PETS–Animals Aiding Anxiety

The news is so grim.  It eats away at me.  Eighty-four dead in Nice, France and more critically injured.  I’ve been to Nice.  I’ve been on that street.  What’s going on?  Why?

I am finding the best way for me to reduce anxiety and stress is to turn to nature.

These are our pets.  Ou rescue mixed breed dog has been a calming friend for seven years.  It seems she instinctively thinks she’s a lap dog.  All I have to do is sit cross legged on the floor and she beelines to my lap.  I can barely see over or around her.  We named her Halle because we got her in 2009 when we’d seen Leonard Cohen in concert.  Leonard wrote the song Hallelujah.

Halle 2-1

We take Halle for walks in Fullersburg Woods, at the lake at Harvester Park, and to the Farm Club nearby where she’s nose to nose with the goats, pigs, and horses.  She likes it and I think we like it even more.  It’s nature.

Simon is our African Grey who appears shy, but who will talk up a storm when in the mood.  His first words were “Hakuna Matata”.  He loves the Lion King soundtrack.  Kiwi, his sidekick, can only whistle and repeat his name.  Simon does a whole sing song rendition of “Simon & Kiwi sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

November 74 Kiwi

I miss my Guinea Pig, Oreo, who died recently (I was a foster grandmother) and Ruby, our white rabbit we got at the Iowa State Fair who died several years ago.  Both had very good lives in our home and reminded me to eat more lettuce and kale.

I grew up on a livestock farm specializing in purebred, prize winning hogs.  My father’s winning vision assured my childhood summers of wonderful adventures at many midwestern fairs.

We milked cows, raised chickens, and sometimes had sheep.    Farms mean hard work but the resulting ties with nature endure for a lifetime.

However, after I got married and I experienced having pets, my attitudes about animals have deepened.  I feel our animals sense our moods, both happy and sad.

Thank you, Halle, for sitting on my lap again today.

God Is Nature

And then today….

I turn to nature to contemplate the circle of life, the meaning of life…and just living!

Death and serious illness has been circling around me and I am affected by each one!  Although I don’t participate often in organized religion, I was raised by two loving parents and the Methodist Church and I carry those values with me every day of my life.

I have always been mindful of the most intricate details of nature, and I celebrate   its wonder.  Lately the birds are capturing my attention the most.  The horned owl family that lives in our neighborhood year round, and visit our back yard regularly, have been particularly active and vocal.  I love them!

And then yesterday… 

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neighbor Jim called to tell me about a mystery bird in the nearby park.  I got a quick photo of it before it flew away, but we think it is an Osprey.  How exciting! The best things in life are free!

Walks in the woods and some Elvis Gospel are also sure to inspire and help lift me over tough times!