Saturday, 31 December 2011

New year party losses

Fire works drive me crazy. On my way to work on new years day. A dog stressed out running up and down the highway. I tried to flag cars down. Hazards on. Nobody stopped. No human life in threat so no concern. I followed the dog. Tried to call it. I eventually called the cops and for fear of being in an accident had to drive off and wait to hear if there was success. Heatrbroken. Then the corpses along the road side. Further evidence of the unconscious celebration the night before. And they lives are written off as road kill. Tragic summation of the human condition.
Let's hope that those that do give a damn affect others this year. Call for a ban on fireworks. A resolution?
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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

direct link to God

i am not religious however when i spend time with animals there is no doubt that there is something spiritual in this universe.  A dolphin. Gambit is testimony to this. A forty year old majesty who is completely present, generous and magnificently gracious.  God is definitely present here.  I sense this unconditional presence when with all animals.  oh how lucky i am to be in direct relationship with God in my daily work and with my friends at home!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Dogs and horses

Nothing nicer than being greeted by Gandalph(horse) along with the five dogs when I get home. Together they gather at the gate to say hi. Oh how lucky I am!

Friday, 16 December 2011

My sons. We live on a stunning planet.

Dogs and cats co-existing

Five dogs in our family and three cats. Dogs have been involved in pack activity that has led to attacks on cats and even a death. Philli, the cat in this pic was attacked by Sasha, the dog here. A concerted effort to teach them to peacefully co-exist is an ongoing effort in our home. With Sasha in particular this has been hugely successful. She has taken on the role of official cat protector. She is the dominant dog and if any other dog vaguely growls at the cats Sasha let's them know that this behaviour is unacceptable.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Sunday, 11 December 2011

tiny perspective

Was just forwarded an environmentally friendly way to do pest control on ants.  Included pour boiling water down their nesting holes.  WHAT???   Did you know that ants, generally speaking because there are many species and many roles to play in ant colonies, live for 5 years on average.  They have senses, and a function in a very well organised social structure.  Yet, we merrily, even when pretending to be environmentally friendly, are happy to label them as pests and look no further.

If we took careful note, we would see that every creature on this planet has a intergral role to play in the web of life.  The only creature that the planet will do fine without, is the human being.  The loss of any other species will have a knock on effect on other plants and animals. 

So, clean up your kitchen (with environmentally friendly products), then the ants will not have anything they need to clean up - which is their job after all.  Seems the only pests around are human beings that are unconsious in their behaviour - we can change this, so there is hope.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A moments love

She washed up today. A beautiful risso dolphin. Obviously old and very thin. We sat with her on the beach. Quietly. For a little while. Then she left us with only a memory of her wise content eye blinking at us. A gentle graceful beautiful animal. Passed on quietly. Incredible how we have been gifted with the ability to love something instantly. For a creature to affect our lives so intensely.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

I love Draco

Stole my heart when he entered my life as a puuppy. Rescued after someone threw him into a store and ran off. My gain.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Sasha as a puppy

n I remember when she was this size and the vets did not think she was going to make it.  She was rescued and sick with joint il.  I visualized her as an adult.  miraculously she made it.  she makes my heart sing daily.  love you Sasha!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Cat family

This is "Mommy". She is part of a family of cats that we man*ge at work. They are fed, sterilized and cared for. Not tame. Only a few tolerate stroking. They are territorial and keep other strays away. She is a honey. Soaking up afternoon sun.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Khethiwe's birthday

She is 3 today. Beautiful exuberant confident independent teacher. Happy birthday. Love you madly!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Missing Jabba

This little mite was with me for six days. An Oriole. Found in our garden. Still a baby. He grew stronger everyday. Loved how he sings when he eats. And when we would drive to work he would jabber the whole route. When he looked at me he stole my heart. Felt blessed when he followed me around the room when I prepared his food. Stealing bigger and bigger chunks of my love.
He went onto specialists today who will continue hand rearing him and then release him.
Funny how one can be happy and sad at the same time. Happy for doing what is right for him. And sad because he is taking a piece of my heart with him. Love you little guy. I trust the wild will be there always for you and all your future generations.

