Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


17 Comments

Animal Communication: Language Beyond Words

An animal eyes with wolf

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is, “language.”

The first thing I thought of was that animals have language though some snobs say they don’t. I didn’t mean to write snobs. But I wrote it right out of my stream of consciousness. (I don’t usually call names.) But I do love and respect animals.

In college, I wrote a research paper on the intelligence of dolphins and whales. There was plenty of research, even back then in the 1970’s, that suggested that dolphins and whales communicate in complex ways. This was based on their behavior. If you pay attention, you will see, hear, and sense things that you don’t notice when you don’t pay attention.  The songs of humpback whales are complex and change over time. Who’s to say that this is not language? Just because we don’t understand, just because it sounds different from human languages, doesn’t mean it’s not language.

Many animals have a keen sense and use of body language. They are more aware of it than we are as humans. My dogs have observed my body language very carefully. That’s probably the dominant way dogs communicate, but how do I know? They are probably way more complex than we realize. Who’s to say that a wolf’s howl is just a song? And song’s are language anyway.

great voices wolf pup

In Jean Auel’s book series that started with The Clan of the Cave Bear, the human-like tribes thought the Neanderthal-like tribes were animals because they did not speak. But we learned from the main character, Ayla (who I named my daughter after because I fell in love with these books), that this was not true. They did have a very complex language based on subtle body movements. Ayla knew this because the people of the Clan adopted her (even though she was one of the others) and she learned their language. Even though some of the Clan people thought she was slow and stupid because she did not have the “memories,” she learned healing from the woman who adopted her.

So, language is relative. Language is complicated and beautiful. Like The Five Love Languages which I’m mentioning in my May newsletter. There is the language of love that we communicate with our eyes, the windows to our souls, with no words at all. Perhaps a language without words (as we know them) has the potential to be even more powerful than simple words. Considering that, it’s pretty amazing that we communicate as well as we do, here on WordPress and other blog spots. I’ve made some good and meaningful connections with this language of words. So I’m not knocking language as we are accustomed to it. I’m just saying, there’s a whole lot more to language than just human words.

This video excerpt starts with lots of surface action which I recommend watching in full screen. The singing begins just after two minutes.

(The photos are from Pinterest.)

Linda G. Hill is our host for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness. Visit her blog to follow more streams at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-1317/

SOCS

Here are the SoCS rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


11 Comments

Time and the Toilet Paper Roll of Life

socsbadge2016-17

This is the busiest time. No, wait. It’s not that busy. Maybe this is the busiest time since I started semi-retirement in June. Was that this past June? No way. I have to check that. Time is so strange. I think this is the fastest time has ever moved. It moves faster and faster the older we get, and also the busier we get. Just like the toilet paper roll goes faster as you get closer to the end. But then someone will hopefully replace that toilet paper roll with a full one. Usually a mom type person does that. Does God replace our roll when we get to the end of our life? Do we get another assignment? I like the idea of taking a rest for a while, in my idea of heaven being a cabin in the woods, running around with all the dogs I’ve ever loved…and then getting an assignment, as an angel or whatever God wants me to do. I just really want a rest for a while and to see my dogs.

I had no idea I was going to go there. That’s what I love about the Stream of Consciousness.

Though theses are the busiest times lately, they are also the best times. So I want to stop complaining and have some gratitude already!  My busyness has been writing, a little art, feeding feral kittens, puttering around the house in the never-ending busyness of things like replacing toilet paper rolls and de-cluttering.

The best things about this busy weekend are:

This afternoon, I get to read one of my two stories which will be published in the public library’s e-book about our coastal county. I should say, I get to read it out loud, in front of people! I’ll send you a link to the e-book when it is unveiled.

Tomorrow afternoon, I get to lead a guided meditation at a coffee house celebration of Recovery Month. That’s right, September is RECOVERY MONTH. We need to celebrate recovery because so many people don’t get how much work it is. We need to applaud people in recovery from addiction and other illnesses.

Both of these events are related to my work. The first, reading my story, is about my new work and my new creative life. Sunday’s event is about my old work as a counselor, which I continue to do one day a week. So this weekend is sort of an affirmation, that for now, I can do both.

Next week could be even busier. It might be the busiest week!

Monday I need to go cut my father’s hedges. And visit him which is more important. And then I need to go the old job on Tuesday as I get ready for a reunion trip with my high school girlfriends in Mississippi!

One thing’s for sure, I’m not bored.

And I am grateful.

 

Linda’ prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness post was, “-est” to be used as a suffix.

Read more SOC posts, and join in the fun at Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/09/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1716/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


25 Comments

Fifteen Years of Love

Beep

The fluff ball curled up next to the man on the seat of the truck and went to sleep. He hadn’t wanted another dog, but finally agreed. They named her “Beep” because her bark sounded like a car horn. When she was six months old, she snuck up next to the man on the recliner as he pretended to be asleep. They napped together like that often when the man was tired from being gone so long. She loved the man more than anything.

