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.

Lucy the Chimpanzee: A “haunting epic” tale from Radiolab that you will never forget

When I heard the life story of Lucy the chimpanzee on Radiolab I felt as if I had taken a spear through the heart. I connected with her innocence, her suffering, and her abandonment as if I were touching a downed live electrical wire.

Lucy was adopted at two days of age by a couple who raised her as their child. Later, after having been raised as a human, she was taken to Gambia and released on an island to live with a group of wild chimpanzees.

Lucy encountered one beautiful bit of good luck in her life: Janis Carter, who studied chimpanzees in Gambia, worked to help Lucy adjust to her new life. With great compassion and persistence she did what she could to ease Lucy’s sense of profound abandonment and loss.

Listen to this story. Once heard, you will never forget it. It haunts me now, almost a year since I first heard it, and I know it will stay with me for the duration.

May it inspire us all to protect the lives of animals everywhere. Click the photo for the link to the audio.

Lucy the Chimp: A True Tale of Staggering Sorrow & Loss

Lucy, wherever you are, may you be at peace now. May you live on in the heart of limitless grace. http://www.radiolab.org/story/91705-lucy/

Lucy the chimpanzee was raised as a human in the 1970s and 80s by Dr. Maurice and Jane Temerlin. Black and white images of Lucy with the Temerlins from Dr. Temerlin’s now out-of-print book, “Growing up Human,’ courtesy of Science and Behavior Books, Inc. Photos of Lucy in Gambia courtesy of Janis Carter. Slideshow produced by Sharon Shattuck.

Lucy clings to Janis Carter in their last meeting.

Lucy clings to Janis Carter in their last meeting. Then, resigned, drifts away into the forest.

“The Dog Song” by Nellie McKay “…find yourself a hound and make that doggie proud”

THE DOG SONG
by Nellie McKay

I’m just a walkin’ my dog
Singin’ my song, strollin’ along
It’s just me and my dog, catchin’ some sun
We can’t go wrong

My life was lonely and blue
Yeah I was sad as a sailor
I was an angry ‘un too then there was you
Appeared, when I was entangled

With youth, and fear, and nerves
Jingle jangled vermouth and beer
Were gettin’ me mangled up

But then I looked in your eyes
And I was no more a failure
You looked so wacky and wise
And I said, Lord I’m happy

‘Cause I’m just a walkin’ my dog
Singin’ my song, strollin’ along
It’s just me and my dog, catchin’ some sun
We can’t go wrong

‘Cause I don’t care ’bout your
Hatin’ and your doubt and I don’t care
What the politicians spout

If you need a companion
Well just go right to the pound
And find yourself a hound
And make that doggie proud
‘Cause that’s what it’s all about

My life was tragic and sad
I was the archetypal loser
I was a pageant gone bad

Then there was you on time
And wagging your tail
In the cutest mime
And you was in jail

I said woof, be mine
And you gave a wail
And then I was no longer alone
And I was no more a boozer

We’ll make the happiest home
And I said Lord I’m happy
‘Cause I’m just a walkin’ my dog

I’m just a walkin’ my dog
Singin’ my song, strollin’ along
It’s just me and my dog, catchin’ some sun
We can’t go wrong

‘Cause I don’t care ’bout your
Hatin’ and your doubt and I don’t care
What the politicians spout

If you need a companion
Why just go on by the pound
And find yourself a hound
And make that doggie proud

‘Cause that’s what it’s all about
That’s what it’s all about
That’s what it’s all about

That’s what it’s all abow, wow, wow
That’s what it’s all about
(Pant, pant, pant, pant, pant)
Good dog

Nellie McKay – The Dog Song Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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

Click the baboon to watch!

Photo credit: Portrait_Of_A_Baboon.jpg en.wikipedia.org

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

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/11936/The-Animal-Communicator?goback=.gde_164999_member_5802345555992526848

“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.

Damian Aspinall’s Gorilla Encounter: In a language beyond words, transcending differences and the limits of time

A story rich with elements of myth: A man raises a baby gorilla then releases him into the wild. He returns to the jungle five years later to search for his gorilla-friend. A wise woman warns him: the gorilla is big now and has attacked twice—you may not be safe. Be careful.

With his human brother, the man travels up and down a wide river coursing through the jungle, calling to his old friend, his gorilla-brother. Suddenly, out of the dense foliage steps a stunning gorilla. The two share a greeting ritual. The gorilla looks deep into the man’s eyes and holds the man as if he never wants to let go. They communicate in a language older, more complete and meaningful than words.

The time to separate arrives. The two hearts seem to beat as one, their bond transcending their differences, untouched by the limits of time.

Tommy the Dog: Definition of “BFF” — Best Friend Forever

 
ROME – Since his owner died two months ago, Tommy the dog has not
missed a single mass in the small church in southern Italy where his
mistress’s funeral was held, Italian media said Wednesday.
Tommy the dog -- a friend forever. From: http://www.pawnation.com/a/2013/01/16/italy-dog-frequent-churchgoer-since-owner-died/1

Beautiful friend.

When the bells of the Santa Maria Assunta church begin to toll each afternoon in San Donaci near Brindisi, the 12-year-old German Shepherd sets off from the village to get himself a front row seat
next to the altar, Il Messaggero newspaper said.
Hopefully Tommy finds comfort here among his friends.
His owner, who was known in local dialect as “Maria tu lu campu” —
“Maria of the fields” — had lived alone with Tommy and three other
rescue dogs, who used to follow her faithfully on her daily rounds and
have now been adopted by the village.
Do you think Tommy understands that his owner had no choice in her leaving him behind?After following his mistress’s coffin up to the church on the day of her funeral,  
Tommy has returned daily, sitting quietly throughout masses, baptisms and funerals, according to local priest Donato Panna, who now wouldn’t do without him.
To all dogs everywhere who have befriended a person: Thank you for the grace of your friendship.