How my dog became fat: I believed her when she said, “Help me. I haven’t eaten for days.”

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 2.12.32 PM I learned the hard way that a fat dog is, basically, a sick dog.

It was all my fault: I believed her when she seemed to say with her sweet, sincere eyes, “Help me. I am starving.” Inevitably she ballooned over time.

A vet said, “She’s got to go on a crash diet. Now,” and provided diet instructions on a green page from a prescription pad. I followed the instructions religiously. The plan worked.

I learned the hard way, at the expense of my dear pup, that a dog is a hedonist.

by Mary Oliver

“Please, please, I think I haven’t eaten
for days.”

What? Ricky, you had a huge supper.

“I did? My stomach doesn’t remember.
Oh, I think I’m fading away. Please
make me breakfast and I’ll tell you
something you don’t know.”

He ate rapidly.

Okay, I said. What were you going to
tell me?

He smiled the wicked smile. “Before we
came over, Anne already gave me my breakfast,”
he said.

Be prepared. A dog is adorable and noble.
A dog is a true and loving friend. A dog
is also a hedonist.


We Have A Secret — Coping when a dog passes away

...and when I call, no one but I can see the bending grass.

And only I can see you pause
at every brook I pass…

We Have A Secret

We have a secret, you and I,
that no one else shall know,
for who but I can see you lie
each night in fire glow?
And who but I can reach my hand
before we go to bed
and feel the living warmth of you
and touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths
and see ahead of me,
your sweet form racing with the wind
so young again, and free.
And only I can see you pause
at every brook I pass
and when I call, no one but I
can see the bending grass.

Author Unknown


“God adores elephants. / He thinks they are / the best thing / He ever made.”

“God adores elephants.
He thinks they are
the best thing
He ever made.”
–Cynthia Rylant

God went to India

To see the elephants.
God adores elephants.
He thinks they are
the best thing
He ever made.
They do everything
He hoped for:
They love their children,
they don’t kill,
they mourn their dead.
This last thing is
especially important
to God.
Elephants visit the graves
of those they loved.
They spend hours there.
They fondle the dry bones.
They mourn.
God understands mourning
better than any other emotion,
better even than love.
Because He has lost
everything He has
ever made.
You make life,
you make death.
The things God makes
always turn into
something else and
He does find this good.
But He can’t help missing all the originals.

–Cynthia Rylant
from God got a dog. 2013. Beach Lane Books

NPR interview with Cynthia Rylant: How Cynthia Rylant Discovered the Poetry of Storytelling

Fantastic Documentary: The Animal Communicator — Speaking in a language older than words.

Click the baboon to watch!

Photo credit: Portrait_Of_A_Baboon.jpg

Do you remember a time when you communicated with an animal? Do you remember understanding each other completely, experiencing each other’s being?

“Anna Breytenbach has dedicated her life to what she calls interspecies communication. She sends detailed messages to animals through pictures and thoughts. She then receives messages of remarkable clarity back from the animals.”

I felt bathed in wonder and awe as I watched this story unfold. This film gives me hope that one day, before it’s too late, humans can re-establish a mutually respectful interbeing with animals. We will recognize our interconnectedness and communicate across perceived boundaries, just as our ancestors did millennia ago.

Beluga whale in a tank douses little boy

Do you get the feeling that the beluga whale may not be happy about being held in a tiny tank ogled by humans day-in and day-out? As Colin Baird, a former orca trainer, said about killer whales, “I think everyone has a better understanding of the natural world, and the intelligence and social infrastructure of these amazing animals — and that concrete pools are not a place for them to be.” That applies to beluga whales, too.

For an even-handed, level-headed view of killer whales held in captivity, see the documentary Blackfish, which “traces a 39-year history of killer whales in captivity leading up to the 2010 killing of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau by the 12,000-pound orca, Tilikum.”

May whales everywhere thrive and increase. May they find safe, fertile waters untrammeled by humans through which to swim their daily rounds. May those places remain uncharted…

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.