Life Lessons from Animals

If only we could live as lightly as animals. Taking what we need and nothing more. They live in sync with nature, can teach us so much and, as pets, bring a world of love and laughter to our lives. Their playful innocence and unconditional love can ground us in todays crazy, uncertain times.

This Wednesday is my daughter’s birthday. My gorgeous independent Tash turns 22 and, more than anything, I wish we could be with her in person. But, I know she won’t be alone.

She’s living with her boyfriend, a great guy, in a beautiful part of the High Country and she’s surrounded by lots of creatures, both great and small.

It seems only natural that she’s living where she is. From when she was little my kind hearted daughter adored all animals, many of which found their way into our home.

We had rabbits, so many cute and crazy rabbits … Roger, Sherrie, Charlie, Ruby. Over the years they all eventually succumbed to some form of bunny demise and when the last one passed away we downsized to guinea pigs.

For many years our lively, chatty piggies were a source of much laughter and a heap of fun, both for the kids (and us).img_4967

Forget social distancing. Pigs have no idea! I remember when we went on our trip to the Flinders Ranges, we left our two guinea pig girls with a minder (who also had piggies).

Weeks after we got back, Tash worriedly thought our fat bellied pig had a tumour. Turned out that while we were away our piggy had enjoyed her own fun filled vacation with Columbus.


This was the result.

We’ve had pet chooks, my “feathered girls” who scavenged and kept me company in the garden, alongside Chirp our friendly, flamboyant rooster. When all the hens died Tash and her dad went out and bought me “three new little girls” for a birthday present. They turned out to be all boys!

And then there were our dogs. Our beloved Blue, our Heeler and companion for 15 years and then, for a much shorter period of time, our disaster dog Cozzie. They both taught me lessons. One of love and one of knowing when it’s okay to let go.

I never thought I could love another dog quite like Blue, who turned our world upside down when he died.

Until Harry. My walking companion, who keeps me sane these days. Sweet, scruffy, silly Harry, who’s slightly neurotic, but who wouldn’t harm a fly. We adopted him over 13 years ago and he’s brought an immense amount of joy into our lives.

Alongside all our pets, he’s proven that, no matter how different we are and how we look, we can all get along harmoniously in this world.

Of course life’s not perfect. There are days, like one last week, when he does something to really piss me off, literally, and I could just send him right back to that shelter!

But he’s getting old, his bladder’s obviously weaker and I know he didn’t deliberately set out to have me washing for half a day! Patience, understanding and compassion is needed, for all of us, as we get older. That’s a lesson in itself.

Who could stay mad at this fur face for long?

And then there’s Lamby. Long time readers of my blog will remember the adorable orphaned lamb that Tash bought home a few years ago. We became surrogate parents as Lamby wormed her way into our home and devoured my garden. She was the inspiration for many blog posts.

Little Lamby, who thought she was a dog, became a big sheep with attitude and a zest for life that never diminished. She taught us all about being individual.

Now Tash is surrounded by three horses that keep her active and bring her loads of riding joy. Three dogs, including alpha boss, Tilly, who’s super smart and mischievous, a kingdom of gold fish in their tank and the newest rescues, Wazza and Puss Puss.

Sometimes Tash video calls me using FaceTime and we get to see them in action. Wazza likes crawling into the engine of her car and sunning on the dashboard. By the time we meet these kittens, if they survive their suicidal antics, they’ll be fully grown farm cats.

Wazza has no fear. Like most cats she’s her own boss, calm, confident and independent. Even though she’s still young, she knows there’s an amazing world out there to explore.

They know how to chill too. They live in a state of simplicity and understand the importance of rest and slowing down. We can learn a lot from them.

When I saw Frank’s prompt on ‘animals’ this week I couldn’t help but smile. It’s been so long since I’ve participated in a WP photo prompt challenge and this one was perfect timing. It gave me a chance to reminisce and wish my daughter, the biggest animal lover I know, a happy birthday.

Keep well everyone. Take a lead from an animal today and let their unconditional love, courage and unbridled faith in the now shine a bright light upon our ever changing world.

