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Spirit Animal

spirit animal


By Saida


If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” ―James Herriot


I wanted to write a story about my animal, but my thoughts took me deeper.

Have you ever thought that we might have grown up with a different idea about where animals belong? That if we knew and understood them, not only would our lives be better, but we also would know ourselves in a very different way?


my animal

My animal and me on one of our LA hikes

Human being. Animal being.

Animals inhabit this planet with the same rights as we do. It’s true. We are not entitled to more simply because we have learned to make more things. Even with all of our achievements, we haven’t’ yet learned the most basic skill–survival.  Look around, we’re destroying the planet. Most species that inhabit planet Earth today have been here longer than humans. They have survived ecological changes, adapted and evolved into many forms to get here. Their path of survival, which brought them here today, is sufficient reason for us to respect their place on this planet.  They have earned it.


“If you’re really intuitive with your animal and treat it as such, without attributing human emotions to your pet, you can learn a whole new universe of communication …”



Humans and animals share not only the planet that we all live on, but also all of its resources. We share air and food, the sky above you and the dirt beneath your boots. They have as much right to it as you do!

Yes, we are actually surrounded by all kinds of neighbors that are not human every day of our lives, no matter where we are.  Sometimes we chose to take them into our homes. Mostly to fill various emotional voids, but also for the noble reason of desiring to connect with another thinking being that is not a human.

Our connection to domesticated animals goes back to prehistoric times, when we hunted side by side and chose allies from among our four-legged companions. We survived together and that created a bond that has been passed on a genetic level from parents to puppies and so on for thousands of years.  For example, by smelling your perspiration when you become nervous, sad or fearful, your dog can pick up on subtle changes in your scent, which can help him figure out how you are feeling. They can also detect certain diseases or know that a household member is pregnant.  Domesticated dogs will also steal food, when they think no one is watching, which proves that they can understand a human point of view. A study by Dr Juliane Kaminski, of the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Psychology recently published a study on this.  These study results suggest that dogs have a truly flexible understanding of others creatures’ minds. It has always been assumed that only humans had this ability.



Understanding another living creature’s perspective


I believe that if we were taught as kids to connect to animals and their world, to understand their path and the fact that all living creatures are not here to serve us but to coexist with us, then we would grow up into better human beings.  Every animal lover knows that a relationship with an animal can be deeply profound and even life-altering. They teach us about a connection that needs no words and show us other ways to live in and experience the world. If you’re really intuitive with your animal and treat it as such, without attributing human emotions to your pet, you can learn a whole new universe of communication and mutual understanding that requires no verbal language. YOU can learn to forge connections that are not based on the human language of words, but on the universal language of feeling and observation.

I believe that if all children grew up with animals, we’d be more connected not only to nature and our planet, but also to one another.


“Am I looking at this from my own perspective, or from the right perspective?”



lovely animal

Many of you know my 12-year-old dog Duke from my first blog.


What I learned from my 12 years with a dog.


“You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry , The Little Prince

Many of you know my 12-year-old dog Duke from my first blog. He was adopted as a 1-year-old from a shelter in Queens. He means much more to me than I am willing to admit even to myself.  All these years of living together, I don’t remember my life before this animal chose me.

My partner recently noted that my dog is the only constant thing I have had in my life. Ever. Duke has been in my life longer than most humans I know today. Something that is hard to comprehend.  An interesting fact that I didn’t note until now.



Duke recently lost his right eye to old age. Other than that he’s kicking butt at 12.5 years old.

Was it hard to realize?  Yes. It made me think of all the trial and error of my human relationships and about the many paths I have walked, many skins I have tried on over the course of my journey through life so far.  It made me think of the faces I would have loved to see again and even those I never wanted to cross paths with again.   But it also made me very happy. Because in all of this madness, I managed to learn to speak the language of another creature.  I have watched him grow into an adult and go through many changes that sculpted my personality, like an artist’s hand sculpts a block of clay.  By being this animal’s companion, I have learned about love, patience, about listening to signs and what is means to be responsible for another living creature. There was a time when I didn’t have medical insurance, but my dog did. He has always come first. And I didn’t realize this until recently, but this animal also made me a better human being. Because in caring for him, I found that patience that comes with responsibility. The understanding that no matter how you feel about his getting sick on your rug again, no amount of upset is going to make the stain go away. So there is no need to get upset. You see, when you look at life from a dog’s perspective, things just can’t be sad. So, living with my four legged creature, in turn, made me a better partner for my life partner, because it opened the world of “other perspective” for me. Now, if something upsets me I think:”Am I looking at this from my own perspective, or the right perspective?” Try it yourself! You’ll see that most of the time the answer will surprise you.

Animals offer unconditional, enduring love and total acceptance of their humans and we need to be more aware of our responsibility when it comes to the animals in our lives, as well as the rest of them, the ones we share this planet with.  Maybe if we took a little longer to connect to our pets, our animals wouldn’t suffer so much. There wouldn’t be forbidden breeds, only penalties for people who don’t spend enough time trying to understand their animals. Maybe then we wouldn’t even need kill shelters or meat farms.

Who knows, perhaps getting to that level of evolution is not that far off. Maybe we’ll even live to see it. But it needs to start with us. With realizing that we are all here with the same rights. We share planet Earth and we share its resources. And if animals continue to die and be exterminated and extinct by our careless actions, it won’t be long until we are all gone.

This why it’s vitally important for humans to connect back to nature. The animals in our lives can be our most significant teachers, friends, and confidants, helping us to heal our hearts and make amazing changes within. But they are also a huge part of who we are on this planet and not only in the game we choose to play.

Let them into your life.

beloved animal




And last but not least, please watch this video.