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Showing posts from January, 2017

South American Penguin update

Dear PenguinPromisesThe chicks have been growing quickly and they are now almost as big as Promises. They now leave the nest each day to explore the area around the nest in preparation for leaving the colony. I attach a photo of the chicks so that you can see just how big they have grown in such a short time..Childhood is very short for a penguin. The chicks leave the nest to begin life on their own after just two months from hatching. During those two short months they increase their weight 30 times, from about 100 grams at birth to about 3000 grams when they leave. They change from tiny balls of fluff into full-sized penguins in just 8 weeks, when food is in good supply, which it is here.At the moment whenever the weather is nice, the chicks leave the nest to do their flipper exercises. They flap their flippers up and down as fast as they can as though they expect to fly, but these exercises play a very important role in building good strong flipper muscles which the chicks will nee…

conveniently choice-free

Don’t waste a moment.  They deserve true relating.  Present choice-based communication where we honour them by allowing them to be individuals who are talking to us.  Listen and respond with grace, not ‘systems’.My son was gifted with a record player.  What excitement.  He plugged it into our surround sound system and hauled out my record collection – unplayed for the last 25 odd years.  Not sure who was more excited as he took the LP out of its sleeve – none other than Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway to Heaven’, slipped it on, and the static crackle launched me back into nostalgic joy.  Joy aside, it was such a great lesson.  My son was clueless on how records worked.  He was shocked that you only got to listen to four or five songs and then you had to manually turn over the record to hear the other songs.  I remembered evening with friends where we would gather around the record player and choose the songs we wanted to listen to.  We would argue and motivate what went next.  And, yes, manual…

Inspired by innocence

Its been said before. Enthusiasm is from Greek origin and means the God within. Enthusiasm is often socialised out of us. Put to sleep with dogma and fear. As we get older the rigidity of our opinions can harden and defend any thought or feeling that is not acceptable in our reference pack. Danger zone. That's when patterns and beliefs take away our objective enjoyment of the animals and people in our lives. Its when we stop appreciating the nature of what is. It is judgement time: When the neighbour is not fit to look after animals. When a spouse does not share our virtuous view. When the animal knows what it should be doing and is instead being naughty. When the world becomes filled with our resistance.  An angry dead end place.
Funny story. We think we inspire kids to careπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜€πŸ˜‚. Truth. They remind us that caring is empathetic. That it is without a story. That it is in the moment. Love this blessed gift that was made for me by my 9 year old friend Jemma Schnell. Horse enthusiast…

Happy Birthday Sausage

This photograph.  Taken on the 1st of January 2000.  At 6am in the morning.  New Year’s eve time with dolphins is something that animal care staff do.  No better way to see in the New Year.  And how beautiful is this angel Kelpie.  33 years old today.  Such a gentleman.  When I started working at with him, Kelpie was 6 years old.  And already a charmer of note.  If you ask him to retrieve a toy, even today, he will be extra obliging – helping you get it out of the water.  He is a confidence builder.  In people and in animals.  He has taught so many animal trainers that they are good enough.  He is the stable soul that we will introduce new young animals to, and he takes them patiently under his flipper, and shows them the ropes.  Special memories.  Like when he was practising behaviours he was trained with Khwezi – the newest addition to the bachelor group – Khwezi did not know the behaviours yet, but Kelpie was teaching him them.  When he mimiced the alarm, so that he could get the t…

Head in the Sand

Our world has gone made.  Legislating about everything rather than looking at what needs doing.  There is no right or wrong, just opinion.  This is the case when we only do ‘right or wrong’ based on the outcome we will receive from others.  So I don’t cross the road or I will get a smack from my mum.  Or I do my homework so I can get my pocket money.  It starts when we are kids.  We are trained not to think for ourselves.  Not to consider the best thing to do.  We are trained about what is right or wrong.  We stop seeing things for the greater good.  Because we are not facilitated to consider that.  We stay small.  We are trained to be selfish.Then we grow up, and don’t speed our cars to avoid the camera trap.  Or we save up our money to buy the designer jeans so our friends will think we are cool.  And we drive past the beggar with judgement justifying our ignoring his plea.  Or we celebrate the supermodel, calling her a good role model for our kids.Then we get fed information that k…

Confidence kicks

Next lessonAnd this one was a paperwork lesson(-:Not theory thankfully.My blessed art classes with mad art teacher who keeps us grounded, guided and well-nourished with good red wine.  On the latest canvass I chose to paint a picture of my son when he was a little younger with another of our family members, beautiful horse Gandalph.  So, all proceeded well to start with.  Until I realised that I was having a fine time painting Gandalph, but not such a fine time painting Zac.  Then I realised why.  Gandalph does not judge me.  And I am worried about Zac's opinion of me.

Freedom in the revelation.  Chatted to Zac about it.  Had a laugh, and then moved on to paint this angel as well as I could.  No more required.Someone told me that judgement – of ourselves, or others, is a justification for a stuck mind.  Who wants a stuck mind.  Freedom in expression is only possible when we forgive ourselves our inadequacies.  In relation with animals it is easier.So here it is again.  Gratitude fo…

A Lesson in Surrender

I always found the concept of surrender a cop out.  Something one would do if one was too weak to take on a situation.So, when I found myself in a situation where I am unable to follow my passion in the most effective manner, I experienced great discomfort.  Speaking up was immediately taken as judgement.  Even though it was never intended as that.  The presumed judgement resulted in defence.  And the drama began, and unfolded.   Chasms and vindication ruled.  Frustration and finger pointing.What has this to do with animals?For those of us that work with animals, they are like kids.  They sense how we feel.  Our moods affect them.  So, when this type of angst environment is created, the disturbance affects the creatures that we love.The lesson – stop the angst.  It is not worth upsetting the animals.  Nothing is.  So, surrender.  Not sure where this will go.  But I am here right now.  And then the best part of the lesson.  Summer evenings at the stables.  I have put the three boys awa…

Great blog about interesting dog facts

Love Mr Lewis blogs. Here is a really interesting one:

From: Dog Temperament [] On Behalf Of Dog Temperament

Hi ,

Every day, we sit and watch our dogs do seemingly amazing things. But, do we really understand everything that makes our furry friends so special? In today's message I want to touch on 10 things that I find simply fascinating about dogs.

They truly are amazing creatures, with more intelligence and abilities that we give them credit for.
Let's take a closer look at just how incredibly they truly

1. Canine Ears - Dogs can register over 35,000 vibrations a second. To give you an idea of how many that is, the human ear can only register 20,000 vibrations a second. Dogs have a hearing capacity 75% greater than our own.

2. Longevity - Most people assume dogs can only live for 10+ years, but the world's oldest dogs managed to live for over 20 years. In fact, the oldest dog to ever live survived for 29 …

2017 - For good!

Isn’t it interesting when people say “She has left for good”, or “he has given up eating meat for good”. Reminds me of a guru discussion where I was told that when I am having difficulty making a decision I should think of what is good for as many as possible.  Make the decision based on the ‘good of all’, including future generations.Imagine if we could always be this detached when making decisions. Here is  a goal – evaluate any interaction you have with an animal with the above concept in mind.  As yourself these questions – is that for the maximum good?  Good for the animal?  And for future good welfare of that animal?  For the good of their understanding based on the species or personality they are.For example – When I yell at the puppy for being exuberant, am I doing what is good for the puppy, and the world – or just expressing my irritation?When I provide feedback to a fellow animal trainer on a possible mistake they have made – am I being “right”, or helpful?When the horse jo…