Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My New Puppy!

Ok, well, I did what it said to do to upload the picture. I'm not too convinced that you can see it.

But anyway, I'm getting a new puppy! Her name is Fiona and she's a Colorado Mountain Dog. If you want to know what they are and what their history is, go to www.coloradomountaindogs.com

I haven't picked her up yet but I can hardly wait! This pic is her at barely 8 weeks. They're quite large dogs but also very docile and polite. They're 3/4 Great Pyrenese and 1/4 Anatolian Shepherd. Since I'm hoping to relocate to Colorado full time, I will be needing a dog like her, because the area I'm going has a problem with mountain lions, and these dogs are a great deterrent. Once I've raised Fiona and moved to Colorado, then I'll get a second dog as a companion for Fiona and because two large dogs have a better chance at safety if confronted w/ a mountain lion. The point is, though, to scare the lions off of your property in the first place. When Wendy moved to Colorado, a mountain lion ate all her goats and was still crouched in her barn one morning when she went out to feed her horses. She was hugging her stallion when the lion leaped over them and ran over to hide in the gulch next to their house. And the lion would NOT leave. Very scary. So she looked into dogs and discovered this breed. These dogs are dream dogs as family dogs and are soo good with other animals!

That's a huge reason I chose this breed! I need a dog that's not going to eat my hamsters, or if I were to get another research permit and be able to do another immersion study with another owl, the dog would not go after the owl. These puppies were raised with chicks, chickens, kittens, and cats and all they do is gently lick them! THAT's my kind of dog!

I hope the photo came through!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Your letters and stories

I feel so touched by your posts and letters. It's amazing to me how many of you are concerned about my health, for example (which is up and down, but is certainly better than it was in the early years), and how many of you really "get it" about the deep relationship we can have with an animal! THANK YOU for sharing so much with me!

I think that if we are looking and listening, it's possible that we can be reached by an animal on a deep level. We're all connected, and that includes animals. After all, we're all made of the same "stuff" and have minds, hearts, souls, and bodies. I'm not surprised when I hear about a particular animal appearing to you over and over again to comfort you, especially after losing a loved one! There's so much we don't know! Science is one way that we explore and try to understand how things work, but it's just scratching the surface. We don't really know how it all works!

I think that before we had language we must have used a form of telepathy to communicate, and science is showing that animals still do. If that's true, then there is possibly a way to reach out to animals with our hearts and minds after all.

If you haven't already, read Grayson, by Lynne Cox. She's a champion cold water swimmer who was doing her normal workout in the Pacific ocean when she was approached by a lost baby gray whale looking for his mother. She stayed with him the entire time while looking for his mom! She and the baby tried every possible way to find the mother and to call the mother to no avail. After hours of this, Lynne dove down and then thought with all her might, sending a thought message to the mother, "Your baby is HERE! Come HERE! Your baby is HERE!" and sure enough, here came the mother. She had about a hundred or more witnesses to this because the Long Beach pier had filled up with people as the coast guard and other boating people had pulled up to her out in the water asking why she wasn't coming in to shore and she told them what was going on.

When the mother came back, she nudged Lynne over and over again and the baby grunted a sort of thank you to her. What an AMAZING story!

She contacted me after reading about how I used a similar method to communicate with Wesley. The book, Grayson, is just magical. It reads like a fairy tale, only we know it's true. It's the kind of story that would be turned into a myth if there hadn't been so many eyewitnesses!

PS: I still need questions from you and ideas about what you'd want to hear about in the next book about Wesley - what do you want to know about him that you don't already know, if anything?

Bitten by a Black Widow Spider

Remember in the book how I was talking about biologists being sort of "proud" of their encounters w/ animals that resulted in scars/bites? Well I wasn't thinking about venomous animals. No, those are not to be joked about and I never thought about being bit by a venomous animal.

My Dad was bitten by a rattlesnake when he was about 16, but he had smuggled it into his room and was keeping it as a pet, unbeknownst to his parents! He had tamed it pretty well and, as 16 year old kids will do, he got a little careless and it bit him. Did he run to his parents and tell them? Noooooo! That would be too easy. His parents were very kind and permissive so it's not like he would have gotten in big trouble but he just shrugged and went to bed that night. The next morning his arm was swollen to twice or three times its size and some of the tissue was dying. He almost had to have the arm amputated, but they used a new treatment and were able to save it. Sheesh!

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I guess. I wasn't keeping a black widow as a pet, but the spider was living in the piano, right next to my bed (I didn't know it though). I woke up one morning about 3 weeks ago and could barely get out of bed, I was sooo dizzy. I had to hold on to the walls to walk. Did I go running to the doctor? No. I mentioned it to Cait on the phone but when you've had an illness w/ lots of strange symptoms you tend to say to yourself, "Well, this is a new symptom but it's probably more of the same stuff I deal with anyway." and it never occurs to you that this could be a NEW problem!

So for 2 or 3 days I was pretty much bedridden from being too dizzy to get up. Then when I was able to get up, I felt like I'd been in the house too much so I went over to my Mom's house and we went to dinner. Only I still felt horrible and my eyes were running so much that it looked like I was crying my eyes out - only I wasn't. I told my mom I had a "cold". I was too tired to go home so I slept on her couch. Next morning I got up to go home and fell right back to sleep on her couch and didn't wake up until she got home from work that evening! I still felt bone tired.

Oh. And I had this huge itchy burning round rash thing on my chest right below my throat, and in the center the skin kept dissolving and sloughing off! Over and over again! It was like a flesh eating bacteria or something, so I kept putting iodine on it and such.

Geez you'd think I'd get a clue!

Finally, I went back home and was in bed and felt something crawling on me. I smacked it and turned on the light and there was the black widow!

Suddenly it all fell into place. DUH! I had been bitten by a black widow spider! I called my doctor and he said that it sounded like I'd been through the worst of it and there wasn't much else to do now but just ride it out. So that's why I haven't been online in AGES!

I'm starting to feel like myself again.

I hadn't realized that black widows were quite THAT venomous, but I've since learned that people have died from black widow spider bites. Gosh, we have them everywhere in California. My garage is full of them!

If there's a next time (God forbid), I'll pay more attention and go to the doctor. ;-)

On another subject, Wendy has THREE litters of her champion Ragdoll cats. They are so cuddly and sweet and pliant - hence the name ragdoll. Some of them play fetch like a dog! They are the most awesome cats!

I was visiting Wendy last September and was sleeping on a mattress on the floor. She had put all the many cats in their room but I asked for at least one to stay out with me and sleep w/ me so she left Crem-Broullette (spelling?) out w/ me. Well, I had Wesley flashbacks all night as the kitty kept catching mice and putting them gently into my hand as I slept! I kept waking up to her little gifts, which I put in the trash. Just like Wesley! So considerate! ;-)

copyright Wesley the Owl, Inc. 2009