Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ask Amber Donkey - June 2009

Here are three questions for this month's posting of Ask Amber Donkey. Thanks to all who submitted questions. Anyone wanting to submit questions should do so at .

Question: I noticed when my husband and I travel we see more and more people traveling with their pets. The animals are treated as part of the humans’ family and sometimes the animals have clothes on. When I talk to my dog I refer to her as my baby. I even say she calls me "Mommy" and my husband "Daddy. Is this the balance the animals are looking for or has the human race gone the wrong way? Another part of this question is to do with research. (This part is new). When I was young I remember animals being used in labs for testing of products. Through the years I thought research found other options to provide them with the results they needed. In my current job I am finding this is not true. We sell products that could be used in a laboratory setting. Because the labs need to discuss the usage they sometime reveal how our product will be used. I was surprised to hear chimpanzee's are still being used. The first thing that comes to my mind is the lady in the news that had a chip that attacked her friend. She even stated when she was stabbing him with the knife he looked at her and asked, "what are you doing?" I know directly this is not what I am doing to these animals yet I feel I am not doing them justice by selling these labs our products. Are these animals where they choose or did humans put them in jeopardy?

Amber: At first these two parts of your question seem to be two different things, but they are not at all. Problems arise when humans try to make animals fit into their own image. While both humans and animals live on the same planet, we are vastly different in many ways. We all have feelings, emotions, thoughts, souls, hearts, and we form relationships. But what we do within those things are quite different. You could say that we come from different cultures. But when you try to make us into humans, then you are denying us our true being, and denying yours as well. When animals are treated by humans as humans, then they start to lose their own identities and take on those that are assigned to them by the humans. Yet, the two worlds don’t easily mesh at times and trouble can occur. The animals then start to take on all the same troubles of the human psyche and culture. They are not prepared or fit to deal with those things and they become imbalanced. This is true whether we are talking about your pets, lab animals, or any other situation. Animals are animals and humans are humans.

It is quite the human experience to try to justify treatment of others by making them different from yourselves. You often dehumanize other humans to justify treating them less than equal. Then you will try to humanize non-human friends to justify feeling for them or being in relationship with them. Your relationships with animals will not be the same as your relationship with humans. In fact, I dare say, that most of you let animals in your hearts far deeper than other humans.

How does this answer your question? It is my opinion that humans don’t even treat each other with respect of your differences let alone those of the animal world. Animals usually accept others with all their differences, even our human companions. You do not see us dressing you up to look like donkeys now do you? Yet, to justify loving your animals, you frequently try to make us look like you. Its just something humans should think about. If you treated all of Life with complete respect, the answers to how you treat each other, and how you treat all animals would become very clear to you.

Question: I have read and heard that we all came here on earth for a reason, because we have something to accomplish. How do we know why we came here? Do all the living things except most humans know what their path is? Thanks a lot for your answer.

Amber: Thanks for your question! It is true that all beings come into the physical realm for a reason and to accomplish something. But not all of us know what that path is on a conscious level. Many animals do understand their paths and very consciously know what they are here to do. And so do many humans. Many humans are not at all conscious of their paths or what they are here to do. And the same is true for many animals. Sometimes, finding that conscious awareness, is the all important step on our path and what we are here to do. Some of us (and I use the word “us” to mean all living beings) find our purpose and some seemingly do not. Some of us find our true greatness near the end of our lives, some in the middle, and some come into this physical plane with their true greatness in tact and ready to roll. It just all depends on our spiritual awareness and what we are here to do. Some of us come to teach, some come to learn, but no matter what side of that equation you are on, you always learn from and teach others. That is the sharing of life. In the physical realm, our purpose is never as clear to us as it is in the spiritual realm. It is just the nature of the two realms.

Question: I’m not sure how to phrase this, but are some animals more empathetic than others? One litter of pups born here more than three years ago now, and I can only describe the majority of them as empaths. Not just soft dogs, but aware of the energy around them in a different and more profound way. Can you help me understand this a bit more?

Amber: Just like as with humans, animals also come in with various degrees of awareness. Some are very sensitive to energy and some not so sensitive. It is probably true that animals on the surface seem to many humans to be more sensitive to energy and shifts in energy. However, it is not that humans do not have the same abilities to do so. It is true though that humans have many more distractions that they have created and surrounded themselves with and that is what gets in the way. Animals in general are less cluttered.