She ran like the wind with her long nimble legs as she chased squirrels, and balls, and anything that moved. She loved to help the man work in the yard by catching the wiggly worms he stirred up with his raking and digging. When they brought home a new puppy, she adopted him as her own. Beep and Oreo were best buddies, even though he grew up stocky and couldn’t quite keep up with her and couldn’t turn around as fast as she could. Beep and Oreo didn’t like the bossy hound dog that came to live with them. The hound wanted all the food. The hound thought she was the queen, but Beep knew she was the favorite, because the man always listened to her. She let him know when she wanted a drink of water, or a snuggle on the couch, and he always gave it to her. She could feel his love, and he could feel hers.

When the household split in two, he wouldn’t let her go. “The dogs stay with me. You can have the cats,” he said. Beep became his most loyal companion. As she got older and couldn’t climb the stairs, he carried her up to bed at night.

When the new woman came, Beep wasn’t happy with being displaced. She grudgingly accepted the mom as the new alpha female and adopted the daughter as her own.

They moved south to live with the new woman and her daughter and shared their new home with two new dogs. But Beep always felt loved.The warmer weather helped her move better and the winters were more bearable. She settled into a comfortable routine with her pack.

After a couple years, one of the new dogs, the old silky-haired one who slept a lot, went away. Then, her friend Oreo became very tired. He didn’t want to move. He went away and didn’t come back. She missed her buddy. The daughter wasn’t there much anymore and only came for short  visits.

Waiting by Ayla

But Beep still knew she was loved by the man and the woman. They both took care of her. They took her for walks and snuggled with her on the couch.

When Beep had lived 15 winters, her back legs got stiffer and didn’t work right. She fell down a lot. The man and the woman helped her up the back steps, and the man gave her shots. They kept loving her, snuggled with her almost every night, and took her to the vet a lot. Then her front shoulder stopped working. It hurt so bad she could hardly get up. She wanted to get up and walk, but she could only hobble. Her body hurt more than she could ever remember. She could feel that the man and woman were worried. She could also feel that they loved her. One day the man took her into the car and held her on his lap while the woman drove the car. She snuggled on his chest with her head on his shoulder just  like when she used to sleep with him in the recliner.

Gently, the man put her on the table. The vet came in and gave her a shot. She was getting used to the vet by now. The man and woman were very sad, but she couldn’t worry about that much because she started to feel sleepy – so sleepy she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

***

She felt strange, like when she woke up from long sleep. She shook her head. Her body felt good! She stood up, and she could walk! It didn’t hurt anymore! Where was she? The soft grass held smells of small animals. In front of her was a bridge of many colors – colors she had never seen before. Another dog appeared on the other side of the bridge. He yipped.   It was Oreo! Her good friend! They ran to each other and met on the middle of the bridge. He licked her face and yipped again, telling her to follow him across the bridge. She could smell wonderful things on the other side.

Suddenly, Beep felt like running!

You can’t catch me, Oreo! She shot a look back as she passed him.

She ran like the wind across the rainbow bridge.

_________________________________________________________________

In 2010, I asked God to send me a soulmate who loved dogs. We started our life together with five dogs. Now we have two left (Doodle and Marigold.) I believe we will be meeting up with quite a pack of dogs in heaven.

Our pack out back

Jesse the golden, Oreo the spaniel, Doodle the hound, Beep, and Marigold

 

All photos in this post are by Ayla Likens


25 Comments

The Souls of Animals

socs-badge-2015

Today’s stream of consciousness Saturday prompt is “-an.” I appreciate that Linda lets us use it however we want. I had to look back at it a couple times to make sure it was just “-an,” And nothing else.

The first thing that popped into my mind was – animals. That’s probably because I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember. Another thing I remembered, in relation to animals, is that guy in my English class in 12th grade, saying, “Animals don’t have souls.”

I was rather shy in high school, subdued verbally, but I sure did think a lot. And I’ve always had a good imagination. I imagined all kinds of things to say or do to that guy who so blatantly said that animals don’t have souls, like he knows, or knew.

What is the soul? And  where does the word “animal” come from? How does it relate to the word animate? So many questions in this stream of consciousness.

Animate means alive. We are all alive, to varying degrees. We are members of the animal kingdom. Do some people have stronger souls than others? We talk about “old souls,” perhaps having depth and wisdom.

When you look into an old dog’s eyes, or when I look into an old dog’s eyes, I see depth and love and wisdom that is different from our own human type of wisdom. One of the dogs my husband brought to live with us is now 15 years old. She is probably the most animated dog I’ve ever known. Even though her hind legs are not working very well, so she falls down a lot, she is still full of life. She still tries to prance around at dinner time, and when she wants something, she will look at us and bark like we should know what she’s talking about. She has started barking at my husband in the evenings when he’s on the computer and it’s time for her nightly cuddling on the couch.

When you look into an old dog’s eyes, or a horse’s eyes, or a cat’s eyes, or a whale’s eyes (don’t I wish), if you know what to look for, you will see their soul.

