Sunday, 29 December 2013

Hearty story written by Richard Rosewarne. Well worth the read.

Going Home
By Tongue
I'm fading fast, I know my end is near....Where is everyone? I may be old, but surely this is not the way to go? Somebody, hold me please! I am cold and frightened, it was not always like this? I remember................Years before.........There were a lot of people around when I came into this world. Although still not being able to see, I could hear the voices and sense my mother's pride at having delivered such a beautiful creation. I was being constantly touched, pampered and showered with gifts, and both Mother and I knew that with the correct upbringing I would go far. Mother was the world to me as I had never met my father who had run off after a brief fling with Mom when she was young and gullible, leaving her with child and nothing else. Apparently he is still around, very old, but still strutting and showing off around the city. I never had any inclination to find him. Hungry and cold, Mom took refuge under the overhang of a bar during a particularly heavy downpour, and it was there that she met Tom, the Farang pub owner. Mom was very beautiful then, large glistening eyes and long shinning hair, and it was easy to see why Tom fell for her straight away. She never left him, and together they built up his business and prospered. Many came to the pub on the pretext of chatting to Tom, but all knew it was Mom that they really came to see. When I was born, Tom threw a large party to celebrate and proudly showed me off to all and sundry as if I was his own. Inheriting Mom's good looks and luckily the best of departed Dad, who by all accounts was still a good looker in spite of his errant ways, the doors to a happy and successful life all opened with ease.In Mother I had an excellent teacher and I lapped up every trick of the trade, so that even while still rather young, Mom deemed me wise enough to go solo and work the bar. You couldn't really call it work, it was fun. Forget the old deadbeat balloon and BBQ chasers, Mom had advised me early on, they are only on the lookout for free food and cheap drinks. You won't get much out of them. Heeding her advice, I instead sought out the far more desirable "cherries" as Ma and Tom called them, fresh off the plane and ripe for the plucking. Sure enough, they were pushovers, and I soon had them eating out of my hands and plying me with gifts, each trying to outdo the other for my undivided attention. I divided my 'joy and welcome smile' equally among them. One regular customer though was different from the rest, and for once I followed my own instincts. Old Bill as he was known by all was virtually part of the furnishings at Tom's Bar. You could set your watch by him, come rain or shine, Bill would take his usual seat at exactly 10 each morning, order his breakfast ( which I always helped him to finish as he claimed I was too thin ) and then settle down to his daily crossword. He had soft, sad eyes that had plainly seen much suffering and often when things were quiet we would sit and chat. Actually he did most of the talking and I would sit and listen, his hand reaching out to touch me gently when making a point or to cheer me up if I looked sad. Occasionally Mom would let me go for a walk on the beach with him, first making sure that there was nobody around to see us and thereby damage my reputation. Over time I learned of his tragic loss and the pain and suffering his wife went through before death released her from the torment of cancer. I felt very close to old Bill, and if circumstances had been different, we could have been very happy together.The seasons came and went, highs and lows, business blossomed and ebbed, cherries arrived and left as old hands. The only regular thing amongst all the madness was Bill's arrival each day. He never seemed to mind that I could only show him passing attention during the busy times, he realised that there was work to be done and egos to be polished. He was there to help as well when Mom was buried.
I will never forget the light and life leaving those lovely eyes of hers after the hit and run and how a part of me died with her. Standing in the drizzle beside the grave, dressed in an old tweed suit, Bill cried unashamedly. I cried for Mom and him as well.Tom was devastated and morose for weeks, but as time went by things slowly went back to normal. A new female arrived (a real bitch ) and wormed her way into Tom's love and his favours and soon new arrivals at the bar threatened my position. Without Mom's help and protection I was constantly having to watch my back and pull out all the stops to remain number one. They were young and playful and full of energy, not to mention beautiful. I found myself losing the adoration I had come to expect and had to resort to sulking and aloofness to gain any semblance of attention. I knew I was getting on in years and could not fight indefinitely. Even Bill began calling me 'old girl', but I did not mind it coming from him as it was more a term of endearment. Trying my best to appear young and carefree, doing things I used to do, only made me appear silly and all I received were looks of pity and the occasional halfhearted 'for old times sake' love and attention.The good old days seem so far away now, darkness, pain and the cold my only companions......Wait...I know that sound... that smell of him... it must be 10 o'clock!Soft gentle hands picking me up, cradling me to his warm chest, stroking my head and murmuring soft soothing sounds. Old Bill, faithful and loving Old Bill. His calming touch is like a balm to my pain wracked body and I whimper and press myself into him, safe and loved, just like the old days.'Tom, can I take her with me, I don't think there is long to go?''Sure Bill, and aah...thanks Bill, I should have let her go with you years ago.'Come my Darling, Old Bill's taking you home. You really are a man's best friend, the best friend I ever had.