Legendary Lady. Happy Birthday Gimli

She was born at Sea World and turned 25 yesterday. Her nickname is Weasel. We love her bigger than the sky!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Their purposeful lives

(this blog was transcribed from pen and paper)
animals spend time with us for a while and usually pass on during our lifetimes. Our attachment to them, understandably, fills us with grief. If we are able to see beyond the attachment, we will see our fears.
- Perhaps - Fear of failure, rejection, loneliness, separation (all illusions in the grand scheme of things)
If we are able to look at those fears, we will hear the messages we have been provided by our animal companions.
They are lessons
Then we are able to give their lives purpose.
And the glory they deserve in relationship with us will be achieved.
(Write in memory of Gangster, with Charlie the kitten playing with my pen as I write)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

shade and ego

So I take my dog for a walk, or go for a ride on my horse.  And I catch myself insisting they walk where I want them to walk.  Then I notice that the sand on the edge of the road is softer and that is why my horse wants to walk there.  Or I see that the shade is deeper and cooler on the other side, and that is why my dog, as she pants heavily, is pulling me that way.  I have been so caught up in my ego, that I am not even seeing that naturally, they know what is good for them.  So I need to adjust, listen to them, and work in a partnership, rather than insist - illogically - on doing it my way!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

so much inspiration and support

This angel, Gandalph started the "Touching Animal Soul" journey when he kicked me in the head.  I had to look inward to ensure I could relate to him.  This journey has been supported all along the way by so many people and animals.  Latest on the list of support is the "Power Within" who presented a feature on TV about this book.  Thank you for the support.  It is always a lesson that if you are doing what you are meant to be doing, you will be assisted by the Universe.  I trust that the message that needs to be shared about relating to animals is the support that the Universe is applauding. 

Monday, 31 October 2011


After Diwali and halloween and Guy fawks celebrations there is always an increase of animals maimed on our roads. Generally and impersonally referred to as roadkill. When will we as a race become more respectful of other lifeforms. Found a piegeon that had a broken leg lying in a parking lot. Was dehydrated so had been lying there for a while suffering with many humans walking past him blindly. The human race just reached seven billion. Taking up more and more space and using up far too many of our planets resources. No human would be left lying with a broken leg. Or to die and labelled roadkill. Our priorities are messed up. The animals share earth with us. To conclude, perhaps when we respect all life forms equally we will achieve a sense of caring that will transfer - to ensure the future of our species on this planet. 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Touching Animal Souls: Touching Animal Souls Article in "Animal Talk" mag...

Touching Animal Souls: Touching Animal Souls Article in "Animal Talk" mag...: Thank you Johann from Panorama publications for placing this article in "Animal Talk" Great magazine - great philosophies shared in Johan...

Touching Animal Souls Article in "Animal Talk" magazine

Thank you Johann from Panorama publications for placing this article in "Animal Talk"  Great magazine - great philosophies shared in Johann's mags.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

what you focus on expands

This is a friend, Jimmy who works in central Africa at a rehab centre.  Here he is with some Rhino.  Clearly he is in a good relationship with these guys.  In this type of work people are in relationship with big powerful and potentially dangerous animals.  We can never underestimate their power and even after years of working with these creatures we need to remain alert to the fact that they are wild animals who could, wittingly or unwittingly hurt us.  If they get a fright for example.  When working with horses in the round pen I have seen people thinking they have been charged by horses.  Interestingly, from my perspective, that is not always what has actually transpired.  Very often the horse has been spooked, and is looking for some security, and the trainer is where they have gone to find that security - because, till that point, that is how the trainer has presented to the horse - as their dependable leader.  There are occassions where animals do lash out and hurt their keepers, but there is always a reason - the animals are always doing what they think they need to do to be safe and secure.  If they are in an enclosure, and they are faced with a perceived challenge, they cannot choose flight as an option, only fight. 

