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ANIMALS GIVE THANKS DURING TROUBLED TIMES

Religiously, I spend each dawn in a meditation walk (more like a geriatric stroll) with my dogs on Sulphur Mountain. It is in those woods that I pray for those I care for (including myself) and state to the rising sun what exactly I am thankful for. Some mornings, I am not very thankful. You may even call me bitter. I write my woes with a felt tip pen on pieces of shale and then hurl them off the mountain in the direction of the islands. It is my way of surrendering my problems to the great unknown. I am fascinated with the way animals and many humans can be grateful and strong in the face of great adversity. Here I will ask animals, “How do you stay grateful when there is suffering around you?”
tess.arnold.jpgTess (cat who saw her person suffer from cancer): “I tried to replace all my senses with joy. So when I smelled the cancer on my mom I tried to look forward to the smell of the breeze when I rolled on the ground outside. When I would hear my mom cry, I would think of the music that her friend gave her to play. If you are not grateful for anything the sickness will win.”
Dusty.jpgDusty (Golden who lost his house in the Santa Barbara Tea Fire): “When you loose everything that is important to you all you can think about is the touch of your loved ones. Then none of that loss truly matters. You can hold each other and feel like you are home.”
sancho%20snow.jpgSancho (Donkey who saw his friend get shot): “When you see humans do terrible things it is hard to trust. But if you allow kindness to enter your life it melts away the hardness that others created. At first I had to force myself to see kindness. Now I see it in my family’s eyes.”
rose%20%26%20val.jpgRose (Horse. Humans abused badly): “The only way, I can survive is to forget the past. Everyday, I try to have one thing I want to accomplish. At first it was to walk across my pen. Now it is to nicker to my friends.”
Xanman%20in%20jeep.jpgXander (Dog battling cancer): “I think it is important to have people who are smart around you. It is important to ask for advice and say thank you. If you are grateful for others advice, they will help you work out your problems.”
sad%20mr%20s.jpgMr. Squirrelly (Squirrel who’s mate got killed by a car): “It is so hard to be grateful when you miss your best friend and want to die yourself. It helps me to believe in heaven. Then I know I will see her again and perhaps there is a reason for her dying. When someone is depressed you should feed them. Other wise they will not eat. Sometimes I have to force myself to play. Then I have joy and can sleep.”
maia%20car.jpgMaia (My wolf-dog, was abused & cancer survivor): “Believe that everyone is connected and although you suffer someone may learn from your suffering and become a better individual. If you learn to suffer with grace you will have better karma.”

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