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Our Furry, Feathered, Finned Mentors

On MentorCONNECT, the eating disorders mentoring community I run, we have a special group called “Creatures of Comfort.” This group is a place where our members can post pictures of and talk about the animal companions who are such a source of strength, support, and comfort during the difficult recovery journey.

Wesley the Owl book

Knowing about my love for my own feathered buddies, a friend recently recommended the most wonderful book to me. Hearing the title, “Wesley the Owl” I instantly wanted to read it.

For years, I have had dreams of owls. Mostly, the dreams have not been pleasant, happy, princess-wakes-to-gorgeous-rich-prince type dreams, but more scullery-maid-survives-dreadful-brush-with-death-to-learn-valuable-life-lesson type dreams.

And when I have these dreams, sometimes the owls are there.

Watching me with their wide, wise eyes. Swiveling their heads around in that eerie, impossible way, showing me that wherever I go, they can see me. Standing stock still with total calmness, focus, and concentration….the kind I clearly (in dream and waking state) don’t have, and need to cultivate like, yesterday.

I have lots of dreams and I don’t always remember them all. But I always remember the owl dreams.

Stacey and Wesley the Owl

“Wesley the Owl” is the story of biologist and owl researcher Stacey O’Brien and her feathered companion, a tiny baby owlet named Wesley (note: it is worth mentioning that the reason Stacey adopted Wesley was not to study or to have a cool owl pet, which is illegal to do, but because Wesley had severe nerve damage in one wing and he would not have been able to feed himself in the wild as an adult).

During the course of their 19 year cohabitation, Wesley teaches Stacey what she calls “The Way of the Owl.” The Way of the Owl is to be truthful always. The Way of the Owl is keep the promises you make. The Way of the Owl is to love unconditionally, with everything you have to give.

We can learn so much from our furry, feathery, and finned mentors. Their love is pure. Their minds are simple and straightforward. Their wishes are evident. Their care for us is unconditional. Their devotion is all-encompassing.

We would do well to follow their example when we relate to ourselves.

Today’s Takeaway: What have your animal companions taught you about your value, your worth, and your self?

Our Furry, Feathered, Finned Mentors

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2010). Our Furry, Feathered, Finned Mentors. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2020, from


Last updated: 17 Dec 2010
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