This Thing Called Courage

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dog Adopts Cat

I LOVE STORIES LIKE THIS, and one hears about them quite a bit. I recently read a story, and saw the accompanying pictures, of a mother dog who had adopted a tiny fawn whose mother had been killed. The mother continued to nurse and care for the 'baby' even when it grew to be twice as tall as her. Can't beat that mothering instinct, eh? This is from today's Globe, off the wire services:

Golden retriever nurses stray kittenOctober 8, 2007

STEPHENS CITY, Va. --A stray kitten has found a new mother in a golden retriever, who began producing milk for the gray tabby after hearing its cries.

The hungry kitten, found in an old tire at a concrete plant, refused to drink from a bottle and her rescuers feared she would die. That's when Honey, the family dog who hadn't given birth in 18 months, stepped in with her motherly instincts.

"She started licking her and loving her. Within a couple of days, Honey started naturally lactating," said Kathy Martin, whose husband, Jimmy, brought the kitten home six weeks ago. "The kitten took right to her."

Initially, the family worried such a big dog would be too rough for the tiny feline named Precious. But Honey showed her elation at Precious' presence, wagging her tail and prancing all over the house.

Precious now sometimes plays with dog bones, and Honey lets the kitten gnaw on her like a puppy.

"She thinks she's a dog," Kathy Martin said. "She's really fit right in."

In other news, my irish class went on a little mini-field trip last night to Club Passim in Haravrd Square, which was hosting a 'BCMFest' Night. BCMFest is the Boston Celtic Music Festival, held the second weekend of January in Cambridge, which brings together Boston-area musicians from three strong traditions: Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton, all of which are very well represented here in Boston. They also host sporadic concerts during the year, and last night's was one of them. Appearing were my dear friends Matt and Shannon Heaton and their musical guests, including two memebrs of the wonderful Vermont-based group 'Nightingale.' A good time was had by all. Of course several breaks had to be taken on my part to surreptiously check in with friends and family to see how the Stankees were faring-- and I am happy to say, they're out and gone!!! Ding-Dong the witch is dead! Now the Sox will be playing Cleveland, beginning this Friday evening (if we don't get the big coastal storm that's supposed to ravage us.) Speaking of which, there was/is an old tradition here in New England, and in mnay other parts of the world as well, which speaks of a 'line storm,' happening every year at the time of the autumnal equinox, when the sun crosses the line of the equator. That never happened this year (and it's amazing to recall how often it has) but now it may come this weekend, three weeks late. And the weather has been amazingly warm for September and October-- there were several days last week where we were close to 90, and even as we speak, they are setting heat records just south of us in CT and NY and Western New England, while here in eastern New England we're having a bit of a respite and a return to more normal temperatures. At the same time polar ice is melting at a record pace-- and have you heard about the walrus that are not going north this year, for the first time since record-keeping began, because the ice isn't thick enough?
Can anyone say, Gore for president?
I am afraid to say that it will take some kind of cataclysmic event to knock most people out of our complacency; though I can't think of much that will end greed, corporate and otherwise. It still amazes me that, at a time when we should be building smaller houses and cars, they're still getting bigger. Once one has the bigger house, one of course has to fill it with more things, which means more trees cut down, less habitat for wildlife, and more things transported across the world via fossil fuels. The more we go on in this dizzying consumer culture, the more Thoreau's simple words of a century and a half ago ring true: "A man is rich in proportion to the amount of things he can leave alone." We have been so brainwashed into thinking that things will make us happier, by the radiation-like daily onslaught of commercial messages, that we seldom stop to realize that the vast majority of information we receive is from people trying to sell us something. We can't see that frequently our possessions are balls and chains that we must drag around and worry about and care for-- at too high a price for the world and its people. When I think back on the things that have brought me happiness, and joy, and serenity in my life, those moments involve people, relationships, and the moments I have spent in nature, or in the arts. The point is, there is much to be learned from animals, and I think the setter in the story above has the right idea.


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