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy holidays everybody!

May your reflections be lessons and your future conscious and filled with love
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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Live now

"Sasha do u want to go for a walk?". The answer is always YES! No matter if sh has not had breakfast or is sleeping on the couch. If I aske her if she wanted to play in the middle of the night she would say YES! There is definitely a lesson here.
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013


I love my job. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to know the animals I do. And I work with captive animals because I believe they should be in the wild. I just wish there was a wild left where they could go about their lives in peace. Unaffected by human pollution - in so many shapes and sizes - habitat degradation, fossil fuel abuse, litter etc etc. I am surprised everyday that it appears we as a species cannot appreciate the amazing grace in front of our hours. Preferring to spend time justifying why we need a new cell phone, or why we need to drive to the store or why its okay to have that extra bottled water or fish fed beef burger. No judgement. I find myself a part of the irony. Having this masochistic (because our species will fall as a result) tendency is weird. And being conscious of the dilemma hurts.

Promise to blog some
hope with all this

So here it is

Do your bit
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Friday, 6 December 2013

Monday, 25 November 2013

Friday, 8 November 2013

Monday, 28 October 2013

Such angels

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Wouldn't have it any other way!

So my dark clothes have lighter coloured fur on them. My light coloured clothes have muddy paw marks. I usually smell of animal - anything from dolphin food to horse manure. My nose is normally sunburned. And my finger nails always need a good scrub. My bed is not sacred with cats on my pillow and dogs curled into my knees. Even my wardrobe is a favourite hiding place to a critter when its chilly. I smile more around these beasts than any other time. I have kissed more animals than people. Work is animals. Home is animal sanctuary.
I wonder how anyone lives any other way. I am sooo grateful for my life.
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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Celebrating African Penguin day at Sea World uShaka

So cool to be surrounded by enthusiastic people who went all out to ensure that Penguins got the attention they deserved today!

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Thursday, 10 October 2013

International African Penguin Day this Saturday

I am really excited about the attention these little guys are getting.  Government, scientists, welfare organisations and the zoo and aquarium industry are all pulling together to assist this endangered species.  Being an animal person, it will never be enough till we are sure they are on the road to recovery.  I have to extend gratitude to all the passionate people out there who truly do care.  And this Saturday is an opportunity to continue raising awareness for the African Penguin, and for the Penguin Promises campaign.  Because, yes, the major role players are doing stuff, but what can all of us as individuals do - because essentially, it starts with us. 
1.  celebrate Saturday
2.  celebrate penguins everyday
3.  celebrate how much you care for nature - everyday
4.  make a promise to the penguins - something you can do to help nature (like not using single use plastic bags)
5.  send your promise to
6.  celebrate penguins everyday
7.  share this message with everyone
8.  find out what is happening near where you live and take part in Saturday's celebrations.
9.  If nothing is happening in your centre, gather your friends and family and create a fun event - perhaps a 'black and white costume picnic'
10.  Share what you are doing to help the penguin so your actions can be promoted

For the love of penguins - and they are really easy to love

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Pests! Amazing

When I see "pest control" my blood boils. I do not know how we can refer to another living thing as a pest. We think we are intelligent. Then we go out and use our version of intelligence to determine if other species are intelligent which will then make them worthy of our respect. We all love dolphins because they are so "human".

