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Showing posts from 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.

monkey in the tree

A friend shared a wonderful story with me.  Sums up choices we have in life.  Vervet monkeys were in his garden, and in the winter were becoming quite brave in their mission to pinch fruit out of their kitchen. My friend began brazenly chasing the monkeys away.  One big male was not afraid.  He challenged bravely, and was intimidating in his effort.  The rest of the troop disappeared, but the big male was up for the challenge.  My friend admitted that he felt as though his self-worth was being challenged.  Not wanting to be shown up, he puffed up his chest, and rushed out after the monkey.  The monkey eased up into the tree, loping around effortlessly.  He was high up in the tree and my friend was ranting and raving under the tree.  Next thing, the monkey, with all the cheek he could muster, unashamedly pee'd down onto the challenge.

I am impressed that he told me this story.  He admitted that all he could do in the scenario was giggle.  His choice was to see his ego and get back …

Happy Birthday Gambit

Every now and then you meet a soul that changes your life for the better. Someone who enables you to look at yourself and make changes that have the potential to improve the lives of those around you. It is rare to get to know these souls and for them to continue holding you in that change. One such magnificent being in my life is a dolphin called Gambit.

I feel so honoured to know you Gambit. How is it that you manage to open my heart every time I look into your eyes. How present are you that you are able to let me be in the moment with you. The many many tears of joy I have cried with you filling my heart are tears that have fallen in some of the best moments of my life

Your presence. Your unconditional love. Your humble grace and playful exuberance. Your family. I am blessed so many times over to have been graced with your friendship.

My pledge to you-
To continue sharing the lessons you teach me until I leave this planet:
- Trust is earned and maintained
- love is free and u…

Be wise

several times a year we learn of tragedies that could have been prevented. People tend not to realize that during the "dog days" of summer, for example, the temperature inside a car can climb to well above 100ºF degrees in just a matter of minutes. Because dogs can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads, it is especially dangerous for them to sit in a hot car. Guardians love their companions and many want to take them everywhere they go. It is important, however, to realize that during the warm summer months, the safest place for your canine friends is indoors. If he or she must stay outside for long, avoid the hottest part of the day. Don't forget to provide shade, water, and a kiddie pool.

So please consider this a friendly reminder to not leave your companion animals in the car during these hot summer months. Even with the windows cracked, dogs can suffer a heat stroke in a very short amount of time. Please leave your companions at home un…

celebrating a 21 year old

21 years ago today I had been working at Sea World in Durban for just four months.  And I was priveleged to witness the birth of a baby dolphin.  I was even more honoured to be taken under the wing of a senior trainer to work with the mother and calf from the time of the birth.  Wow can be the only word to describe this experience.  I was new to all of this, and had this little creature to care for, and get to know.  Suffice is to say he stole my heart, lock stock and soul.  His name is Jula.  I cannot describe the gratitude I feel for being a part of Jula's life.  He is an angel.  A gem, and master, a teacher, a gentle soul who knows so much more than I ever will.   Heartfelt life time gratitude to his mother Frodo and father Gambit, and happy birthday to the heart thief, Jula.  Love you angel!!!

what is your motivation

Darryl (husband) went down to put blankets on Mashatu and Gandalph - the pair of horses at home.  Because it is raining and cold (climate change = mid-winter rain in KwaZulu Natal - completely unseasonal).  Poor horses we think, as we cuddle under our duvets.  Feeling sorry for them.  We have not seen them all day and left them a pile of hay when we went to work this morning.  So we also feel bad about leaving them.  So he took them each an apple, and went to dress them in their winter woolies.  And all they were interested in was getting to the apples in their pockets.  And we have to think - do we make blankets, and give apples to make ourselves feel better. 

There is a school of thought that says the over use of horse blankets results in the horses woolly winter coats - presuming it has not been clipped, is compromised as a result of the blanket breaking the little hairs.  Also, that blankets are only really necessary when temperatures reach below zero. 

I know this, and yet, I s…

Cherub and Aero

Two penguins that were rescued by my team at uShaka Sea World.  They are two young juvenile African Penguins.  This species was recently added to the endangered species list, largely because of human impact.  The rehabilitation process has gone really well.  They are fit and healthy and being deployed to SANCCOB to be released into the Ocean once more.  It is a bittersweet farewell saying goodbye to two little gems, whom we have become close to and with whom we have become personally involved.  We need to ensure that the species survives to give these two the best chance possible out there.  This is not something we can throw money at and hope that it all ends up well and good.  We need to be actively involved, looking at the impact we make on our planet, realise that this impact affects the ocean - and the lesson - we cannot do this because it is the right thing to do, we have to do it out of selfless love.  Just live respectfully, lightly, doing what we can, in every moment.  Gonna …

Gandalph the wizard

(Husband) Darryl bought new dog food, bird food and horse food and left it in the back of his bakkie.  (Son) Zac closed the canopy door, and left the horses to mill around and graze around in the driveway around the vehicile.  Gandalph knew there were yummy concentrate in the back of the truck, and in his persistent determined way, managed to break into the back of the truck.  He got the rubber that holds the window in between his teeth and pried the canopy bin back window open.  Then he managed to convince Mashatu the thoroughbred to assist him to keep it open while they both helped themselves to the food. 

So, we could run out and yell and scream - or we can just see how clever they are, realise that we are at fault for being too lazy to get teh food to the shed.  Another lesson - forgiving ourselves rather than taking our frustrations out on the horses because we were lazy.  Then laugh it off.

Tue love

Till you have loved an animal you have not really loved.
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Clever angel Kelpie

Gandalph and Charlie

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Kelpie tongue twister

While training Kelpie - bottlenose dolphin - to stick out his tongue, he gave me a moment of total delight. I asked him at first to push his tongue forward in his mouth and touch my finger. He got that quickly, and his and my excitement at that was rising. Then I pushed the tip of his tongue out the side of his mouth. I did this a second time and noted a look of 'aha' in his eyes. He dipped under the surface of the water and came up with the tail of the fishing that I had just fed him sticking out the side of his mouth. A you-had-to-be-there moment. What a sweetie! Love him so madly.
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Sasha - Dobermann cross


Sitting on my bed on a chilly morning, cup of tea beside me, Sasha doberman cross on my feet, Draco terrier cross under the duvet curled up on my legs, Charlie kitten sharing my lap with the pc.  Joy.  When I was growing up dogs were not allowed in our beds.  Whiskey fox terrier knew the rule, but between us we had a pact.  When he heard mum and dad come down the passage to my bedroom he would hide under the bed, and return once they had wished me good night.  Little black and white protector - on one day barking madly at me while I stood on the pavement and he faced me from the road, viscious barking madly at me - till we worked out he was asking me not to step off the curb onto a puff adder that was lazing in the sun on the concrete.  He will be waiting for me at the end of my time, on the other side of the light...  Even though the nuns said that dogs don't go to heaven - yeah right!