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What Can We Learn From Our Animal Friends?

Updated on March 27, 2017

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~Anatole France

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Even though, we, humans possess a large brain that allows us to make incredible technological marvels and wonders that wow the citizens of this planet, we still have a lot to learn about love. Many do not understand what love really is! We think love is something that is traded between different parties.

“I will love you if you do this for me. I will love you if you love me more! If you buy me that big house on top of that hill, I will love you.” Or, do you remember this from school? “I will be your best friend if you let me borrow that…”

What people do not understand is that this isn’t “real” love. Unconditional love doesn’t have any requirements. And we mustn’t forget this important fact:

There are no requirements for God’s love.

God loves us whether we love God in return. However, it is such a beautiful blessing to share our love with others! Those who do not share love don’t know what they’re missing. To me, this is Hell to the Soul. What can animals teach us about love?

They can teach us a great deal about unconditional love if we are open and willing. This is the key! If we get caught up in the concept of being far superior over animals, because we are at the top of the food chain, then we will probably not learn anything of value from them. We will not notice their kind acts of love and compassion that they show to each other, including other species of animals.

When I was in elementary school, I was very fortunate to have a teacher that had several different pets in the classroom. I do not remember the type of animals she had, but I do remember the special privilege of getting to spend time with these beautiful beings. We not only learned about the responsibility of taking care of a “living breathing” being, but we also learned to respect and honor these amazing creatures. Reflecting on this, I am truly grateful for this beautiful experience. Thank you for the opportunity to connect with these amazing beings of love. Let me share another example of how animals touch our lives.

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Source

Years ago, I watched a television program in which hardened criminals were given animals to take care of. I don’t remember the amount of time they spent with the animals, but I do remember the powerful changes that took place. Having to take care and to get to know one of the animals, one of the individuals was transformed by his relationship with the animal. Instead of being cold and uncaring, the unconditional love of the animal transformed him. He was no longer the cold selfish individual that he once was. I truly believe this animal helped him connect to the unconditional love that is within all of us. On the other hand, I also believe that we set the stage for potential trouble when we are disconnected from this love. That is why it is very important to have little reminders, now and again, about our true connection to love. I would now like to talk about an amazing gorilla named Koko.

I was first introduced to Koko during an anthropology class I had at the junior college. We watched an amazing video that shared the story of an incredible gorilla. Koko understands sign language and knows over one thousand signs. She also understands two thousand words of spoken English. What was very touching about Koko was her relationship with a tiny kitten she named “All Ball.” They loved spending time with each other. But one tragic day, her beloved friend was tragically killed by a car. Koko was devastated by the loss of her friend. She mourned his death. Thinking about this has brought tears to my eyes. My heart ached for Koko’s loss. On a positive note, it was amazing to see how unconditional love can transcend different species.

Koko has also met many celebrities, such as William Shatner, Robin Williams, Mr. Rogers, her favorite celebrity, and Betty White. In a CNN interview, Betty White was asked by Piers Morgan what her “greatest moment” was. She told Piers that her “greatest moment” was getting to spend time with Koko. Wow! I was blown away by this.

We often don’t realize how wonderful these teachers of unconditional love are until we are graced by their presence.

Both Koko and I were born in 1971. We both celebrated a wonderful 40th birthday last year. Koko enjoyed sushi and presents, while I celebrated my birthday in San Diego with a friend. Now, let me share a beautiful story about an amazing friendship between an orangutan and a hound dog.

Suryia and Roscoe.
Suryia and Roscoe. | Source

While surfing facebook one day, I came across a photo of an orangutan with a hound dog. The photo showed Suryia, the orangutan, with his arm wrapped around Roscoe, the hound dog, in a wonderful embrace. Here, again, we see the demonstration of unconditional love between two different species.

During a usual routine of going to the river, an unusual event took place. Suryia and Roscue saw each other for the very first time and jumped into each other’s arms. It was like the reuniting of two long lost friends. It was more than obvious that these two amazing beings radiated unconditional love for one another. You only have to look at the photos or watch the videos to see this. I wipe a tear from my eye as I remember this. I would like to leave you with one last story.

I believe it was last month, or so, that I saw a touching video of two elephants reuniting. These two elephants named Shirley and Jenny were reunited after being apart for more than twenty years. They met each other at a circus almost twenty five years ago at the time of the video. Jenny was an infant from Asia, and Shirley became her adopted mother. In wanting to reconnect with each other, the two elephants began to bend the bars; however, a man by the name of Scott opened the gate, allowing the two elephants to reunite after more than twenty years of being apart. This beautiful friendship brought tears to my eyes. We can learn a lot about unconditional love from these beautiful teachers of love.

They say an elephant never forgets.

I believe they never forget the power of unconditional love.

It is our true nature.

It is the Great Universal Force that connects all together.