It is much easier, therefore, when working with animals, to do so using behaviour technology.  Remain consistent and dependable.  If you need him to move to another exhibit or let you look at his foot, teach him how to cooperate.  Once he knows what to expect, he will be more inclined to cooperate.  If we are focussing on cooperation, then the animal has somebody to trust.  If we are focussing on coercion, then we have willingly entered into a battle.  Nobody wins in a battle.  There is no long term learning or positive effect.  We are simply breaking down relationshiup, defeating trust, and lowering the possibility of success into the future.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

What did you see when you opened your eyes this morning

Beautiful Draco
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What is success?

Success is not giving a hoot.  If you can be a 45 year old cat woman playing in front of 3000 people, totally uninhibited, then you are succeeding.  Because if you are able to do that, you are in the present moment, not caring about what anybody else thinks.  Not worried about their judgements or how you think you should be coming across.  (ok, so I was a little worried, so not 100% successful, but I continue to strive to be free of this nonsence)

When you have that presence of mind in front of animals, that is when you are succeeding. 

Saturday, 22 October 2011

cleopatra the queen

Love this picture.  Can see the love.  A friend Kerry with my angel Cleopatra.  She is a  miniature pig.  Cleo was given to Zac, my son for his birthday.  When she arrived she had very recently been taken away from her mother.  She was a little insecure, and raced around the garden like a mad thing.  I was concerened that evening because my husband and I were going out.  We left our two sons at home with the babysitter.  At the time they were only around seven and eight years old.  I was anxious about leaving the new addition, piglet, but there was not much option.  When we arrived home, the babysitter said the kids were asleep in our bed, a low futon.  My first port of call was to find the piglet - at that point, still without a name.  We all began to hunt.  Torches out and we searched the garden.  We searched for over an hour.  Then we began looking around the house.  No sign of the little bllack creature. Eventually I went to check on the kids.  And that is where I found the piglet too.  sprawled out in the middle of the bed between my two angels.  That is when we named her - Queen Cleopatra.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Touching Animal Souls: Well spring magazine

Touching Animal Souls: Well spring magazine: Link to articles on animal training. See th...

Monday, 10 October 2011

week of unconditional considerations

I consider my happiest moments, and the first thing that comes to mind are the faces of my dolphin or duck friends.  The exuberance of my dogs or the gentle engaging touch of the horses in my life.  Even my fish in their little tank or a cat on my lap.  I am fortunate.  These relationships exist everyday for me.  And yet I still become caught up in the frustration of human relationship.  So, what to do?  I get it.  I understand that humans mirror a part of me that is so human.  So conditional.  I am honoured to be surrounded by animals and the reminder that I am searching for unconditional relationship.  The relationship I have with animals.  Imagine if I was able to give that type of attention, and receive it from a human.  Because perhaps there is one pure enough to give it to me.  If I was able to recognise it would be the question.  Unconditional is not about not wanting anything.  It is simply about being.  True and without self deprecating belief systems that sabotage the potential.  Thank you animals for keeping me striving for truth.  O boy.  Wish it was easier than this.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Was international African Penguin day yesterday

Spent time conversing with general public about the plight of the African Penguin. Not to raise funds but to encourage environmental behaviour changes that will serve the penguins and our planet. Was chuffed with the enthusiasm of many on this subject. So many seem to realise that the planet needs action and that is what needs focus. For those few that were less than enthusiastic, they teach me the ongoing lesson. Some will, some will not, so what, whose next? The lesson. Don't take things personally. Keep moving forward. Let the enthusiasm of anyone who does choose to listen keep moving the energy forward. If I take things personally then it becomes hard to make the necessary difference. I may even begin to use the hard sells as an excuse not to do what needs doing. So all I can do is stay grateful that I have this philosophy, this awareness, and keep going.
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Friday, 30 September 2011

Charlie doing good

Baby boy is home from the vet. So much love for him. And he sits on my lap still and purrs. No hard feelings for the neutering. Animals are so easy to be with.
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I love Charlie

I just left Charlie at the vet.  It broke my heart to leave him there for his op.  I will see him tonight.  Cannot wait to cuddle him again.  He is being neutered today.  Apparently that is the socially acceptable thing to do nowadays.  I don't disagree, however, it does make me think.  Like animals do(-:
How is it that we are so easily to make decisions about controlling populations of animals.  To the point where the thoughts that we have about these decisions are commonplace.  Spaying our dogs and cats, gelding our horses - and all sorts of excuses for it.  Those that chose not to usually entertain this to make money from breeding.  Even our game parks control breeding, often through culling. 

