Christine Kowal Animal Family Feel The Love Wednesday. Overcoming My Fear Of Spider

This story begins long ago. I was one of those kids that used to put milk out for the neighborhood strays in hopes that one would decide to stay.

My brother used to bring home stray baby birds that he would then nurse back to health. And my sister who loved animals was severely allergic so our Animal Family were feathered.

Through the years I have run into quite a few people who as children used to put milk or other things out for the cats or other animals that they loved that lived near to where they lived.

I begin with this because most kids speak to and understand the animals. It is in growing up, going through adolescence, our rights of passage to the next phase of human life that people sometimes forget how to communicate with the natural world.

This is why I begin my story of explanation with a spider. Many humans fear the spider who eats mosquitoes, and other insects that humans find bothersome. The Native Americans would say that Spider is powerful medicine, I would agree.

And the majority of spiders in Ontario where I grew up and have spent most of my life are not poisonous and do not hurt people so there is no reason for me to be afraid of spiders.

However many years ago I found myself with the opportunity of my dreams. Zalman Yanovsky, former guitarist for The Loving Spoonful and his wife Rose Richardson, who is also in spirit offered me an apartment to live in attached to their house in the country with my own studio out in the forest. It was a hobby farm with cats and dogs, peacocks, guinea fowl, sheep chickens/roosters and did I say out in the country And a barn where the big Spiders lived.

I was invited over for dinner where we proceeded to have a wonderful dinner, the animals sat with us and got to lick the plates which made me feel like I had found some of my people. And then Zalman said okay we ‘re going to go down to the barn and I’m going to tell you about the sheep.

I am going to assume they had encountered the spider fear before, because Zalman explained to me how to feed and water and let the sheep in and out . We would be taking turns I would be responsible two days a week for giving them breakfast, water, letting them out and then bringing them back into the barn before night time. And if they went away I was in charge. So how joyful, I think I may have seen a big spider, a big hairy spider and I asked about them.

And Zalman said there are spiders in the barn, they don’t really bother you but in the morning if you come down before the sun has shone down onto their webs in the barn they will be dangling down, so if it is rainy they might be dangling longer than usual. “ We just put a jacket over our head and get to it. Once you start moving around they will disappear. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME’

And Zalman said listen if you really want to do this and live out here you will have to get used to the spiders, you need to go home and think about it. It is a commitment and you will have to get used to the spiders, they do live in the barn.

Actually I was kind of hoping he’d say “ If you see a big spider just come and get me and I’ll get rid of it for you”

Yeah thinking about it, some help I’d be taking care of the animals if every time I saw a spider I had to run and get someone for help, that was most definitely a city girl thought.

Okay this was my dream come true, a Studio out in the country with animals to live amongst and paint. I new Tyrone, my cat was going to love this but I would have to commit to loosing my fear of spiders because I couldn’t live in fear of the barn, that is where the wonderful sheep were and I loved the sheep.

I remember going home that night, and Rose and Zalman insisted I take a few days to think it over, I had until Thursday.

I new I was going to do it, but I remember going home, and pacing, being so excited about a dream come true and also thinking about one of my greatest fears, the spider, I was going to have to learn to deal. I remember thinking if Rose and Zalman can do it I can do it to. That has always been one of my great thoughts: “ If someone else can do it, that means it is doable and I can do it to, my Mother taught me that.

So I paced and thought about the spiders and I thought about all of the other animals and the Beautiful studio out in the country, it’s own separate building in the middle of the forest with a little dirt path and skylight windows that ran down half the wall, a huge space, that would be all mine to paint in, my own studio just to paint in and all of the animals running about and I thought who cares about the spiders.

And Rose and Zalman had a system in place. If it was a rainy day or they came down early they would use the side entrance to the barn a normal door. As soon as you opened the door there was a coat hook and there was a big jacket hanging on one of the pegs that you could then put over your head and go through the other entrance or go through the barn and give the sheep breakfast and let them out.

The three years I lived at the farm changed my life in such a beautiful and incredible way, thank you wise spider.

By the time I left the farm I respected the spiders.

The importance of Spider, although he is an arachnid technically and not called an Animal is that in order to live the life I’d  always dreamed of I had to learn something new. I had to be willing to learn about someone new, and their world and how they felt and who they were. I had to open my heart.

The Animals teach us how to open our hearts

That’s how we start to understand what they are actually saying to us and not overpowering them with our own ideas, thoughts and feelings.

And then the Animals start teaching us how to love and respect ourselves. As we hear them we learn how to hear ourselves and our hearts open.

And here is our Baby Caleb from Feel The Love Wednesday

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Maxy Was Going To Eat That Bunny

Now if you notice in the front are bunny tracks with  Maxy’s tracks following, in pursuit. Maxy was a big beautiful, white black and burnt orange, very strong and very agile dog.

I woke on that incredibly beautiful morning and I was sitting having my coffee  and right in front of my window I see a bunny go by and Maxy hot on her trail. I was mortified. I ran next door where Rose and Zalman were also having their morning coffee. “We have to go out and get Maxy, she’s chasing a bunny.”

They both looked at me, then at each other and I could see it pass between them. How do we tell her?

“Umm that’s what Maxy does. She chases bunnies, sometimes, she catches them and sometimes they get a way. There’s really nothing we can do about it, it’s part of living out here.”

