Smarter than the Average Human

IMG_3565For those of you out there that think we animals are dumb, I have decided that it is time to let the proverbial cat out of the bag; our intelligence is actually superior to humans. Still skeptical? Well, let me tell you about some friends that I keep up with on Facebook and see if that changes your mind.

Clive, my friend in England was only a 9 month old kitten when he left his home after he got fed up with the food his humans were feeding him. Over 14 months passed when workers at a pet food factory found him asleep. He had been living there safe and sound and was healthy and a little “porky”. They located his human when a veterinarian scanned the micro-chip in his neck. Clive is now back to his bland food diet until he can come up with another escape plan.

Another cat friend of mine living in Wisconsin, got tired of the cold winter weather and devised a plan of escape. On New Year’s Eve after being let outside, she walked 1,484 miles to Naples, Florida without the help of GPS. After missing for 9 months, some human found her in North Naples and took her to the shelter where they identified her. My friend told me she sure was mad when they sent her back to Wisconsin. She can’t wait to get back to Florida where she had been warm, living on the beach and eating all the fresh fish she wanted.

Finally, I would like to tell you about my genius friend Chaser. He is a border collie and knows over 1,000 words including nouns and is still learning more. I don’t know why you humans are amazed by that, but you are. We have developed a humanlike social learning ability after being domesticated for thousands of years. How do you think I write this blog?

My advice is to be aware of what you do and say around animals, we are watching and just may take over one day when you least suspect it. Remember “The Planet of the Apes”?

 

groverpic“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

— Roger Caras

Spring Renewal

021811daffodilsFor those of you that live in warmer parts of the United States, aren’t you lucky? For the rest of us that trudge through the winter, we are thrilled that the days are getting longer and the temperature is starting to rise. Just this week I saw some of the bulbs that Doc planted last fall peeping through the brown earth.

As I watch the geese down by the pond nesting and the trees starting to bud, I think about how this is a time of growth and renewal. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but spring reminds us to blossom again.

Sometimes Doc has patient’s come into her office and they tell her that they feel lost and don’t know who they are any more. It’s so painful, they think about giving up and going back to destructive behaviors to numb their feelings. I think somewhere along the line, they stopped growing into the person that they were suppose to be. Abuse, trauma, illness and loss are only a few things that can happen in life that lead us to curl up and hide from the world. The beautiful thing about recovery from illness or addiction is that we can start to grow in to who were meant to be. Yes, it can be painful to dig deep and work through the pain, but finding inner peace is always worth the journey.

 

 

groverpic“The dog has got more fun out of man than man has got out of the dog, for man is the more laughable of the two animals.”

— James Thurber

Catching Me When I Fall

toptumblesDoc says you’re lucky if there is a least one person in your life that pulls you up and points you in the right direction when you fall. She has done that for me by caring for me when I am sick, or when I need to be guided in a different direction. I was curious about who has helped Doc along the way, so I asked her and she told me the following story.

“I have been fortunate to have many people from the beginning of my life to the present that have shown up when I needed them. Some were there for long periods of time, guiding me on a daily basis like my family and sometimes people showed up for short periods of time like teachers, neighbors, and perfect strangers that lent a hand at some significant moment in my life. You may not know it at the time, but all of these people are important in your life, she said. Hopefully you will experience mostly joy in your life and many good times to share with others, but there will also be dark days when you feel vulnerable and lost. The beauty of life’s journey is that someone will be there to help you through your suffering if you open the door for them to enter.” I paused for a moment and then asked her ” How do I know who is there to help and who is there to hurt me?” “Ah, that’s easy, she said, people’s actions always reveal who they really are over time.”

I took some time to think all of that over and was amazed that in the short time I have been alive how many people have helped me along the way. From my early dog trainers that helped me to be a therapy dog, to all of the people who intervened when I was little and kept me out of danger. Then of course, the one constant in my life is always Doc.

“I like to think I have been there for you too, I said to Doc.” “Oh you have Grover, more than you will ever know.”

 

groverpic” I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; They give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.”

— Gilda Radner

“Gator Got Your Granny, Chomp, Chomp”

DSCN0051Doc left me again. She traveled down to the southern most tip of Florida in search of the sun, rest and revitalization. While visiting, she found out that alligators are everywhere and sometimes in the places you least expect.

After spending a morning riding on an air boat through the swamps, she was thrilled to find gators basking in the sun, keeping their beady eyes alert to a possible meal. Doc told me for as big as they are, they can move fast and strike prey quickly. She developed a healthy respect for the beasts, so she was surprised by two incidents that occurred while she was visiting that left her wondering if people think before they make a decision.

The first incident happened as a man and his accomplice were seen breaking into cars. They tried to escape justice. But with the law closing in, one of the men ran into a lake that had a large sign stating “Warning! Living Gators”. Eyewitnesses tried to warn him as they saw a gator approaching, but too late. The gator got to him before the police.

The second incident happened at a Wendy’s drive through in Jupiter, Florida. A 24-year-old man came up with the bright and well thought out plan to toss a 3 1/2  foot alligator through the drive through window as an employee handed him his drink. No one was hurt, but the gator tosser was charged with aggravated assault, taking an alligator and theft. I hope the gator at least got a Frosty and  some fries for all his trouble. He certainly had a good story to tell his friends when he was returned to the swamp.

After Doc told me those two stories, I was glad she left me in the mid-west. The only wildlife I had to deal with while she was gone were some bunnies, the loud clucking of the chicken’s next door and a Beagle that wouldn’t stop barking and interrupting my afternoon naps.

 

groverpic“Properly trained, a man can be a dog’s best friend.”

— Corey Ford

Senior Slap

9d84dbda92f377039250d5dffe3d8483Hearing Doc gasp in such a loud voice, I ran from the other room to see what was the matter. “Look at this Grover,” she said as she pointed to the headline in the locale paper. I couldn’t believe it when I read; Game of pool results in dustup at senior center. 

According to the police report a 61 year old slapped an 84 years old man for “running his mouth” during a game of pool. The 61 year old man told police it was only a slap, but he has been banned for life from the senior center. Good grief! I bet that man acted the same way when he was a kid and has gotten away with that his whole life. If I ever tried that kind of behavior, Doc would put me in time out.

Learning to get along in the pack is so important in the canine community because it’s how we survive, so when I hear that even the senior citizens are duking it out, I get concerned. I asked Doc why humans act that way. She said there are many reason’s including anger, fear, frustration and immaturity, just to name a few. Ugh!

I suppose if those guys don’t learn to get along, there’s always a reality show waiting for them on the cable network Bravo. I can see it now, instead of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” it can be “The Fighting Seniors of West Palm Beach.”

 

 

 

groverpic“(most) Dogs have a better life than you. If you think about it you’re waiting on them hand and foot.”

— Anonymous