Just read a great book from the library – only wish he had holistic options in his bag of tricks. Vint Virga is a veterinary behaviorist who has treated animals from pets to zoos and mostly focuses on the animal/person interaction from the larger picture of love of all life. We give. They give. We all receive the benefits.
He compares the wild cats in the zoo to our domestic cats – “Keep a clouded leopard confined to an enclosure..” and she will not be happy. “Feed a house cat free choice form a bowl…” and they will sleep most of the time. He reports research showing that even farm cats spend 1/2 their day sleeping and resting; hunt 4 hrs; groom 4 hours or less; eating, etc is the rest.
You will love reading about Persephone and Pandora, two adopted kittens that kept their owners up all night. Boredom during the day when the parents were not at home. What to do? Not more bowls of kibble – make them find the food all over the house. This is one benefit of feeding dogs and cats big hunks of meaty bones they have to work and gnaw, though some eat even that so fast that hidden treats may be needed. After implementing his suggestions, the parents said that the two cats were entirely different and happier, even during the day – “a complete transformation.”
Dr. Pitcairn has spoken about how many abnormal behaviors are merely because we have limited the lives of our pets and they have had to adapt to our lifestyles. Dr. Virga extends that, showing how looking at how we limit their lives, we can see how we limit our own.
I sometimes find the owners need the same homeopathic remedy as the animals, or when the owners shift their thinking, the ill animals recover.
We can also learn about forgiveness from our animals. Though the dog may act guilty, he is probably responding to our reaction to the event, not the event itself and as soon as we are ready to play again they have not merely forgiven, but forgotten as well.