Rose and Zalman had a 75 acre hobby farm. And a good portion of it was forest and bush. The dogs usually stayed by the house and they didn’t go to the road which was quite a ways away. But sometimes they went off to play in the field or forest.

They were trying to explain it to me gently. I was listening but at the same time my city mind was going I love Rose and Zalman but you’ve got to be kidding me, there is No Way, WE HAVE TO SAVE THE BUNNY.

So I went back to my apartment Ready to take action. I thought about what Zalman had said. “You’re welcome to go after them but they’re long gone by now, by the time you get out there you’ll never find them.” As I got dressed in winter gear and stepped outside.

I looked around it was still and beautiful and white. All that was left of Maxy and bunny were their prints on the trail infront of my window.

I came back inside and asked God. I always talk to God, It makes my life a lot easier and better. I said God what do I do and I got nothing. As in, do nothing. I was flummoxed. I thought I was going to get a plan or steps to take. Those bread crumbs our inner knowing or God inside of us gives us. And instead I got do nothing.

The reason I am telling you this story is that to truly talk to and understand your animals you have to learn to connect with your higher power within. That is your all knowing place. And to do as it tells you, or how it feels. Ignore what the outside world tells you.

That is where the Animals live. And that is how and where we connect with them. From our higher power within.

Ignore what the outside world is saying and listen to your inner world. And Love + Respect = Unconditional Love.

I had to respect both Maxy and the bunny’s life style. Living out in the country, and realize that there are places that are not mine to go.

We have to love and respect the animals for their knowing for who they are and not just what we want or expect from them, or what we want things to look like for everyone else.

Love and Light Christine And The Animals

How Mouse Saved Me From Rambini

This is my friend Mouse. Or rather this was my friend Mouse from long ago when I lived at Rose and Zalman’s farm.

This story is all about unconditional love and unconditional love is love plus respect. When Tyrone and I lived at Rose and Zalman’s farm there were sheep. And the sheep were all part of the family. There were around six to eight sheep, the girls and one boy, Rambini.

Now the girls and Rambini lived on the farm all of their lives until they died of old age. Every year the girls would go into heat, Rambini would impregnate them and the babies would live until the fall and go away in the big truck and come back in small paper parcels as food. Although sometimes they kept a baby lamb and that lamb would then live on the farm all of her life and become one of the family.

Now just before the girls went into heat, Rambini could get a little rambunctios and when one of us was in the pen, either Rose Zalman or myself, with the sheep, feeding them some grain or granola, or giving them hay Rambini would watch to see if we had walked ourselves into a corner that we could not get out of and then he would come running at us and ram us into the boards. Thus Rambini. I’m going to say when he was younger he was gentler about it but as he got older he got a little more determined. Eventually he was separated into his own pen.

However one day I was down at the barn feeding the sheep in their pen. And I looked up and their was Rambini, he had a clear line to me and I was pretty much stuck where I was. As I was desperately looking around for an escape Mouse looked up. She saw my face looked straight at Rambini, saw that he was on a mission and no amount of convincing or cajoling was going to stop him and she stepped in-between me and Rambini and took the hit. Just like that, she stepped in and took the hit for me, there was no mistaking her intention and what she was doing. She figured she was bigger than me and it was gonna hurt me more so she took the hit for me. I was pretty amazed, it was a wonderful thing for her to do, actually if you think about it sheep or not, is was a pretty amazing thing to do for someone.

Mouse and I had spent a fair bit of time out in the field together. She was with her sheep and I was out there with them with my paints and canvases and paper painting them. Hanging out with them and learning from them.

Mouse was my favourite and kind of the lead. It’s almost like when you are sitting in a circle having a meeting or discussion. Everyone in the circle is an equal part but there is still someone who leads the circle. Mouse was a bit like that.

Mouse had spent a fair bit of time explaining to me/ or helping me to understand why sheep do what they do and how they live/what their belief systems are. Sheep are very smart. She was a good friend, part of my wooly family.

Thank you Mouse of so long ago. Because of Mouse I love You Sheep.

The question is: When I am going away how do I reduce anxiety for my dog or Animal Family member and myself?

So if you are going on a vacation. We, Me and the Animals suggest a couple of things. First sit down and have a talk with them, let them know how much you love them and that love will never change, that you are going away, how many sleep times you are going to be away. Who is staying with them, or where they are going or if they are on their own, whatever the plans.

Make every thing very clear and say over and over again how much you love them and when you get back you will bring or give them a treat/ go on an extra long walk together or that you will be very very happy to be home with them because you love them so much.

Number of sleep times is essential in this conversation as well as what is going to be going on with them. If they are staying home that is all good. Just be clear and loving, remember Love and Respect.

The other thing we suggest is good morning and goodnight messages.When you wake up and just before you go to sleep send them a loving message. Say their name, when sending a message always say or think their name first, this grabs their attention, then Mummy or daddy, or however you refer to yourself, loves you very much  thinking of you, have a good sleep, so many sleep times left. And what ever loving message you would love give them. 

It’s just like when you are thinking of someone you love and phone rings and it is them. We all receive wordless messages from one another.

If you know someone that travels and loves their pets and always feels sad or bad about leaving them behind please forward them this newsletter.

Making your loved one feel safe can alleviate naughty behaviour that can appear so it seems out of nowhere. There is no such thing as out of nowhere.

Love and Light