All this population control, however, we are not able to control our own populations.  It is still inbuilt into many cultures that having children, and not just a couple of kids, is a good thing to do.  Meanwhile our population growth on this planet is so out of control, and the impact on our planet so enormous that we are stressing the very lifeforce we require to exist.  Why don't we as a species - with our so called higher functioning brains - do something about this. 

Imagine if people were taxed more if they had more than their quota of kids.  Or taxed less if they had no kids.  Imagine if men had to be neutered to be allowed to enter into some high brow professions.  Imagine if you were given benefits for chosing to adopt kids rather than have your own - providing sanctuary to someone who needs it rather than feel the need to have your own genes perpetuated

Imagine a world that works - what needs doing.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

irony - copied from fb

cuban ballerina like a cat

Tonight I watched a ballet.  It was beautiful.  There was a 16 year old cuban lass who took the lead and she was absolutely magnificent.  When she tip toed onto stage she stole it effortlessly.  She clearly loves to dance.  It is always so beautiful to see someone do something that they love.  When they do, they are completely present in the moment.  And her body was ringing out her joy in every muscle.  Many of which I am sure I have never even discovered in my body.  It was like watching an animal delight in life - like a young foal dancing around the veldt, or a puppy rush around the yard, or a cat take a long leasurely leap up onto a table. 
Presence is what we need in relation with animals.  People ask me why I do yoga and one of the answers is so that I can learn more body awareness.  Because when we are aware of our bodies, we can begin to have mastery over our body language.  Like an animal does.  Watch as a dog or cat get up after a nap.  If they don't have to, they don't rush up.  They first take a good long stretch.  Ensuring that the flexibility in their bodies sustains them, and perhaps just enjoying the lovely moment of stretching.

How often I am not even conscious that my spirit is inhabiting a body.  Too often I am mad at my body rather than nurturing it and feeling the amazing potential that it holds.  Another lesson from animals, and the amazing Cuban ballerina.  If I put my mind to it, I can do anything - even talk to animals

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


So often I have or have seen people become frustrated when in relationship with an animal.  Today I had a discussion with a trainer who was experiencing a relationship "breakdown" with a young female dolphin.  When I asked her why, she had a few statements to share which reminded me of faults I have made.  They included - 'she is being naughty', 'she knows what to do and just doesn't do it', 'I feel her getting frustrated then I become frurstrated'.  All the statements are based on a belief system that the trainer as about the animal.  We discussed the relationship at length, and the trainer was humble as we broke down the scenario.  Eventually she realised that perhaps all her concerns were projections, and possibly, not even the truth.  She came to the conclusion that she was expecting the dolphin to know what to do, and was actually not sure that this was the truth.  She decided that it was quite possible that she was not communicating effectively with the dolpin.  She also did not realise that regression is a natural part of learning. 

When we have choice in any scenario, we will always try all sorts of things around that choice until we settle on the fact that choosing something - usually another's bidding - is the most effective course of action - then we have finally learned the lesson.  Why should it be any different for an animal. 

The dolphin example is not alone.  Consider people yelling at their dogs as their dogs bark, out of control.  Consider that the dog may just be hearing the yelling as the human joining in the frenzy of noise.  Consider the horse that refuses to let the stable door close.  Is he being naughty, or does he just want to look out for his best interests - have freedom of the pasture so he can graze all night.  The stable simply has not been effectively communicated as an effective alternative.

