Posts By Susan B. Eirich, PhD

Susan B. Eirich, PhD, is the Founder and Executive Director of Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary and Retreat Center. A licensed psychologist, biologist and educator, her goal is to widen the circle of conversation about conservation to include the voices of all living beings.
White German Shepherd Dog in the snow

Led Astray by a Bounding Snow Dog

An odd movement just outside the office window caught the corner of my eye. What was that? I turned to look and saw a column of steam rising as if a whistling tea kettle was coming to a boil. What could be burning outside in the snow? I stood up

Read More
Woman sitting on a log next to a large gray timberwolf

Rewriting Our Story

We need a new story in conservation—one that energizes us and gives us hope. As more species extinctions are announced and weather patterns change dramatically, our human-centered frame of reference is too small, causing us to make decisions that do not consider the living systems in which we are embedded.

Read More
Woman feeds an orphaned vole with a syringe

A Vole, A Bear, and a Berry Pie

The Vole It’s true that we serve bears, wolves, and other large, dramatic animals that capture our imagination. But from an ethical perspective, Life is owed a deep respect regardless of size because anything with the breath of life is an absolute miracle. Even from a practical perspective, size doesn’t

Read More
Black and white bird sitting on a branch

Greed Overcomes Intelligence

Magpies have a reputation for being very smart birds—but now I am not so sure. Last night, as I walked by the enclosure that holds the five orphaned foxes we are preparing for release, I was startled by an enormous commotion. I couldn’t believe my eyes: a frantic flapping of

Read More
Woman sits at a table surrounded by chickens

Chickens Rule the Earthfire Roost

You’d think there’d be peace on a lovely early summer morning at a wildlife sanctuary as the first rays of sun appear over the mountains. But no. It’s true that the bears are sound asleep in their hammocks. The horses and bison and burros are standing stock still, soaking in

Read More
Light palomino horse against a snowy backdrop

Opening a Portal Between Two Species

Often a deep shift in consciousness occurs when we share with each other the profound, inexplicable experiences we’ve had with wildlife. It is vitally important that we support one another as we explore the nature of our human journey, and the nature of reality, beyond the constraining norms of commonly

Read More
White dog with black spots and black markings on his face

Just a Dream?

Odd things happen to all of us at some time or another. A few weeks ago, I woke up after a vivid dream about my dog, Abe. I was at the trailhead of a popular local path into the foothills, calling out for Abe, who had run off both leashless

Read More
Woman looks into the eyes of a coyote

Learning to Explore and Trust Ourselves

In many ways, we are creatures of habit. We are also shaped by cultural influences, the family, the times we are born into, and social pressures as to what is “normal.” Without realizing it, our brains are shaped by the pressures and examples we grow up with. And unless we

Read More
Macro shot of a green insect with large brown eyes and antennae

It’s Not Just a Bug!

The other day we watched footage from our trail cam on our wildlife corridor. Something flitted briefly across the screen as we looked for mammals, and someone said, “Oh, it’s just a bug…” “Just a bug?” I exclaimed. “What do you mean, ‘just a bug’? They make the world go

Read More
Young buddhist monk in orange robes petting an elephant

Species Loneliness

Many of us have a deep longing for something more in life, a yearning, a sense of loneliness. What if we are longing for something we innately have: a deep, visceral connection to the wild—to animals, nature, and the community of Life? Wild animals are lonely for us. We are

Read More
White German Shepherd Dog in the snow

Led Astray by a Bounding Snow Dog

An odd movement just outside the office window caught the corner of my eye. What was that? I turned to look and saw a column of steam rising as if a whistling tea kettle was coming to a boil. What could be burning outside in the snow? I stood up

Read More
Woman sitting on a log next to a large gray timberwolf

Rewriting Our Story

We need a new story in conservation—one that energizes us and gives us hope. As more species extinctions are announced and weather patterns change dramatically, our human-centered frame of reference is too small, causing us to make decisions that do not consider the living systems in which we are embedded.

Read More
Woman feeds an orphaned vole with a syringe

A Vole, A Bear, and a Berry Pie

The Vole It’s true that we serve bears, wolves, and other large, dramatic animals that capture our imagination. But from an ethical perspective, Life is owed a deep respect regardless of size because anything with the breath of life is an absolute miracle. Even from a practical perspective, size doesn’t

Read More
Black and white bird sitting on a branch

Greed Overcomes Intelligence

Magpies have a reputation for being very smart birds—but now I am not so sure. Last night, as I walked by the enclosure that holds the five orphaned foxes we are preparing for release, I was startled by an enormous commotion. I couldn’t believe my eyes: a frantic flapping of

Read More
Woman sits at a table surrounded by chickens

Chickens Rule the Earthfire Roost

You’d think there’d be peace on a lovely early summer morning at a wildlife sanctuary as the first rays of sun appear over the mountains. But no. It’s true that the bears are sound asleep in their hammocks. The horses and bison and burros are standing stock still, soaking in

Read More
Light palomino horse against a snowy backdrop

Opening a Portal Between Two Species

Often a deep shift in consciousness occurs when we share with each other the profound, inexplicable experiences we’ve had with wildlife. It is vitally important that we support one another as we explore the nature of our human journey, and the nature of reality, beyond the constraining norms of commonly

Read More
White dog with black spots and black markings on his face

Just a Dream?

Odd things happen to all of us at some time or another. A few weeks ago, I woke up after a vivid dream about my dog, Abe. I was at the trailhead of a popular local path into the foothills, calling out for Abe, who had run off both leashless

Read More
Woman looks into the eyes of a coyote

Learning to Explore and Trust Ourselves

In many ways, we are creatures of habit. We are also shaped by cultural influences, the family, the times we are born into, and social pressures as to what is “normal.” Without realizing it, our brains are shaped by the pressures and examples we grow up with. And unless we

Read More
Macro shot of a green insect with large brown eyes and antennae

It’s Not Just a Bug!

The other day we watched footage from our trail cam on our wildlife corridor. Something flitted briefly across the screen as we looked for mammals, and someone said, “Oh, it’s just a bug…” “Just a bug?” I exclaimed. “What do you mean, ‘just a bug’? They make the world go

Read More
Young buddhist monk in orange robes petting an elephant

Species Loneliness

Many of us have a deep longing for something more in life, a yearning, a sense of loneliness. What if we are longing for something we innately have: a deep, visceral connection to the wild—to animals, nature, and the community of Life? Wild animals are lonely for us. We are

Read More

For more Earthfire Stories, subscribe to our newsletter.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our privacy policy.