Smarts not exclusive to two legs

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    It’s natural to put ourselves in the center of the universe, to think of everything in terms of how we are affected. That’s the way we’re programmed. Our reality is based on seeing the world from our individual perspective. We think of ourselves first, and then maybe some friends and a few close family members.

    For some people, their best friends are their pets.

    It can only be described as mutual admiration. Love is exchanged, despite the fact that some of these friends have four legs or no legs, are furry or slimy or even have scales or a tough hide.

    Talk to the people and you’ll hear stories about how their pets have saved their lives by attracting help during a time of emergency, or how they provided comfort during a time of grief after the death of a spouse.

    Talk to the animals and you’ll get eyes that look knowingly back at you, or a tongue lick on the cheek, or a purr. Even still, consult with an animal communicator and you may get volumes about a pet’s intentions. I’ve met with many, and what this new perspective on my pets has given me is a profound appreciation that all species are intelligent.

    Many people say animal communicators are nothing more than con artists who bilk grieving pet owners out of cold, hard cash. To them I say, "Wake up!" Get wise to the fact that all of nature is intelligent. Some people are quick to embrace the notion of Intelligent Design – in denial that life on earth has evolved over time – and yet, they are unwilling to accept the fact that intelligence exists in people’s pets. They must equate intelligence to brain size. The true question is, how do you define intelligence?

    For the past decade, corporate America has been buzzing about Emotional Intelligence, embracing the notion that our emotional and social skills – separate from our IQ – are critical in our personal success. Educators are coming into agreement that some children process information better kinesthetically, through movement, than through traditional reading and listening. And it’s only a matter of time before humanity understands to what degree intuitive intelligence informs us about life and how to live it.

    It is the recognition of all of these intelligences – cognitive, emotional, intuitive – that separates someone who views a dog as just a stupid animal that deserves to be kicked around once in a while from someone who is aware that a dog does much more than bark when he has something to say.

    There are people who embrace a symbiotic relationship between all species on this planet, and there are those who just haven’t evolved enough to know that some of the ideas that come into their heads come from the dog walking down the street or a whale halfway around the world.

    It’s not about anthropomorphizing. It’s the recognition that life comes in many forms, and you cannot judge the value of a living being by whether it walks upright on two legs.

    And so when Orville and Geraldine jump in their small motorboat and set out from Salisbury Beach, Mass., for a good time, with Buster their dog wearing his skipper’s hat and lucky cape, don’t make fun of them. Let Buster enjoy his time in the sun. Maybe he enjoys dressing up and making his daddy and mommy happy – more than anything in the world.

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