There are always two sides to the story.  The animal's side is usually the fault of the person trying to manage that animal.  The animal's natural history is often a part of the confusing story. 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

No dogs allowed

At a beach function in a club setting and have been asked to leave several times. Because no dogs are allowed. How weird.

I visited Prague in the Czeck republic. Dogs are allowed anywhere there. Even the zoo. They are accommodated with water stations and poop scoops. People take their dogs to work with them. You see them in the tubes and on the buses. I was struck too that every glass fronted structure had bird protection symbols on it.

What became apparent is a culture of responsible caring. I think it would be wise to take a page out of this book. It was Ghandi who said you can judge a nation by the way it treats its animals.
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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Are we like rhino poachers?

Cruelty to animals bothers me as much as it bothers most of us.  I don't understand how someone can find it in themselves to practise something that is outwardly cruel, and at times viscious.  Rhino horns being taken from live animals and the recent beating of a monkey to death by five students.  What possesses somoene to behave in this way?

Can we really afford to be adamant in our judgement of these misguided souls.  Cannot understand them for sure, however they must have a lack of neural pathways in their brain and a definite breakdown between their hearts and their heads.  Or perhaps they just don't have a clue.  Because for many of us, the same is true.

Daily, many of the actions we take are tantamount to poaching rhino.  Do we know how the livestock that we eat were raised and slaughtered.  Do we take responsibility for that or do we bury our heads in the sand?  Do we know whether the detergents we use are causing all sorts of degradation in the river and ocean ecosystems?  Do we purchase locally produced goods or do we prefer imported stuff - that would be generating more carbon emissions?

The African Penguin is endangered, largely because of human impact.  What can we do to make a change?  It is International African Penguin Day on the 8th of October - lets hope that this is going to be the beginning of some great initiatives on all our parts - to stop effectively poaching the penguin (and the environment at large).  Because it is just as cruel as what those outwardly harsh humans do.

We all need to find our own line, draw it and then know that we are conscious in the actions that we take.  Conscious to ensure that our lives are being lived with an outcome for the environment and her creatures that we are willing to accept.  Imagine that our planet is a glass house - and people in glass houses should not throw stones.  We need to put our heads down and do what needs doing, consciously.  We have the knowledge.  What are we doing with it?  For the penguins, and all others.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Thank you exclusive books.

Spent the morning in the company of librarians who were funded by SAPPI to buy for books for their libraries. Wow. A room filled with seriously well-read intellect. I promoted "Touching Animal Souls" to a great response. All books sold. Wish there had been more to go.

Thank you Linda from Pavillion's Exclusive Books for the wonderful opportunity. Much appreciated. Thank you lovely Librarians for your support.
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Monday, 12 September 2011

Penguin Promises Go to this link and join a cause that is all about changing our behaviour to reduce our impact on the planet.  The African Penguin was added to the endangered species list just last year.  Their numbers have plummeted and there is no sign of a reversal in this trend.  The reasons for the decline is human impact.  We caused it so we can fix it. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Khwezi - true star

Happy 16th Birthday beautiful boy.  Love you madly.  The lessons continue.  Look forward to sharing many moments more with you.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Companion deluxe

What nicer way to be accompanied through life. Non-judgemental. Unconditional. This is Draco. He just sits there on the chair next to me while I type away on my computer. No expectation. Just being in my company. Love you boy.
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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

book launch!/event.php?eid=269036013110103
Durban book launch for "Touching Animal Souls" - Thursday evening 17h30 at Musgrave Centre - Adams bookstore,  Customized playing unplugged.  You welcome to attend.  Just let us know

Friday, 26 August 2011

in the moment

Dolphins literally live in the moment.  They are conscious breathers.  They think about it everytime they breathe.  Any yogi or guru will constantly remind you to come to your breath.  If we are thinking about our breathing, we are conscious about our feelings, and when we are feeling our feelings, without labelling them, we are in the moment.

It is amazing however that I often find myself caught up in the moment, and unable to see the trees for the wood.  I think this is when I loose myself in the feelings, rather than staying with my breath.  Giving myself away to the emotion, and at the same time looking for excuses - so necessarily out of the moment so that I can find someone to blame.