Namaste

http://www.facebook.com/wisdomoftheheartandsoul?ref=hl

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    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      4 years ago from Southern California

      Roger, I greatly appreciate the kind words. Animals teach me a lot about love and life. They also teach me about the importance of living in the moment. :)

    • Roger Nichols profile image

      Roger Nichols 

      4 years ago from Mandurah, Western Australia

      Well done an excellent article there are so many things we can learn from the animal and associated kingdoms they are getting more aware in so many ways

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      4 years ago from Southern California

      wetnosedogs, thank you very much. I'm glad to hear about your three. :)

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 

      4 years ago from Alabama

      Wonderful hub.

      I got three with me now with unconditional love. :)

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      4 years ago from Southern California

      Faith, thank you so kindly. I am totally with you there. They are, indeed, wonderful teachers of unconditional love. They have touched my lifetime and time again. I'm glad you enjoyed the video. It is very beautiful. I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Thank you for voting up and more and sharing.

      Hugs, Terry

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      4 years ago from Southern California

      FlourishAnway, I totally agree with you. I have personally experienced that and can vouch for that. I'm glad you enjoyed the article and photos. Thank you very much! :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful hub here. We can learn so much from animals and their unconditional love no doubt! Love the video too!

      Excellent hub! Up and more and sharing

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      Animals can relate to one another and us on a level without pretense and expectation. They have the capacity for great empathy and patience. I like the examples that you provide, including the photos. Very nice hub.

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      4 years ago from Southern California

      Jodah, I greatly appreciate the congrats and your kind words regarding this hub. Yes, it is very sad to see people not appreciate these beautiful beings. I'm very happy to hear that animals touch your life, as they do mine. Thank you very much for voting my hub up. :)

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      4 years ago from Southern California

      Kim, thank you very much for the congrats. I wasn't aware that my hub was chosen. I am honored. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for the follow. :)

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      4 years ago from Southern California

      Wow Jackie! I'm very flattered. I'm glad you connected to this hub. Animals are very special to me. They are, indeed, great teachers of love. :)

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      4 years ago from Southern California

      DDE, thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Animals touch my soul. It is my pleasure to share this article and photos with others. Thank you for voting this hub up! :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Congratulations fom me as well terry. This is a beautiful hub, and we should be ashamed of the way many of our race treat our animal cousins. We can learn so much from them as you say, especially unconditional love. I have four dogs and four cats, and I adore animals. I can't imagine my life being fulfilled without them in it. Voted up.

    • profile image

      ocfireflies 

      4 years ago

      Congratulations on receiving Hug of the Day. As an animal lover, I enjoyed this hub very much. Glad to be a new follower.

      ocfireflies aka Kim

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I really love this and enjoyed the video so much I have watched it about 3 times and shared it too. ^

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub presented with lovely photos, on What Can We Learn From Our Animal Friends, it is such a useful, interesting hub with so much of thought put into this hub. Voted up!

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Marie, thank you for doing what you do. What you write and post is very inspiring. When I'm inspired, I like to return the favor by doing my part in inspiring others. Being creative beings, there are so many ways to transform our world.

      In regards to my book, I'll let you know through FB. :)

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I am glad I shared this in my Facebook page and it inspired your hub! We need to continue focusing on writing and behaving in such a way that we add to the energy of love, respect and compassion. Thank you for your kind words. :)

      BTW, I tried to review your book in Blurb but didn't see where I could do this...

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Marie, thank you very much. Animals are indeed wonderful teachers. Your post of the disabled military veteran's service dog being kicked by a United Airlines employee broke my heart. This only proves the disconnection from love. We should honor and respect these beautiful teachers of love. This article was written to show my love and appreciation to these beautiful beings.

      Marie, thank you for your kind words. You are also a writer that speaks from the heart. Your heart energy is felt in your words and actions. I'm glad you enjoyed the little video. Thanks for voting it up.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Terry, this was very touching. Animals are our teachers on unconditional and in being attuned to the flow of Creation. Since they are in the flow of Love, all their needs are met. As I may have mentioned before, you write from the heart and because of this your words truly inspire.

      Truly enjoyed the Youtube - nice touch!

      Voted up!

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Ashvina, very true. :) Those that are not touched by animals and little children are obviously disconnected from life. They are truly missing out on something beautiful and magical.

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      editsvcs, the love they share is definitely incredible. I'm saddened when people play down this incredible love, especially when the love is between two different species. "Oh, that is just a fluke. They don't know any better." Those that make these type of comments obviously have not been touched by the love of an animal.

      That is awesome that you had pets in your classroom as well. Your teacher sounds like a wonderful soul that understands the importance of animals. I'm glad to hear that you had a wonderful experience with your pet guinea pig. The connection we have with animals will always be with us.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      6 years ago

      How can anyone fail to be touched by animals and little children? :)

    • editsvcs profile image

      editsvcs 

      6 years ago

      The unconditional love animals share is an incredible thing. I also had one of those wonderful elementary school teachers with pets in the classroom. I wanted a cat so badly at home, but a parent was allergic to cats, so it wasn't possible. My teacher recommended my parents allow me to have a guinea pig at home. Times spent with my pet guinea pig are still some of my favorite childhood memories.

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