Yet e neglect to use this measure when we look at pests. And we should. It will make us care - by default. Because pests are generally animals who have survived in spite of the fact that humans have wrecked the natural environment. Pests have adapted and made a home in our developed spaces. Pretty smart by human standards.
Today I saw some red-winged starlings (many consider them pests) in a parking lot. A couple of them were picking the dead bugs off the front of the various parked cars. How is that for adaptation in the city?
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What was that? What was that?

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Sunday, 29 September 2013


I do not believe it is naïve to expect that everyone is, at essence driven from love. Challenge as I have just discovered is that we are all challenged by so many variables in our relative existence that we experience this love differently. We loose its truth and justify our loss, resulting actions and definition of our personal experiences of love with arguments and excuses. Yet I believe that real Love is pure. All the stories move us from the purity to a state of confusion.

So, I find my naïve self, close to the age of 50, realising that I feel very alone in my own belief systems. For example, my compassion and empathy for people and animals is not different. I feel strongly for both. It seems that many do differentiate. And then I find myself at the edge of judging. The question I have to remind myself is what do I know about right or wrong.

I have tried to surround myself with like-minded people. Not always possible. Not even my family share my choice to be vegetarian. So discomfort in a lonely place. Wondering if perhaps I am insane. And knowing at a soul level that I cannot be different from this.

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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Thursday, 26 September 2013

what a gift!!!

I do go on and on about this topic - and if you read my blog you will forgive me and read it again - THANK GOD FOR ANIMALS.  The question - how does anybody get through the day without them?  If I was only in contact with people day in an day out I would have seriously considered, or even done it - jumping of a builiding.  Not only is it a relief to have animal contact, it is also the necessary lesson.  Just being called to be present.  To simply be in the moment experiencing the animal and relating to it in the moment - what a friggin gift!

There has been a fair amount of research done on the fact that interacting with animals is good for the soul, and the physical. Get with the program people. Cities and landlords - start allowing animals in your buildings. The world will change if you do this. Seriously!

The other awesome event this week was teaching a little stranded seal that washed up on the beach to eat.  He learned, very gently, in just three feeds.  We have nicknamed him Avatar.  And I am in love all over again.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Love working with people who care

I was inspired today when I watched this young lady talk to this Octopus. They touched, tentacle to finger and seemed to enjoy a moment together. Why not?
Just a short while back in our heritage we were afraid of wolves and would never have imagined it to be commonplace to share our homes with them.
We have moved to a different place in relationship with animals.

And yet some of us are still poles apart. Vegetarians and braai masters?!
Some cultures still easily hunt for dolphins while many find the thought barbaric. Some have no problems harvesting animal parts to improve their libido while there are others of us who gasp in despair that they do this.

I pray for the bliss of respect between all species. I believe that is possible. When we allow ourselves to feel. Imagine that world.
And remember that imagination is like ancient prayer. Very powerful.
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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

FW: Tangled In Trash - A Whale Shark Rescue


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Donate and ORIS will match your gift




Spotting a whale shark is a dream for many divers but what happened next will amaze you!

Divemaster Daniel Zapata and the Solmar V crew were ecstatic at sighting a 35 foot whale shark – every divers dream.

Their happiness soon turned to sadness when they saw a huge line wrapped around the pregnant whale shark cutting into her skin threatening the life of the shark and her unborn baby.

Sadly, this entanglement  story is more common than you might think.  Marine debris chokes, tangles and kills  thousands of marine animals  each year. Please  donate now to help make a difference.  

For this distressed whale shark, Daniel Zapata and fellow divers knew they must act quickly.  It was decision time.    