Here's to staying conscious, even when I sleep.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

what is stress

There is a theory that when looking after wild animals, a certain amount of stress is potentially not a bad thing.  An expert in animal care was relating a story to me today about a man who was breeding birds as part of a conservation project.  Over time his breeding program was perfected, and then, there was suddenly a lack of success.  The optimal conditions were looked at.  Nothing could improve what was occuring.  So, a decision was taken to try and "stress" the birds a little.  The man rigged up a bird of prey dummy to swoop over the nesting areas once a day, making scary noises.  Enough to scare the breeding pairs.  It was not long before breeding improved.  The conclusion to the exercise was that a little stress is not a bad thing.

I think there may be a different way to relate this conclusion.  In solitary confinment, people do not thrive.  Babies that are not held and comforted don't grow as fast as those who are.  Same is true for animals.  We are on this planet to experience ourselves.  The most effective way of doing this is to experience ourselves in relation to another. 

In optimal conditions, the birds were physically cared for and nurtured, and essentially in a solitary confimenent situation.  When the predator thought threatened them, they huddled together, formed safety in numbers, and related more to each other.  They were using their natural senses and instincts.  They felt alive.  And that inspired breeding.

It is a common fact that people who survive trauma together are closer.  And it does not even have to be trauma.  Anything that makes us feel alive.  Like galloping on horseback.  When we are relating to our world with our natural given senses, we are thriving. 

Sunday, 21 August 2011

glorious summer days, animals and an attitude shift.

I arrived home this afternoon from work and a function feeling drained and tired.  A little headachy, nauseous and ready to pamper myself.  But before I could do that I needed to muck out some stables, fill up the dog and cats water bowl, pick some lettuce for the pig and give the horses some hay.  Before I knew it, I was embroiled in another feeling altogether.  It is the first real spring summer day we have had in a while, and being outside surrounded by affectionate horses, bounding loving dogs and a pig looking for a kiss on the snout, I began to feel alive.  I suddenly noticed birds chirping louder than I have in a long time (when I was feeling low and miserable I had not heard them).  To top it all, the first yellow billed kite of the season swooped over our home.  Now I sit typing out my joy, with a kitten purring at my feet and a daschund curled up next to me.  And we wonder why animals are therapeutic.  Attitude shift.

Friday, 19 August 2011

self awareness and then some

I probably have a martyr persona.  I have noticed in the past that the attention I have received from working really hard or similar has been a pay off of sorts.  This type of self-awareness has been described as personal growth.  I find it easier and easier to have this consciosness about myself,  for the most part that is.

Then there are parts of me that hit over-drive and angst faster than the speed of light.  Buttons in me that are so hot that just a breath of air on them makes them ignite a fire of passion and emotional tremblings inside me.  There are two very distinct buttons
- when you mess with or upset my children
- when you are mean to animals.
What is it that turns me into a blind maniac?  Is it a Jungian super hero complex, or is it a natural maternal instinct?
With these questions burning inside me, I notice that there are instinct triggers in animals too - not messing with their young is a trigger for sure - survival of the species.  And with my dogs, even though they are not attack trained, I know for sure they will take anyone out who tries to harm any of our family members - so they are securing their pack.

So, do I use this information to justify my responses? 

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Touching Animal Souls: ego paying me back

Touching Animal Souls: ego paying me back: "I walked Sasha my dobermann cross on the weekend. She is a delight to walk. I walk with her often, and both of us relish the fresh air. I..."

ego paying me back

I walked Sasha my dobermann cross on the weekend.  She is a delight to walk.  I walk with her often, and both of us relish the fresh air.  I enjoy her enthusiasm and responsiveness.  If I call her she is next to me in a flash.  We live on country dust roads, and she dashes around smelling all the information.  I was so proud of her for heeling past a rotweiller that was barking at a fence.  I felt all puffed up for a moment, imagining what a good trainer I was.  I don't think that particular thought has crossed my mind on our walks in the past.  She was obviously having none of it because no sooner had the thought been enjoyed, she dashed off into the bushes, out of sight and hearing range, and left me in a cold sweat on the verge.  There were no monkeys or other distractions.  I called and called and she did not respond.  Panic began to rise in me.  I felt fury for a moment too, and began working off, the was overtaken by guilt and doubled back to mourn on the side of the road again.  I felt devastated, and many thoughts of loss began to take over my brain.  Then I looked up and saw her trotting towards me from the road ahead.  It took all my conscious training mind and spirit not to yell obscenities at her.

