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Animals Are Just Like Us! Mentoring Meet & Greet

My three interspecies loves and life flock mates: Bruce (top left), Malti (top right) and Pearl.

Some of my most empowering and life-changing mentoring experiences have come from my interspecies relationships.

Since I was quite small I’ve been drawn to birds and turtles in particular, but as I’ve gotten older, increasingly I find that same connection with all animals, plants, trees and nature itself.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like animals and nature are great teachers! We are more alike than different, right down to our core DNA.

So this month, in what I’ve just realized is the ninth year anniversary of when I began blogging here at Psych Central (wow), I have decided to spend the month highlighting just a few of the many life lessons wise animal mentors have graciously shared with me.

I’m calling this series “Animals are just like us!” I sure hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Of course, I won’t be able to resist sharing the cuteness I cohabitate with on a daily basis. Consider this a brief introduction to my three closest non-human mentors, Pearl, Malti & Bruce.

Pearl is my 20-year-old cockatiel. He has been with me since he was a fluffy 5-week-old chick. When he first came home with me, he was still going through the weaning process and I worked outside the home, so I convinced my unsuspecting boss to let me bring him to work with me so I could feed him every four hours.

I may have even assured her “He will be so quiet you’ll never even know he is here.” Ha. I share a lot more about our story in our memoir, “Love & Feathers.”

Enjoy this candid snapshot of a recent flock-wide happy hour (our dachshund, Flash Gordon, isn’t in the video but is sitting just underneath the tray):

Malti, my now five-year-old redfoot tortoise, also came to me as a five-week-old hatchling. Unlike Pearl she was already eating (heartily) on her own and hasn’t stopped since.

She now knows that the big white box is where her treats come from and will walk right up to the frig and bite the door if she thinks I’m being too slow to get the party started.

But you don’t have to believe me – see it with your own eyes!

Bruce, my rescued 3-toed box turtle, came to us during a very stressful time in our flock’s history. Malti, who was just a year old at the time, had somehow wandered away from the front lawn where we were sitting together. She was gone for six days. During that time, Bruce was rescued to me twice. Suffice it to say I got the hint – we were meant to be together.

Bruce and I have gone through a lot together as I’ve learned how to meet his needs in a captive situation without scaring him to death. Slowly but surely we are figuring it out together. And I am learning every day just how BRAVE my precious boy truly is. In this vid he spies his reflection in the back of my iPhone camera and….well, you’ll see! 😉

So that’s my crew – you will see more of them throughout this series – count on it! 🙂

With great respect & love,


Animals Are Just Like Us! Mentoring Meet & Greet

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. (2019). Animals Are Just Like Us! Mentoring Meet & Greet. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Sep 2019
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