ParrotWhoThoughtSheWasaDogSometimes I find inspiration reading stories about human heroes.

Sometimes, that inspiration comes to me while reading stories about animal heroes.

The best combo of all (of course) is when the story contains both human and animal heroes. If the animal hero just happens to be a parrot, even better. 🙂

The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog” features Sarah, a one-footed wild-caught blue macaw, her rescuer, Samantha, her adopted mom, Nancy, and her adopted family (Kerry-Nancy’s husband, racoons, cats, dogs and two cherry-headed conures).

With that many parrots in one story, you know it has to be good.

The truth is, the older I get (43 at the end of this year!) the more I find my inspiration to keep doing the work I do with humans through interacting with and learning from non-humans. It seems like the more I learn about people behavior the less I know.

But the more I learn about animal behavior the less that matters. 

To me, animals are like simpler versions of people. They have all the same emotions (read what scientists have to say about animals and emotions). They have the same basic needs and desires – for nourishment, companionship, love, safety, entertainment, health, rest.

Love for animal companions also comprises a great deal of what motivates people to get up in the morning. I might be dreading my email inbox, a doctor’s appointment or rent check day. But one cheery cheep from underneath my parrot’s sleeping cover catapults me out from under the covers – this is how eager I am for the sight of those soft, round black eyes, sweet pink feet and cute hooked beak.

When I was living in India many years ago I lived in a small village. The street was very narrow and often as I was walking down to the main town center I would be sharing the road with people, chickens, dogs, horses and other pedestrians. After awhile I stopped seeing “horse,” “chicken,” “human.” I just saw beings.

We were all just beings, sharing the street, making our respective ways to our chosen destinations.

It was quite cool.

Today’s Takeaway: What inspires you most? Which human (or animal) heroes motivate you to get up even on the toughest days? Why?