We walked home quietly, me deliberating.  My ego was disappointed.  I remembered a woman I know, who is 85.  She related a story to me earlier in this week, something that happened to her, which could have left her ego disappointed.  She noted how the cause of the potential disappointment was something that had occurred to her in her childhood, and rather than being miserable, she took the opportunity to celebrate the consciousness she achieved as a result of the exercise.  I was amazed at her humility, in her sharing of her story, and her excitement at the outcome of her feelings.  I wondered how I could apply her insight to my moment with Sasha.

I am still not sure why I so badly need to feel like a good trainer, but I do recognise that I cannot let my identify be ruled by the need to be a trainer.  Because this gets in the way of my relating to Sasha.  And I would much rather be in a true relationship with her than be a good trainer.  Recognising that I still need to have some insight into the training in order to ensure that I stay in a fulfilling relationship with her - For example, I dont want to shout at her for coming back to me, else she will not want to come back to me, and that recall is an imperative part of our relationship.  We are all so much more than the labels we give ourselves.  Trainer, doctor, mother, accountant, policeman, teacher, husband, son.  When we let the labels go, we will unwrap so much more potential.  Not necessarily to accomplish, but most certainly, to experience. 

A lable can take the fun out of life.  It is all about living.  Playing.  Being.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

when is it enough

This beautiful picture is of a friend of mine, Dumile, who was a field assistant on Marion Island.  A true conservationist who would go to the ends of the to do true work to ensure the survival of our planet and her creatures.

Those of us who work closely with animals often become embroiled in the work, sometimes caring too much about the individual, and then losing our perspective as a result.  We so want the creatures to know that we care that we feel we have to pet them or feed them or similar to let them know.

Sometimes it is just enough to love them, even from a distance.  Spend moments just being in their presence, even from a far and simply appreciating them.  In moments like this I have probably experienced my most profound insights.  Sitting in a paddock loving a horse from afar and he comes over and nuzzles me. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Touching Animal Souls: ego-less relationship

Touching Animal Souls: ego-less relationship: "Every now and then, these moments happen in relationship with animals. Some days we just think that the animal (or person for that matter) ..."

ego-less relationship

Every now and then, these moments happen in relationship with animals.  Some days we just think that the animal (or person for that matter) has their own agenda.  Our victim persona's or dominatrix alter egoes take over, and we believe that we are the target, and that nobody is responding to us as we wish.  With animals, I feel safe enough to look closer.  To imagine that perhaps whatever the animal is doing is a response to some poor communication on my part.  What I have found, is that most times, the animal is simply doing what it thinks it should be doing.  In my being reactive, I confuse the situation further, and the animal becomes more "wayward" as far as my judgement is concerned.  Here is an example.  A young dog playing with a person is intrigued when the person squeals when the dogs mouths them in its play.  The dog is rewarded by the squeal - it is exciting energy, something that the dog finds rewarding.  So, he tries it again, and when he gets less of a response, tries harder, and it hurts - and then we have an aggressive dog.  One that people will label as aggressive.  When it was simply poor communication. 

With human beings it is even worse.  My children are suffering the trial of trying to keep me happy.  And visa versa.  So often we are not even thinking of how we are coming across in relationship with others.  We are too busy being caught up in our own misery.

