Giraffe gently kisses a dying friend who worked at the zoo for many years…

A dying cancer patient who worked at a Dutch zoo returned to say goodbye on Wednesday. Lying in a hospital bed placed in the giraffe habitat at Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp, the 54-year-old man, identified as only Mario, waited for the animals to approach.

In an image now breaking the Internet’s heart, one giraffe appears to understand the moment, kissing Mario.

Mario, who has a mental disability, spent nearly his entire life as a maintenance man at the zoo…”

Brings to mind an excerpt from Raymond Carver:

“And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.”

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Finding one’s voice & being a voice for animals — the incredible journey of wildlife biologist Alan Rabinowitz

Listening to this podcast I felt myself in the presence of greatness: Alan Rabinowitz, wildlife biologist, overcame stuttering and the devastating emotional trauma it caused to become an advocate for the downtrodden, pursuing life with openness, compassion, and wisdom.

When Mr. Rabinowitz was growing up he discovered that, amazingly, he could talk to animals easily, clearly, and without stuttering. He sought refuge in their company. Now he is “paying it forward” by working to help the world’s endangered cats survive the encroaching march of habitat destruction. This is a great listen.

Have you seen the bumper sticker that has a paw print and these words “Who Rescued Who?” That image came to mind as I listened to The Gift of Stuttering and Animals, a moving excerpt from the original interview with Mr. Rabinowitz. (See link below.) This story affirms that being in the presence of animals can lead to life-changing transformation and healing.

Thank you, Mr. Rabinowitz for sharing your deep and universal story with the world.

A Voice for the Animals with Dr. Alan Rabinowitz (October 13, 2011) [encore] by On Being is licensed under a  Creative Commons Licence.

I had a dog / who loved flowers…

Precious Luna--faithful friend, old soul, teacher. Thank you.

Luke

by Mary Oliver

I had a dog
who loved flowers.
Briskly she went
through the fields,

yet paused
for the honeysuckle
or the rose,
her dark head

and her wet nose
touching
the face
of every one

with its petals
of silk,
with its fragrance
rising

into the air
where the bees,
their bodies
heavy with pollen,

hovered—
and easily
she adored
every blossom,

not in the serious,
careful way
that we choose
this blossom or that blossom—

the way we praise or don’t praise—
the way we love
or don’t love—
but the way

we long to be—
that happy
in the heaven of earth—
that wild, that loving.

“Luke” by Mary Oliver from Dog Songs. © Penguin, 2013.