In love and light

Those who teach the most about humanity aren’t always human. Donald L Hicks (Photo by Tash)

119 thoughts on “Life Lessons from Animals

  1. a lovely meander down pet lane! Please wish her Happy Birthday from all of us Miriam ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyone who loves animals is alright by me … I used to devour Gerald Durrell’s books as a kid and eventually visited his sanctuary for endangered species on Jersey.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Kate. Iโ€™m not familiar with Gerald Durrell but I just googled him. Wonderful that you got to visit his sanctuary
      A meander down per lane! Yes, thatโ€™s a great way of putting it. Glad you joined us. ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŽ

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Miriam…you melted my heart with your post on animals…and your dear daughter…this morning! ๐Ÿ’›
    Wishing Natasha a very happy Birthday for Wednesday….โœจ…I can still remember my first visit to your home, to meet your beautiful baby girl soon after she was born! Sending love and hugs to you both. Lily ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lily, how very special to get your message this morning. Thanks so much my dear friend. Canโ€™t believe how the years have flown by. So many memories hey. I canโ€™t wait to catch up with you in person one day. In the meantime, sending big hugs and love xx ๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒธ

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday to your lovely daughter Tash..

    I was on the second paragraph reading and i loudly said “where is lamby?”…and then of course there he was just as you were about to end this piece. I always remember Lamby as he is mostly the inspiration for your funny garden/outdoor post.

    Keep safe Mirriam..

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Where would we be without animals. I hate to think, they give us and teach us so much. Missing birthdays has been one of the hardest things with our separations, apart from our sonโ€™s birthday weโ€™ve also had to postpone friends having a 50th and a 60th, but theyโ€™re both not claiming to have reached these milestones until the parties happen. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Oh, thank you Miriam for sharing such an uplifting post with so many beautiful photos of your pets.
    I really enjoyed reading your post and agree with you that animals certainlycan teach us humans so many things about attitudes to life.
    Please extend by birthday wishes To Task & hope all your family keep well during this period.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Oh, I loved this. And do wish her a very happy birthday. I’m glad that she’s surrounded by her loved ones. We have a lot to learn from animals indeed. And of course, I remember Lamby! She was the inspiration for a lot of your blog posts. Harry can charm anyone with that cute face of his! It was nice to meet all of Tash’s gang too.

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        1. Iโ€™m well thanks. Weโ€™re in stage three restrictions which means aside from the four reasons to go out (food/medical/essential work/exercise) weโ€™re pretty much housebound. But Iโ€™m making the most of my daily walk in nature and enjoying my garden and home. Overall the situation in Australia is fairly stable so Iโ€™m staying optimistic that restrictions will be lifted, or at least eased, in a few months. How about you? How are things where you are Shweta?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. We don’t have the option of going out for exercise. But we can make grocery runs, medical emergency runs and essential work. I’m glad to know that you’re enjoying your time with nature and your garden. India has been under lockdown for 34 days. I’ve stepped out only for emergencies. But all’s good over here. We have to maintain social distancing and we have to wear a mask compulsorily, but it’s for our own good. So I comply with all the regulations if at all I’m stepping out. Certain hotspots are still a major cause for worry but they are far away from where I live. In Bangalore, the curve is gradually flattening and maybe, we’ll be asked to report for work the next week. Some parts of the country are a really cause for concern with cases doubling at an alarming rate. I hope that we’re able to find a vaccine for this horrible disease soon enough.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. I hope so too. Itโ€™s hard to watch the news and see the numbers increasing in various parts of the world. Yes, we have to maintain social distancing here too and, though many people are wearing masks when out grocery shopping, itโ€™s not compulsory. Glad to know that youโ€™re not in one of the hotspots. Take care and stay safe.


  7. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!! It sounds as if she is in an almost perfect place to quarantine, and I’m glad that you are able to at least see her on Facetime. I agree, animals do show us a fine example with their adaptable and loving attitudes. Thanks for the photos of some of the many who have shared your home. There are times when I have hope, and then there are times when my spirits are low, and posts like these help. (That and not resolving not to read any more articles quoting pandemic experts saying we need to have these restrictions in place for at least a year for them to work. That is a thought that is beyond depressing!) Take care, Marion!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ann, yes I think itโ€™s a good idea to stay away from the fear mongering news. Like you my moods are a bit up and down, but thatโ€™s usually only after Iโ€™ve had a fill of negative catch ups and I spiral down. Mostly I stay away from it and Iโ€™m better for it. Best we give our energy to the good stuff and our dogs hey! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, Miriam – I completely agree. Animals have so much to teach us — if we only take the time to observe and to listen.
    Three weeks ago, we took in a foster dog. Our learning curve has been straight up!
    Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes, it would have been! I just left a comment on your blog Terri and then WP booted me off so not sure what happened. I do agree though, pets bring a world of joy to our lives. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Animals are so beautiful and just love. We usually see a family of deer when we walk in the woods at my father in lawโ€™s farm. Our 15 year old dog Bailey died about six years ago but we have had a cat, Buddy, ever since. Happy birthday to your daughter!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Deb. Yeah, I canโ€™t wait to see her and all my family. As youโ€™d well understand, being apart from family is one of the hardest parts of this iso. Hope youโ€™re well. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great stories and beautiful photos! Growing up we had cats and dogs, but I had a total of three hamsters. As each died they were burred outside my bedroom window. In the end there were three little “tombstones” of my beloved pets outside my window :)๐Ÿน

