Animals Can Be Therapists Too

   "Every fish, every animal is a someone, not a something", People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Animals have an innate respect for life which humans have not : many stories show how brave animals can be (dogs, cats, horses, cows, monkeys, seagulls, dolphins...) when they see somebody else, whether they are human adults or children, animals of the same species or of an other one, in need of help. They can even loose their life when too badly injured in the rescue.
   This shows animals have a better moral background than humans, as many humans would not risk their own life in trying to help somebody else in jeopardy. Rather, humans are more likely to be oppressors, tormentors, exploiters and killers of animals. More than one hundred such stories are told in the book "Peaceful Kingdom" by Stephanie Laland.

Animals have better abilities for compassion and love than humans, so they may have a definite therapeutic effect on some suffering children.

   "Hans Reusch tells this story of two dogs in a laboratory where experiments were performed upon animals. A small dog had been partially paralyzed in an experiment that took away his ability to use his back legs. He was left to suffer alone on the floor, ignored by the researchers. But then he spotted another little dog in the room. Despite his painfully wounded body, he started to drag himself over to the other dog. That other dog could not see because he had been blinded in another experiment and his eyes were putrefying.
   A research assistant happened to turn at that moment and watched as the crippled little dog licked the blinded one, giving him what comfort and love he could.
   "That pathetic gesture of sympathy put the human race to shame" the assistant later wrote (from the book "Animals Angels" by Stephanie Laland, p. 195).

Unlikely recovery in a little girl :
   "After a vacation, a little girl's cat went missing before going back home : the family searched for him in vain. The little girl cried bitterly all the way home. When she was 4 year-old, she had suffered a terrible fall that left her in coma for a month. As a result, she was now nearly blind, mute and paralyzed down her left side, in wheelchair.
   At home, she lost all interest in life, she stopped eating. At night, she would pray for her cat to return and stare at his empty box in despair. Nine months later, there was a scratching at the door : the cat appeared, feeble and barely alive but happy to be reunited with his little girl. Under the shock, the child exclaimed
- My cat ! He's come home !"
   It was the first time she spoke since the accident had destroyed half her body and her ability to talk. The cat had walked 600 miles.
   The child's recovery continued after as she eventually found back most of her ability to walk (from the book "Animals Angels" by Stephanie Laland, p. 182).

Kitten all the way with dying child :
   "The small orange kitten kept watch over a dying child. So steadfast was her vigil that the kitten refused to leave, even to eat. The child had cancer and was wasting away.
   Even after the adults had gotten too sleepy to stay up any longer and had gone to bed, the little cat sat like a soft sentry near the child's head, calmly watching. Whenever the child awoke, she never felt alone in the darkness for she saw her kitten's beautiful gold eyes upon her.
   Sometimes the kitten was sent outside by misunderstanding humans. She would then leap to the child's window and scratch on the glass, trying to get back to be at the child's bedside.
   The child died. A little later, the kitten died of a similar type of cancer. Like a tiny angelic being, the kitten had helped her child move gently from this world to the next. But the people who had witnessed all this saw only a tiny orange kitten lying on a child's bed" (from the book "Peaceful Kingdom" by Stephanie Laland, p. 115). It seems as if the kitten did not want to live anymore after her child friend had died, as if she yearned to join her in death, did she have herself somebody keeping watch over her while dying ?

Animals are superior to humans :
    Animals do not make wars nor massacres.
   Animals do not destroy their natural environment.
   Animals do not pollute the planet.
   Animals do not reproduce beyond the resources available in their natural environment.
   Animals do not abuse their children.
   Animals do not suffer from multiple incurable illnesses when they live free in their natural environment.
   Animals do not torture other species under reason of scientific research, farming or entertainment.
   Animals do not torment, exploit, imprison, or enslave other species.
   Animals are able of better compassion, love and help to other animals and humans in distress.
   Pets love unconditionally the humans they live with even though frequently those humans submit them to multiple restrictions that are harmful to their health.
   Animals feel no need to smoke cigarettes nor drink alcohol, nor take medications, legal or illegal drugs.
   Animals need no money to live.
   Animals have no need for multiple noisy, hazardous and polluting machines like humans do.
   Animals need no governments nor complicated bureaucracies.
   Animals know how to live peacefully, simply, healthily and happily.

   Animals do not need humans to live, humans need animals : without humans animals would survive,


Animals experience the same feelings and emotions as humans do :

Story of the Grateful Lizard, by Filip Marceron

   For watering my vegetable garden I had a big barrel to collect rain water from the gutter. But some lizards running so fast on the wall fell into it and drowned. One day, instead of just feeling sorry and removing the little floating corpse, I had idea of letting it rest on my garden table, just in case. And yes, one hour later I saw ce (ce = she or he) slightly lifting ces head up, off the table : ce was alive and slowly recovering !

   I was pleased, put ce down on the ground, and went inside with door left open to pack my bag on my bed for the next day off. Suddenly, right on the bed, there ce was, the little one not bigger than my medium finger. I had never heard nor seen any of them crawling inside of a home and all the more climbing on a bed ! Human beings are giants to them and they just keep away, so I thought ces mind was just still disturbed by the near drowning. But as I sat still, ce came up to my hand and pushed ces minuscule forked tongue to touch me repeatedly, and just did that. I could not believe my eyes. But I had to finish packing to go to bed soon as I had to leave at 3 A.M. I took ce gently and again brought ce outside.

   Then the next day I understood : ce wanted to thank me, and without any ability to speak ce could do only that. Alas, I never saw ce again. Could the two of us, even though so different, have developed a friendship if I had waited to see what ce would have done next ? If I had known better, I could have tried to talk to ce as frequently animals like young children understand well what they are told, even if themselves can not talk. Only then I realized that probably most, may be all animals experience all the feelings humans do, including gratefulness.

   I got the idea of pushing the rain barrel a few inches off the wall and found no more victims. I kept a sense of blessing and awe from that wonderful story : a revelation that I had the luck to not miss.

rev. 2016