EARTHFIRE STORIES

Animal Spirit And Energy
March 23, 2017

The Bears are Awake!!!!!

They emerge slowly, tentatively– is it time yet? A damp nose. Sleepy little brown eyes. Fuzzy ears. One front leg reaches out of the den entrance. Followed by another....

-- Susan Eirich, PhD -- We got the phone call on a Wednesday. There was this wolf-like animal hanging around the yard of the caller. Stephanie lived in a rural subdivision and was worried about his future. She suspected he would eventually be shot if he was left free. He was young, perhaps 5-6 months old, and apparently very lonely. When she was in the house looking out she could see him approach her two little dogs, trying to play with them. Over time he bonded with them. He slept in the bushes near the house. He would bring toys into the yard- a ball he had found, sticks, inviting them to play. She quite fell in love with him. Eventually she could sit on the porch and he would still...

-- By Susan Eirich, PhD -- Sometimes, the veil between species is pierced and it is a very beautiful thing. Life’s strong, biologically driven sense of individual preservation, common to all species, gives way under extreme circumstances. As a last resort, we overcome our fear and ask for help when there is no other option left. One exquisitely touching example of this is in the accompanying video. Four wild young deer, exhausted by swimming across the icy waters of Stephens Passage off the coast of Alaska, see a boat, swim towards it and essentially ask for help from humans. Which is gladly given. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yhnEs_mzOo There are many such videos: The raven...

One of the things we love about babies of any kind is the wide- eyed innocent wonderment at the world. It is an endearing, evocative quality and not what one would expect of a grizzly bear. But it is just what we need with one of our bears, Humble Bumble. How can that be? How is it that a full-grown grizzly bear has the sweetness and innocence of a young animal? I have written elsewhere about his learning disabilities, and what it implies about the innate similarities between all of us. How an egg terrified him, and when he got the courage to swat it, it broke, and then he was terrified all over again. How it took forever for him to dare to go into his first pool. How easily he is...

Cindar was a 7-year-old, beautiful black female wolf. She was very sensitive and smart. Jean and Susan called me because she was depressed and seemed ill. When I arrived she was weak and was breathing very rapidly. When I listened to her lungs with the stethoscope she had very little air moving through them. I was immediately concerned as to why such a seemingly healthy wolf was losing lung function so quickly. We decided that to get a better idea as to what was going on with her lungs, we needed to do a chest x-ray. The x-ray revealed fluid in the chest and very limited lung capacity. Some of the lung had no air in it at all. It was clear she had pneumonia but what would have caused it?...

Midnight Journey is a big and extra-intense, extra high-energy wolf; rangy, long legged and active. His emotions are filtered through a strong masculinity and dignity – he does not wear them on his sleeve, entirely unlike that passionate little wolf Cucumber for example. He is go go go go go go go, looking about, looking for food; restless unless he is moving, searching . . . exploring. He is so handsome that he was selected to be in a photo shoot. We are glad for these opportunities as they help feed the animals. The set up took forever from our point of view and even longer from Midnight’s. Wolves are not the most patient beings and he was pacing back and forth in frustration as...

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