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      1. In my nightstand drawer I have the ashes of the three cats I’ve lost as an adult! When I had to put the first one to sleep my boss suggested cremation. I’m glad I did, somehow I like having them, but it’s kind of weird too. Yes, very worth it!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my goodness. I am in love with your orphaned lamb! Cuteness overload. And we have been through the Guinea pig breeding surprise too, years back. On a more serious note, I totally agree with you on the animals. They give so much and ask for so little in return. They truly are a treasure. Happy birthday to you daughter! A beautiful tribute.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Amanda. It was a joy putting this one together and reminiscing about all the pets weโ€™ve had over the past few years. Yes, Lamby was a real sweetheart. I wrote so many posts about her and it was so sad when she suddenly died. Guess thatโ€™s the hardest part about pets but yes, they teach us so much. Hope youโ€™re doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed. when pets pass they seem to take a piece of our heart with them. But then the dreadful part of sorrow heals and we feel ready to open our heart again to a new soul. And each one is different. Lamby sounds so sweet. Not many people can say that they had such a relationship with a lamb.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So true. She lived with us for nine months before going to a larger property (with my daughter). Iโ€™m sure in that time, when she was living with Harry, she came to believe she was a dog. We had so many funny moments with her!


  12. I think animals can make us better people. They force us to relax and laugh, to act with care and kindness, to find joy in simplicity, and they show us what unconditional love looks like. I envy your daughter, Miriam. What a great place to live. I can imagine you miss her. Be well. โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Diana, Yes to all you wrote. Animals in their innocence, and pets in particular, certainly do bring out the best in humans, well, most of the time. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Lovely post Miriam, and a reminder of how much we need pets in our lives as they love unconditionally. Happy birthday to your daughter Tash..22 in 2020..keep shining your light๐Ÿ’šโญ๏ธ

    Liked by 2 people

  14. What a cute pic of Lamby and Harry. Great post Miriam. We can learn so much from Animals. I love animals too and there unconditional love. My brother has a dog named Diesel as he is a big boy. If you saw him youโ€™d think he was a mean angry dog but he would just lick you to death. That reminds me of something. Donโ€™t judge a book by the cover lol. Thanks again for your nice post Miriam๐Ÿ˜€

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  15. Breathtaking and superb pictures and who would not love these little four legged animals. They are awesome and give unconditional love. I too have a golden retriever and we have named her Amber, she is eight years old and is a darling. Lovely post, Miriam. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Grazie tanto my dear! Hope you and your loved ones are well too. Love the way your daughter lives, so beautiful! What a ride these months have been hey? I feel like I could use a long stay on a tropical island now, with a cocktail in my hand and my toes in the sand. Care to join cara? Much love to you always!! Mil besos xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I would LOVE to join you on that tropical island Maria. Mm, cocktail in hand, sand in my toes, sun on my back (maybe a hunky native giving me a massage hehe) … sounds divine doesnโ€™t it!
          Hereโ€™s to dreaming and a better world for all. Muchos hugs and loads of love to you cara friend xxxxx ๐Ÿ’•

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Oh querida you have just made the tropical island trip THAT much better!!:) You as a wonderful travel companion AND a hunky native giving us massages??? I am on board!!!:) Yes, hereยดs to dreaming AND dreaming a new world into being. Itยดs time. Love all your writing amiga, and your wonderful life-affirming spirit that shines brighter and warmer than ever!!! 1001 hugs y mucho more amiga mia xxxx ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

          Liked by 1 person

  16. My dad is obsessed with animal videos they make him laugh and sometimes even cry at how they interact with other animals or with their owners! I think they inspire him a lot too in a way that says ” Life does not need to be so stressful! Relax!” Thank you for your post!

    Liked by 2 people

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