Despite opinions that it would be too difficult and dangerous to free the whale shark, Daniel knew they had to remove the rope.   "It felt so good to cut the whale shark free.  I found a thinner section of the rope and cut through it. I unwrapped the rope from each side of the whale shark and finally she was free," said Daniel.

You can also make a difference - donate now to help remove, record and prevent our trash from needlessly killing marine life. Our trash in the ocean threatens the survival of some of the most iconic marine animals.

This month, you can double the power of your donation! All donations up to $10,000 are matched by ORIS this September so please donate today!

Thanks to Solmar V for sharing their rescue story with us and a big thank you to thousands of Project AWARE volunteers around the world taking action to stop the ocean's silent killer.

For the Ocean,
Alex Earl Executive Director Project AWARE
Alex Earl
Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation

PS We cannot defeat the ocean's silent killer without your vital financial support!  Thank you for giving generously today.






Project AWARE Foundation - 30151 Tomas Suite 200 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 USA.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

cove slaughter

I am saddened and battling to understand people again.  The cove dolphins are cordoned off, awaiting slaughter.  Some being taken to dolphin facilities world wide.  How do people stand there and do this?  How do they sleep at night with those decisions in their head?  Then again how do we all?  Driving to a bird sanctuary yesterday I saw a cattle truck on its way to the abattoir.  What is the difference?  Then I saw a bearded vulture at the sanctuary.  Only 320 of the left in the world and they are planning wind generators in their area – a certain death certificate. 

Here is a prayer – look into the eyes of an animal.  Or a human.  See them for the miracle that they are.  Then make choices that are respectful and loving.  As yourself – What would love do?  I am so grateful that I am surrounded by animals.  And so grateful that there is no effort required for me to care for them. 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Gorgeous baby seal

Actually 22 months old. Rescued by Sea World. And in the process of being rehabilitated. Adorable eyes. He will be released when he reaches around 180kgs. He arrived at 73 kgs a couple of months back. More than 100kgs underweight. He is thriving. His health is on the up. We taught him to feed pretty quickly. Now his job is to get fat. And stay fit. And without trying he steals the hearts of all he looks at with those gorgeous big brown eyes.
Watch the press for details. His release will be covered. He will be tagged and Sea World will purchase a very expensive satellite tracker to monitor his progress.
He is named Selso.
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Gandalph's Dad Dream

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Friday, 26 July 2013

fun is just a choice away

A rule of the Universe - Fun is just a Choice Away.  When we are caught in teh thick of things this is not always easy to remember.  However, when working with animals, I find it so easy.  It is like the draw me out of a cloud of despair.  Yes, there is often still a choice involved.  I may just have had an altercation or similar with someone, however I look at them and then I am free.  And having fun!!!

Crazy love

Its crazy how much I care about animals. When in their company I am in a state of gratitude. Pure true and unconditional. this is Jula. The gifts I have received from him are unmeasurable. I feel so compelled to be with him and the others. And then I am at home today and have four lap dogs (some who seriously misunderstand the term lapdog) and and a cat competing for lap space. I am left smiling at my good fortune at home. Feel really really lucky!
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Friday, 19 July 2013

I am bloody lucky

No secret that I prefer the company of animals. And this is Gambit. I have spent my career with him. A multitude of lessons he has taught me. He is a huge spirit. A generous soul. With the enthusiasm of pure God presence. Such an honour to know you Gambit. Happy 42nd birthday. I am sooooo grateful to share my life with you. And I am not alone. You have blessed so many of us. Here's to many more celebrations with you!!!
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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Friday, 5 July 2013

Facebook newsfeed post by: ducks toy toy

Sue Lawrence shared the following link and had this to say about it:

Ahhhh .... 5000 ducks going for a walk to swim in a different pond ;)
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Monday, 1 July 2013

Soulful moments

Damned lucky to work with animals. There wre moments when they learn something. When you see them work stuff out. And when this is as a result of us trying to communicate something to them, there is no greater feeling.
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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Support Rhinos. With drummers!