Beep

Waiting by Ayla

The photos of our old girl,”Beep,” are by Ayla Likens

If you’d like to join in the Saturday Stream of Consciousness, visit Linda Hill at:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-jan-3016/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


8 Comments

Stream of Consciousness Ramblings on Cats, Dogs, and More

There’s so much going on that I could write about, but at this moment, none of it has to do with our Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt, which is “cat.”  Is it possible to find a connection?

Well, the cat does not have my tongue, or my keyboard. I’m getting ready for an art show at my church and taking my”Forest Angel,”

Forest Angel

Forest Angel by JoAnne Silvia

… and tonight, a fund raising dinner for a local farm. Sunday night is the visitation for the family of my father’s best friend who died yesterday, and the funeral is Monday. I will probably write about my dad and his  friend later. They sure could tell some stories about their times in the marine corps……

I’m glad I don’t have a cat right now. I have nothing against cats. I have had cats before. When my son was born, we had a cat. She was fine with him when he was a baby. One time I was so used to picking up my son, when he weighed about 10 lbs, the same weight as the cat, that I picked up the cat and put her over my shoulder like the baby, without thinking. It was funny. I must have been trying to take her somewhere. Ramble was her name, and she was a good cat. She would bring all kinds of presents into the house: lizards, birds, once she even brought in a snake. She had the snake’s neck in her mouth and the black snake body wrapped around hers. Fortunately it was not poisonous. Once she brought in a half grown bunny. But we were able to let the bunny go outside.

So I have nothing against cats, but I’m mostly a dog person, which you know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while. I love dogs. We are down to three, having had five when my true love returned to me. Having a cat would be very close to impossible and very stressful, since the dogs, at least one of them, would not be…..compatible, to put it  in not so gory terms. I don’t want to go there.

Doodle on the bed

Doodle says, “I would love to play with a kitty.”

Cats can be nice and quiet and snuggly on cold winter nights. Maybe I will have a cat again some day, when I’m old, (older, cause I’m not really old yet…..) and need a quiet, calm pet. I’m probably not being honest here. I’m more likely to have a dog, even when I’m old. Though as I get older, I do appreciate smaller dogs after always wanting big dogs for most of my life. Small dogs are easier to bathe, have smaller messes, and they are definitely easier to pick up and carry somewhere. Easier to find a sitter for than big dogs…. But big dogs are better protection. I still like big dogs, just not the big messes. I don’t know how to end this.

The End. This concludes my Saturday Stream of Consciousness Post for Nov. 7.

There.

PS. I wont have much time to read and comment Saturday due to the art show, but I’ll be sure to catch you later!

SOC badge with butterfly

If you’d like to join in the Saturday SOC prompt and post, visit Linda’s blog:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/11/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-715/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


13 Comments

Dog Years

“Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.” – Albert Schweitzer

Beep

Bonehead

Beep will be 15 dog years old in October. That’s approximately 100 in human years. She still  jumps around at meal times and when the leashes come out, though she limps more after a walk on her stiffening legs.  Beep is one of my step dogs.  We met in 2011 during the long distance re-kindling with my old flame. David has known her since she was a tiny puppy, when she was named for her high pitched bark. They’ve been together through thick and thin. So he’s going to take her to the Blessing of the Animals for Saint Francis Feast Day, on the first Sunday in October. It should be interesting since she’s a feisty old lady and possessive when it comes to her pack.

Beep is doing very well for a 15 year old dog her size. Still, it doesn’t seem fair that dogs have such short life spans, and that we’ll be saying goodbye again before long. I looked for a scientific reason why dogs don’t live as long as people and didn’t find a satisfying answer, but I did find the  following story which helps.

I do not know the author, so if you do, feel free to let me know.

A Dog’s Purpose (from a 6-year-old).

“Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘I know why.’

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, ‘People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?’ The Six-year-old continued, ‘Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!


6 Comments

Strange Sunday Afternoon Dream

The barriers in the sky appeared as old carousel horses carrying mechanical knights unfurling a line of wire, seemingly flimsy, but their sting was deadly.

The further people got from the earth, the more insane everything became.  The smiley face, projected on the clouds, was a lie. Things were not A-Okay at home.

As our ship descended toward the mountains, searching for a place to land, we ran into snow. We saw dogs, probably the offspring of former sled dogs, near the old landing plateau. They danced around a large figure. Who, or what could it be? We couldn’t tell through the snow.

The figure plodded through the snow, looking for something. As we got closer, we could see that it was not human. The shaggy hair covering it’s body suggested a bear, but it was more upright. I remembered my grandmother telling me a myth about an ape that lived in the mountains.

The dogs did not seem aggressive. They acted like the beast was a friend, like they wanted to play.

The pilot hesitated to land, but we had to go somewhere. I wanted to find out who lived up here in the mountains. Maybe they could help.

(This comes from a dream I had during a Sunday afternoon nap. It belongs to me. Maybe I’ll do something with it. Who knows.)