Thank God for my moments with animals.  Today was Khethiwe and Frodo.  A mother and calf dolphin pair.  Eager to please, and excited.  I was able to fine tune my training rather than get egotistical.  We were all happy in the session.  Them with their success.  Bounding excitedely, bright eyed and enjoying my easy disposition.  Me, simply being.  In relationship with such unconditional souls.  I am so very very lucky.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Leadership is as clear as black and white

I am a proud mother.  My kids are conscious beings who constantly challenge me.  They are two teenage boys - its their job to challenge me.  I remember when they were little, they were at their most challenging when I would get home from work.  That is when they wanted all my attention, and I was usually spent, so unable to provide adequately in that regard.  It always surprised me.  Then I noted that the animals that I work with are the same.  If my energy is low, that is when they will provide me with the biggest challenge.  I will be thinking, "just do this, make it easy for me, I am too tired", and they will not respond obligingly, and very often do something completely counter-productive - why?
There may be a very simple explanation, and it boils down to leadership.  When our children or animals in our care feel safe, it is because we, their "leaders", are being clear, strong and reliable in their lives.  When our leadership falters - they feel insecure.  In herds of animals, the leader in the group will be the reliable one on whom the followers can rely to get them out of trouble.  If I was the follower, that relied on that leader to look after me, and that leader looks weak, it makes good sense to challenge them.  I would need to ensure that my safety is secure.  If they fail the challenge, I need to find someone to take their place, or fend for myself.  If they pass, my safety is still secured.
So, when I come home and am being challenged, rather than go into a guilty panic about being an inadequate mother, I need to take a deep breath and maintain clear communication.  Just as I would when working with an animal. 
It is not fair to anyone - animal or person - to give mixed messages.  Clarity provides security.  That is what it means when they say - The truth will set you free.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Touching Animal Souls: legendary teacher

Touching Animal Souls: legendary teacher: "This is Frodo. She is around 40 years old. She is an incredible teacher because if you are not completely present with her, she does not c..."

legendary teacher

This is Frodo.  She is around 40 years old.  She is an incredible teacher because if you are not completely present with her, she does not cooperate.  If you are distracted because you are trying to show off in front of others, or if you are miserable because you had a fight with a friend, then your mind is not where it should be - in relationship with her.  In fact, she is not all that mad about just being in relationship with your mind.  She responds to your feelings.  So if you are blissfully aware of her, and loving her the way she deserves to be loved - unconditionally - you make the best progress in her training - and she swims off after, and you walk off after - completely alive and fulfilled
This is how life should be lived

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Poetic beauty in motion. Perfect amazing boy. Love this picture and this dolphin.
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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

3 precious boys

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Don't stop playing

Kai and Mashatu sharing a moment
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Hermione and Charlie

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See what you feel

Charlie is sitting on my lap. Five month old kitten who arrived in our family as a wild stray. So frightened. He lived under our bed for first few days. Gained confidence daily as we just saw his perfection and loved him. Same thing those two things. Charlie rules the five dogs and two cats that are the other members of our family. His best friend is dominant dobermann cross Sasha. If she hears him miaow she rushes to protect him. She tries to lick Charlie and he clings to her snout with four paws full of claws. He feels fine and confident and all the other animals respond to his bravado with acceptance.
Ancient prayer was knowing that all is perfect rather than asking for something to change.
Just be. Don't have to be anything than the perfection thn we are.
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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Thank you old friends

Gambit was surrounded today by people who have known him through his time at SEA WORLD.  Some flew in to spend his 40th with him from other places in South Africa.  It became incredibly evident how much he has shaped and touched people's lives.  Not that I ever doubted it, but to see that people are still connected to him at a soul level is magical.  God gave us an incredible gift in this great creature.  Thank you all for sharing it with us, and to those of you who were with us in spirit

And he keeps on at it.  Little Jemma, daughter to one of Gambit's old trainers is just five.  And she refuses to wash her face tonight because she kissed Gambit.  She cried all the way through his show.  He keeps on blessing us.  Also, little Josh, just six years old saved up his pocket money and bought a cooler box filled with pilchards as a gift for our king.  Thank you Josh and Jemma for joining Gambit's cause, to share love, joy, and to champion marine conservation.