Life is hard! That is something we all can agree on. No matter your situation, there will be times when life can be overwhelming and sometimes unbearable. For me, animals have always given me the strength to keep going and to put things in perspective. Animals live in the moment. They don't dwell on the past, they don't plan for the faraway future. They make decisions based on the "NOW". What is happening at this moment?
I have had animal companions of all kinds for most of my adult life. I watched them and learned from their behavior. I grew to understand what made them happy and what didn't. I also communicated with them and heard directly from them regarding their preferences. All my animals, except my first dog which a boyfriend had given me as a gift, were rescues. However, these rescues were all very young when I got them. Basically, they learned behavior from me in addition to whatever behavior was instinctual.
Fast forward to 2023. I have a new rescued companion. She came to us at almost a year old after spending her entire little life on the streets with other strays. I used to think this would be an issue, but it is actually a blessing! Except for bladder control, Daisy has manners and an understanding of things I could not have taught her. Most behaviors are subtle and may be missed or labeled "cute" or "silly". They are not. Well, they are to us, but there is a definite meaning behind each posture and movement.
The first thing we noticed Daisy does is a movement that resembles a snake. She slithers towards my face from the end of the bed once she notices that I am awake. She slithers inch by inch until I say "Good morning!". Once I acknowledge her, she moves in quickly for kisses. If you watch nature shows, you will see the same behavior. The young are asking permission to start the day.
Daisy loves to meet other dogs on our walks. If it is someone new, she begins by crouching slightly and wide wagging her tail and hips. This is a slightly submissive posture that tells the other dog that she wants to be friends. Once the other dog accepts her, she plays with them as an equal. If they growl or nip, she tries again. Daisy has won over every dog we met. Sometimes it takes a few times of meeting, but eventually, they become friends.
I consider Daisy to be a healer. Dogs that have anxiety meeting other dogs get the "Daisy treatment" and become less anxious. It is really beautiful to witness. I am learning so much about her and her natural animal behavior. Little Bear, my fur-love who passed, knew she is the perfect gift for me and I do believe he sent her to my family.