring animals with which we share our world. I hope you enjoy the series. You may find something you didn’t already know, and even be a little inspired.
Oftentimes I think we take animals for granted. We know they’re part of our world, we think we know their roles and behaviours, and we tend to forget to remember them! Yet we only need to look at our family pets (or furry family members, as the case may be) to be instantly reminded that animals are individuals, with unique personalities and natures. In fact, my kelpie x lab was laying beside me a moment ago, reminding me he needs cuddles tonight because he hasn’t been feeling well. It doesn’t take much to communicate with an animal we know so well.
But what about animals we don’t know so well?
The inspiring lives of animals in the wild
What a broad heading! There are so many ways in which wild animals can inspire us!
One area about which I’ve been learning is how the moon affects animals and their lives. The moon affects animals in all kinds of ways, from lighting their way for foraging, to prompting reproductive stages. In Australia, the Great Barrier Reef (and other coral reefs) reproduce annually, timing their mass spawning event with a full moon and a concoction of other factors. Still by the sea, baby sea turtles use the moonlit ocean to navigate their way to the water. And there are moths that even use the horizontal bearing of the moon to navigate their flight path!
Subtle but incredible stuff.
There are also many accounts of the deep and complex emotions and relationships of wild animals. One such incredible tale is that of Lawrence Anthony, a conservationist who saved the lives of elephants. After his passing on March 7 2012, two herds of the wild animals he’d saved trekked around 12 hours to his home, arriving on March 10. They hadn’t visited for a year and a half, yet somehow they knew they needed to come now. They stayed two days in what some described as a kind of memorial, before disappearing again into the wild.
The inner world of our furry/ feathered/ scaly best friends
Have you ever noticed that the furry family members we know so well seem to have little care beyond what’s happening in their world right now? They seem to have ‘living in the moment’ down to a fine art. I often look at my dog and think how relatively carefree he is. Of course, it’s relative – he experiences stress and worries, no doubt – but it’s usually single focus. I think there’s a lot we can learn from them in this respect.
Next time you’re in the same room as your own little creature, study them and consider their experience. Spend time in the moment with them, not jumping to the next distraction. Maybe you’ll be inspired to live a little more in the moment too.
Our domestic animals are also a beautiful demonstration of learning. Think about when they first come into your life – they know nothing about your home, your family, the behaviour you expect from them. And yet they learn. They adapt. They adopt behaviour to fit into your life.
Inspiring animal stories
We don’t have to look far to find amazing stories about animals and their determination, love, strength and adaptability.
Recently, a young boy named Liam visited a special sheep by the name of Saturday at Edgar’s Mission. They quickly formed a close bond, not just because of mutual kindness and respect, but because they both need wheels to get around. Both Liam and Saturday use a wheelchair because of conditions that affect their ability to move around on their legs. The sight of them wandering down the road together is a beautiful one, to say the least.
And then there’s Ray Charles the Golden Retriever who believes that life is a beautiful thing to be lived, even if he was born blind. He aims to inspire everyone to live their life to the fullest, making the most of everything they’ve been given.
The RSPCA has reams of inspiring stories of survival of animals they’ve helped. At the Wildlife Hospital there are stories every day of new patients. Velvet the Kookaburra was one such story – she came in after being hit by a car, and breaking her wing. The amazing vets and staff at the hospital treated her, repaired her wing, and nursed her to health until she was able to go home. I don’t know who inspires me more – the animals that survive and return home, or the incredible humans who help them every day.
As a conscious animal lover who has found your way to this blog, you already have a respect for animals. I have always admired them too – but my knowledge and appreciation of animals only continue to grow. I adore researching these posts and I hope you enjoy reading them. Please stay tuned for the next few weeks and together we’ll explore even more reasons to be inspired by animals.