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For the Love of Fuzzies!

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to write about something near and dear to my heart this week and put a little bit of myself “out there”.

It’s no secret that I am a big animal lover.

Last week I added a picture of my ‘Fur-Babies’ to the bottom of my author page and you may have heard the true rumor that I don’t eat anything that used to have feathers or fur.

I have a love for animals that spans my entire lifetime and I’d love to share some short stories with you.

  • At about 3 years old my parents took me to see my first movie at a theater. The movie showing was the animated classic, Bambi. When Bambi’s mom was shot tiny me went into hysterics and my parents actually had to take my brother and I home because I wouldn’t stop crying.
  • As a small child my mom used to read to me. One of my favourite books was called Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame . The characters were a rat, a mole, a toad and a badger.
  • I like bugs. Always have. Are they animals? You decide. When I was a kid my mom used to cringe because I would bring my “pets” into our house and do silly things like put them to bed in my dresser drawers with my clothes. My husband, Jason, had a terrible fear of spiders when we met and he still doesn’t exactly like them. Watching me pick up a spider and carry it outside makes poor Jason squirm, but he no longer kills spiders. Last week, Jason even scooped up a spider on a piece of paper and tired to take it outside. I like to think some of the best parts of me are rubbing off on him.
  • Somewhere between age 5 and 8 (memory does funny things the older you get) mom stopped reading to me because I preferred reading to myself. My Nanny, knowing my love of both reading and animals, put me on to a charming series about a country vet. It didn’t matter to me that the books were written for adults, all that mattered was more animal adventures. The series, written by James Herriot includes All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful and All Things Wise and Wonderful. For a long time I wanted to be a vet, but that all changed when I was doing a job-shadowing day in grade seven (age 12) and I watched a Dalmatian get put to sleep. I had been petting the dog, in his holding cell, not knowing what his fate was. My heart broke that day. I also realized I didn’t have what it took to be a vet, because I wouldn’t be able to put animals (who weren’t in pain) to sleep.
  • At age 14 my brother, my friend and I broke my dog (Penny) out of the humane society. I won’t go into the details of how she ended up there other than to say a family member took her there. In saying that… us kids borrowed the money (under the guise of needing it for something else), needed to break Penny out of doggie jail, from the family member who put the dog in the pound. We may have faked a couple calls to the humane society pretending to be my mom (who wasn’t helping, but not the one who put the dog there). It took us a couple days, but in the end we freed our dog and had a few more years with her until she became sick and passed away.
  • When I was 2 I was attacked by a rooster. I don’t remember the incident. My dad saw what was happening and dealt with the rooster before I was seriously hurt. Despite having no memory, I’ve never liked chickens or roosters and I can admit I am a bit fearful of them. When I stopped eating meat I had decisions to make. Decisions like was I giving it all up or was I alright with still eating the stupid bird that attacked me as a kid. When I watched the P.I.T.A. exposee (be warned it is not for the faint of heart if you decide to watch the video) on the big fast food chicken restaurant, I bawled and my decision came easily. To be completely honest, I cry sometimes when I find myself driving next to a chicken, cow or pig transport on the highway. Although, I do feel better about me that I’m not part of it.
  • I’ve run with dogs. I’ve swam with dolphins and stingrays. I love snorkeling and watching fish. I pet a tiger (He was on a leash and I just reached out as he walked by. Probably not the smartest move, but I wasn’t hurt and I’ll never forget that moment.) I’ve rode horses, camels, elephants and a bull. I’ve caught (and freed) wild snakes, turtles, frogs, tadpoles and lizards. I won’t bore you with a list of what I’ve seen, but there is one that has to be mentioned. Humpback whales in the wild are simply majestic.

humpbackbreach*Jason Shortt “Humpback Whale” 2014, Boston, MA

  • I could go on and on about animals. I haven’t even talked about the ones who live with me. Savana, Maya and Autumn steal my heart on a daily basis. They keep my secrets, comfort me when I cry, offer unconditional love and cuddles. They make my life better. Even when I step in cat puke with bare feet (YUCK!) or have to wrestle with them to cut their nails.
mapool Sav
Maya = Yellow lab (in pool)
Autumn = Golden Retriever (with ball)
Savana the cat

 

It is no coincidence that perhaps one of the characters in Shiver Cove may able to communicate with animals.

With Love and Gratitude until next time,
TJ Shortt