The Gift Of Animals

For anyone who is a regular reader of my blog, it will come as no surprise when I say that I am an animal lover. My Grandma Beau was animal lover and perhaps that is who I got it from. I remember her telling me many times, that I should never trust anyone who doesn’t like animals or is cruel to them. I have applied this belief to my life and to my recollection I have always found it to be an accurate gauge of character. But beyond loving animals, I have a tremendous respect for them and have always believed they possess a vast amount of intelligence which we have not begun to tap into. I believe this is due in large to the fact that we just do not spend enough time with them and I suspect if we did, we would be amazed.

Because I have worked with animals so much of my life, I have spent an above average amount of time with them, horses in particular and could recount one example after another that would speak to my belief. Truth be told with only a few exceptions all of the magazine articles I have written revolve in one way or another around the emotions and intelligence of horses. Now, I do not mean to imply that animals think as humans nor am I saying that they feel emotions like we do, but I do believe that both are an inherent part of their minds. Ask any pet owner about their pet and they will inevitably begin to talk about them as beings capable of both thought and emotions. This is most evident at the skill with which they are capable of manipulating their owners to do a variety of “tricks”.

The other morning I was listening to the news and a story was aired about German Shepherds who with only six months of training were able to detect by smell breast cancer cells placed on bandages 28 out of 31 times. They went on to report that the percentage of detection was 90% and were as good or better than their high-tech mechanical counterparts. The report went on to further state this method of detection would prove especially helpful in countries in which medical technology was obsolete or non-existent. Next they will begin work training dogs to detect other types of cancer by smelling skin, urine, blood and even the air exhaled from humans. Diabetic and epileptic service dogs are trained with similar methods using smell as well to detect changes in the body chemistry of their owners signaling a need for intervention to avert a medical emergency. I understand in part this is due to dog’s having a heightened sense of smell that far surpasses that of a human; however in order for it to be put to use there has to be intelligence present. Think of the millions and billions of dollars spent developing machines to do what a canine and his nose can do and without any possible side effects.

I don’t know if you do or do not agree with the thoughts I have just shared with you, but I do think at the end of the day most of us will agree animals are good for our souls. There have been countless studies done regarding the positive health benefits animal companionship affords those of us that love them. I can say one thing with certainty however, God in His wisdom knew how to make this country girl smile when He put animals to dwell here among us.

Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.