Many animals are very tuned in to the emotions of humans and have signed on to work closely with them. Dogs are one such species that has chosen to work very closely with humans. Horses, or shall we say equines so that we include our pony friends, and of course, donkeys too, also work very closely with humans. We resonate well with the human heart and strive to help humans find their own hearts through ours. Some animals are also healers as well. Just like with humans, there are all sorts of variations and skill levels.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Coversation with Dawn and Gypsy

Amber Donkey suggested that in this blog I should periodically interview one of the animals because it would be insightful to how they see their lives. I set out to interview Gypsy, one of our horses, only to have her start interviewing me. So, it became a conversation instead.

Dawn’s Conversation with Gypsy, Thoroughbred mare, age 27 years.

D: What means the most to you in your life?

G: My friends. I have always cherished my friends. I watched my best friend Babe die when her leg broke running up the hill in our pasture. None of us could believe what happened and we all forever remember that tragic day. We had been together since yearlings and then came to SFC together. I also had my friend Bo with me. She was already here at SFC when Babe and I got here, but she was with us as yearlings as well. It was kind of funny that we all ended up spending our lives together. But now I am the last one left. I had a daughter, Mariah, who lived her whole life with me. We were together for 18 years until something went wrong inside of her and she suddenly died. Bo and I took care of Mariah when she went blind a few years before that. We were very good friends. And, now sadly, I have lost my best friend Bo two weeks ago.

Bo left me in charge of taking care of Smiley who also is blind. He now is in Bo’s old stall right next to me and I find comfort with him there. Together, we remember our old friends and also cherish the ones we still have with us. The solidity of our herd is very important to me.

D: What is most enjoyable for you in your life?

G: I love being outside in the sun on a cool day with no flies. That is the absolute best. I love to roll in the grass and roll back and forth over and over again and feel the earth against my back. I love to run with my friends. And I also appreciate my stall in the barn too. When I’m tired, I find safety and peace there.

D: What do you dream about?

G: About anything that comes up I guess. I dream of all different things. Not just things like running. I don’t dream about racing. I dream a lot about eating. And I also dream of being with my friends.

D: What is your purpose in life?

G: To live each day looking to see what its about. Its not very complicated really. What is yours?

D: Cute. How about to live each day to see what it is about.

G: That’s too easy, you just copied me.

D: Whose interviewing whom here?

G: Well, I think after all these years together that you know me pretty well. So these questions aren’t very exciting. We’ve explored a lot over the years together. When I first met you, you were still young and head strong. Now you are graying and more calm and centered.

D: Thanks, I can say the same about you too!

G: Yes, you can. So let me tell you what I learned about our purpose in life. Because we both came to the farm around the same time. We’ve kind of grown up together in a way. We’ve shared a lot. You are part of the herd you know. Its not just horses we acknowledge in our group. Sometimes you didn’t own your place in the herd. Sometimes you did. But you’ve always been kind and you’ve always been honest. We like that about you. All of us always trust you to not just care for us but to listen to us. I would say we each learned to listen to our own hearts by hearing one another. The best way to hear your own heart beat is to feel it against anothers’, don’t you think?

D: Wow, that is profound. Yes, that is so true isn’t it?

G: It is what life is all about. When you were young you had a restless heart. You never let it get out for a good gallop. I, on the other hand, galloped a bit too much and didn’t take things seriously enough. I also didn’t want anyone too close to me. You showed me a different way of being. You taught me to coexist with my friends and to open my heart more. You’ve given that to many of us. And as you did so, we watched you set your heart free. The spirit of the horse is to fly in the wind. You don’t need to be on our backs to fly with us. You learned to fly with us in spirit and there isn’t a one of us who holds back in taking you there. That’s what I like about being here. You were going to ask me that question eventually so I thought I’d just answer it. This is a great farm. It is the seat of the heart of the horse. Think about that. That is what you invited in. That is why you can feel the horse spirits gather here sometimes. It is the magic we all created in a space you help hold. You are my friend too, a herd mate, just like Bo. Bo found a wisdom that was very deep within her. She found it by being here on the farm and by being recognized for who she was and nurtured to grow. You helped with that. And now she is helping you too. I feel her around you each night you come to the barn to check on us. You walk with a herd of spirit horses when you come into the barn. They are all working with you, walking with you, and you are flying with them. So, to answer your question, I guess today, part of my purpose was to tell you that.

D: And, today, part of my purpose is to thank you for all you give.

G: All of us on this planet share in this journey. It doesn’t belong to just one of any of us.