Support this cause. Rhino, like penguins need us!
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Tool use

Scientists at one point used to decipher animal intelligence based on many factors. One on whether they were able to use tools. This is Moya using a tool for amusement. I am amused by how we the human race try and put things into boxes. How we feel more fondly for a person or creature with whom we can relate. If we simply consider the amazing adaptations that all creatures have for their existence, this in itself is "awe" inspiring. Or as we nowadays exclaim, awesome
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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Thank you for a wonderful week.  Franta Susta works at the Prague Zoo and is one of the most insightful animal trainers and human beings I have ever met.  I had the honour of spending a week with him in Prague where he arranged for me to do some dog and horse training seminars.  Wonderful times with amazing people who so obviously care deeply about animals.  Blessed humans.
The dog seminars were on two nights for 80 people on one night and 25 the next.  They were good fun.  The horse training seminar was held in a ecology centre in the middle of Prague.  A little farm that is not only an eco centre but also a cultural centre.  It has an eco school in it, and keeps all the traditional Czech animals including the Hurtu horse, which is about to be recognised as a threatened domestic species - the first domestic species with this status.  I had the good fortune to meet a couple of these horses.
I truly enjoyed meeting some amazing people and animals. 
The week before I arrived a half of the Prague Zoo was flooded after the river burst its banks.  The animal care takers evacuated all animals to safety.  They were in the process of cleaning up when I got there.  With the assistance of hundreds of volunteers from the city.  It was wonderful to see the cameraderie, commitment to their zoo, and of course the love they have for the animals.  Made me want to don a pair of gum boots and get my hand dirty with them.  Czech has a great community ethic.  People care about people.  I somehow suspect that the respect the people have for natural life is a part of the reason.  Dogs are allowed in the zoo.  In fact they have watering stations all around.  Families with their 'best friend' are common sights.  All being together. 
Thank you Franta, and all the amazing people I spent time with in this last week.  Thank you thank you thank you!!

penguins from heaven

Good fortune with my friends in Dubai.  We visited Ski Dubai in a shopping centre and got to meet Gentoo and King penguins.  My friend Sean describes Dubai as an expression of the human ego.  This is pretty accurate.  Buildings and facilities for the amusement of human kind.  It is a breath of fresh air to encounter something natural in this city.  And in a Desert city, to meet their 'snow penguins' is amazing.  A real honour. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

surrender = trust

Feeling very lucky.  Have some great friends around the world and have some great adventures as a result of having these friends.  Right now on my way to teach a couple of animal behaviour seminars in Prague.  Thank you Franta.  Feel a little like the cub in this pic.  With the whole world out there to learn from and adventure in.  And it looks like a big daddy lion from down here. 
Let the fun begin.  Because it can be nothing but that.
It is amazing how life flows when I surrender to her mystery.  Play play play.
It is also amazing how moving with the flow enables me to take stock of how much I care about the things in my life.  Leaving my dogs at the gate.  Hugging my family goodbye.  (allowing my sons to bunk school so I could enjoy them before I leave)  Saying have fun to my work mates.  Seeing the animals at work on my way out.  Seeing the splendour of the amazing country we live in...
Surrender = trust.  All is well.  All is as I intend.  And I intend majesty!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Wild cat...not

This feral cat is resident at Seaworld and has been for eight years. For the first 5 she was skittish and wild. Then we finally let her see that we were trustworthy. And she learned the lesson loud and clear. Her name is Mommy
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Beautiful beasty blankie

While working on my computer on chilly winter morning Charlie snuggles on my lap
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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Meditating for World Ocean Day

A wonderful evening last night. Guided meditation in the aquarium where meditators became the Ocean. Empathy.
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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Love is natural

She apparently rescued this dairy bull from the slaughterhouse. Respect. Love. If we put our delusional opinions down it comes naturally. On my planet all humanity is good. Here is an invitation. Come share this planet with me.
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