I now see how incredibly fortunate I was to be born in Tasmania on a farm surrounded by siblings, family, animals and nature. My parents and grandparents had great alliance with all creatures. Hence my passion for animals and nature.
My Mum still tells the story of when I went sleep walking at a very young age and they followed me (they had heard you mustn’t wake someone) as I went around all the animals, including the cows in the back paddocks, the pigs, chooks, dogs, geese, ducks, chickens etc and kissed them all goodnight and went back to bed. They were astounded that each of the animals even allowed this. The doors were securely locked after that.
We saw vast numbers of native animals just wandering around the paddocks in amongst the farm animals and in the bush, unlike today.
A couple of the fun memories I would like to share with you of my youth can give an idea of how I grew to be such an avid admirer of nature.
I recall when up to 4 of us children at a time, would ride the retired 17 hands racehorse who belonged to the neighbour. She would stand near a 44 gallon drum and on we would climb, then race across the paddocks. Mum would come out the back door screaming and we’d pretend we didn’t hear her. We knew this horse would not hurt us, event though she would not let anyone else on her.
When we herded the cattle to take for milking, we’d often climb aboard the last few for a ride to the dairy, past the blackberry bushes, we always had our favourites.
We defied Mum’s instructions not to play with the dogs that Dad would rescue that were on the pounds death row list. The ranger took all the good ones around to my Dad to keep them until he found a suitable home or the owners. I remember Mum being mad because at one stage we had 18 dogs.
My Dad had to provide for his large family and was a huge lover of animals. He showed great respect and cared for them when he could if they were injured or without parents.
Even though we grew up on meat of all kinds, he always helped a baby kangaroo or rabbit if found and we always had lambs, calves, ducks, geese and native animals and birds of all kinds in our care as children. The best place to keep them warm was in the old combustion stove oven after Mum had cooked where the temperature was constant overnight.
We learnt the difference between being born and dying at early ages watching Mother Nature at work. We always raced out in the early morning to see if our little treasures were still alive, hoping against hope.
The only ones Mum wouldn’t let us help were the snakes — I love sending her photos now of my reptile friends. Dad would educate us on what could be touched and inform us of all different aspects of the badgers and echidnas we’d see so often. We had platypus that kept coming into our dams that he would catch and re release in creeks miles away.
On attaining some freedom at age 15 I trained racehorses till I was 20 as well as working during the day in a Council office. I assisted with many horses and during this time I trained (or broke as they say) horses to both harness and saddle from youngsters to horses that had been left in pastures for most of their life.
My English Springer Spaniel of 15.5 years and I toured around Australia for 3 years and stayed with many animals and friends and learned even more animal behaviours. I had been co-habitating with a special nearly 13 year old Doberman, 9 year old Red Heeler x and 2 year old English Setters, 2 year old White Shepherd and two chihuahua’s plus my very old rescue poodle and to this date, I now only have my border collie and friends Ridgeback (oh but don’t forget the 2 huskies (babies) we looked after for a week — 9 mths old). I was always looking after friend’s dogs and on return, they had better behaved pooches. This had to be shared so everyone could lead happier lives, hence Animism.
A favourite is the amazing horse communicator in Hervey Bay Queensland (Guy McLean) and Skye and Camron who I had the privilege of meeting and staying on his families property. Guy rides his horses bareback and without saddles. He truly has a special gift which he utilises to show others. He reaffirmed my belief in ‘finding a better way’. He shows total respect and communication between man and animal. Many times I have shown friends how it is not a naughty horse, but a lack of communication between two participants, recently driving young horses and assisting with training in the sulky through the bush ares of Perth. Horses hold a special place in my heart and helping others enjoy them vital.
I have rescued animals at mine sites and enjoyed 4 years part time volunteer as an Education person with Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and relief shift supervisor. Many supposed bad dogs now have the best homes with superb people who know what they need including labradors and cocker spaniels.
Living up north gave me opportunity to learn the aboriginal ways and further respect and understanding of the environment and animals. I have no fear of death or the bush due to my learning of their true meanings and learnt the respect the true natives have for their land and animals, they never take what they don’t need which allows plentiful supply when required.
A love of animals is in my blood as was my lineage so I found out. I see it in my nieces and nephews. They show these endearing tendencies and qualities of love, affinity and respect for animals. Now I have been dog and animal sitting most of my life. Training friend’s animals, plus listening to them speak in their language. I always felt what animals feel and still do. They know and feel what I do. It puzzled me why no one else could get what was going on with the animals – for years I thought everyone was the same as me. I now know everyone has a different gift and it is whether they choose to listen and use it. It is my time to give back some of what I know and assist others to reconnect with animals and nature and get in touch with their inner selves as well as understanding what their animals are wanting to communicate.
Think of the combination of understanding learned behaviour, feelings, emotions and energy. That is why I have given up a successful corporate career and now finally following my passion and vision. When you do, life is awesome.
“Be the change you want to see in your world.”
To assist others in understanding how we as humans can co-exist with animals and the environment and that each are vitally important to the other’s emotional and physical growth and comfort.