Behind The Secret Door

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I had an interesting experiencing walking Molly. She stopped at a house and sat and did not want to continue her walk. This is highly unusual for Molly since she looks forward to her walks and has never sat down and resisted continuing our daily walk. When she is confused or does not understand what we are communicating, she also sits down. It finally occured to me that she knew something that I did not perceive. She kept looking at this house for sale and to a statue of Isis, a mythological Goddess. She stood up and led me to a door that is seen in this photograph. The door was made of bamboo blue and gold reeds, There were also very unusual moss covered trees on both sides of the gate, They appeared to be otherworldy figures, the male on the right and the female on the left. The male was more somber and as you can see was viewing us intently with his left eye. It was clear that Molly had found an enchanted place and wanted to explore what was behind the secret door. I posted a few photos of what I titled "Molly’s Enchanted Garden.’ I have many more photos of the ponds and buddhist figures that created a magnificent Zen-like spiritual landscape. We encountered many beautiful buddhist figures and bridges as we hiked up the trail. A Japanese tea house surrounded by beautiful trees, zen figures and several ponds were inspirational. I felt like I had entered a serene paradise and like Molly did not want to leave. There was a sense of peace and tranquility that I rarely experience in the hurried pace of city life. I will upload more photos of this magical place that I have referred to as Molly’s enchanted garden. I thought the door was unusual and in keeping with the beauty that surrounded us. Molly is very communicative and those who are open to animal communication will find communicating with animals to be fascinating. Temple Grandin is . an autistic woman who as a child was recommended for institutionalization, Grandin has managed not only to enter society’s mainstream but ultimately to become prominent in animal research. An associate professor at Colorado State University, she designs facilities used worldwide for humane handling of livestock. She also invented a “hug machine” (based on a cattle-holding chute) that calms autistic children. In Animals in Translation, co-authored with science writer Catherine Johnson, Grandin makes an intriguing argument that, psychologically, animals and autistic people have a great deal in common—and that both have mental abilities typically underestimated by normal people. The book is a valuable, if speculative, contribution to the discussion of both autism and animal intelligence, two subjects on which there is little scientific consensus. Autistics, in Grandin’s view, represent a “way station” between average people, with all their verbal and conceptual abilities, and animals. In touring animal facilities, Grandin often spots details—a rattling chain, say, or a fluttering piece of cloth—that disturb the animals but have been overlooked by the people in charge. She also draws on psychological studies to show how oblivious humans can be to their surroundings. Ordinary humans seem to be less detail-oriented than animals and autistics. Grandin argues that animals have formidable cognitive capabilities, albeit specialized ones, whereas humans are cognitive generalists. Dogs are smell experts, birds are migration specialists, and so on. In her view, some animals have a form of genius—much as autistic savants can perform feats of memory and calculation far beyond the abilities of average people. Some dogs, for example, can predict when their owner is about to have a seizure. Delving into animal emotion, aggression and suffering, Grandin gives tips that may be useful for caretakers of pets and farm animals. She also notes that humans seem to need, and thrive on, the proximity of animals. Indeed, she states provocatively, in the process of becoming human we gave up something primal, and being around animals helps us get a measure of that back.

Behind The Secret Door

Julie Marks

Los Angeles, United States

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