Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Power of Communicating with Animals

Today's Summer Blog Challenge question is: If you could have a super power, what would it be?

When I was growing up, there were three shows on television that intrigued me: The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and Superwoman.

In The Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin (a former astronaut) had bionic implants including a left eye with a 20.2:1 zoom lens along with a night vision function. Austin's bionic eye also had an infrared filter that he used to see in the dark and detect heat. 

Steve also had bionic legs that allowed him to run at high speed (up to 67 mph) and make huge leaps. He  also had a bionic right arm with the equivalent strength of a bulldozer.

The spin-off from The Six Million Dollar Man was The Bionic Woman. In it, Jaime Sommers was given two bionic legs which gave her the ability to run at speeds exceeding 60 mph and jump to and from great heights.

Her right arm was replaced by a lifelike prosthetic capable of bending steel or throwing objects far distances. She also had the inner part of her right ear replaced by a bionic device that gave her amplified hearing such that she could detect most sounds regardless of volume or frequency.

Superwoman possessed superhuman strength, speed, and flight.

Although these super human powers intrigued me when I was younger, they aren't ones I would want now.  So, I was curious to see what other super human powers people have thought up. Interestingly, on Wikipedia, there's a whole page dedicated to Superhuman features and abilities in fiction. I would never have thought there were that many. 

Out of the ones listed, the one that resonated with me was the ability to communicate with know what they are thinking and feeling. Wikipedia's example of this is the character Tarzan.

I think it would fascinating to know what animals think. One of my favorite dogs was Casey who was born in 1995. She died in 2008 at the age of 12 years old. She moved from Minneapolis to the farm the same year she was born, so she was truly a "country dog." She loved helping me with the sheep, chickens, turkeys, and horses.

I would have enjoyed knowing what she thought about as she was with me doing chores and caring for the other animals; and what she and her dog companions (Sydne and Montague) would find on their walks around the farm.

Casey relaxing in the pasture 
after helping with the animals.

Being able to communicate with animals would also be helpful, especially when we have introduced new animals to one another. For example, Bailey and Hoss were both adopted from the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation. They came from neglect situations at two different farms, and met each other for the first time at our farm.

Horses Getting to Know One Another
Olivia watching the horses meet one another for the first time.
(Taken on August 13, 2009.)

Being able to communicate with animals also would be helpful when trying to figure out why certain cats get along together so well and others avoid each other.

Meenie, Eenie, and Lucy
Three of the cats - Meenie, Eenie, and Lucy.
Meenie and Eenie are from the same litter, and 
were adopted from a local farmer.
Despite being sister and brother, they don't get along all the time.
This picture is a rare one of the two sitting next to each other.
(Taken on November 17, 2010.)

The dogs love to explore the backyard, pastures, and nature trail. When there's snow on the ground, it's easy to see what scent they are following - a pheasant, deer, fox, bird, or other wildlife. I'd enjoy listening to what a dog's mind is like as it follows the tracks of an animal.

Fun in the Leaves
Olivia raking leaves and burying Sophia in them.
Montague finding Sophia in the leaves.
Needless to say, he was very excited to find her!
(Photo taken October 17, 2007, when the girls were 4 and 6 years old.)

I can just imagine this male peacock below thinking, "Look at me! I'm so handsome!" And he is...the display he put on was quite impressive.

White Peacock with Fanned Tail
White peacock displaying his feathers.
(Taken on June 8, 2012, on a trip to southwestern Minnesota.)

At times, it would be great to be able to let animals know that they are safe at the farm; and to see if there is some specific food that they are looking for and/or need.

Deer in the Front Yard - Homeschool Science Lesson
A deer on the east side of the front yard.
It's not a great picture because it was taken through a window.
I didn't want to frighten her away.
(Taken on June 1, 2008.)

There are times that I would like to know more about a particular animal and "its story." For example, the black bear pictured below was at an animal sanctuary in Maine that Sophia, Olivia, and I visited. The Maine Department of Natural Resources runs the facility to help orphaned, injured, and human-raised wildlife. All of the animals at the facility fit into one of these categories.

Getting Some Water
One of the bears in Maine that was either orphaned,
injured, and/or human-raised.
It's walking to get some water.
(Taken on September 9, 2011)

So, with domestic pets, livestock, and wildlife around me all the time, the most helpful - and interesting - super human power for me would be the ability to communicate with animals.


Domestically Seasoned said...

I would love to know what my furry friends are thinking. Sometimes the best voice they have are the people who care for them.

Nicole GF said...

This is one power I never would have thought of. It would be very cool though!

Dorky Crystal said...

That would be an awesome super power!

Shai Smith said...

I love this! ♥

Molly O'Bryon-Welpott said...

This is a sweet post, our dog died on vacation with us in June, (one of them) I started reading tjos fiction book a couple weeks ago the Dog that could talk to God (and he talks to the owner) very sweet.
It was like he did talk the night we had to let him go:( He talked through his eyes, I miss him so much.
Love the kitty photo

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! I would love to know what my dog is thinking sometimes.

Great use of Wikipedia to research this topic too!

Anna Murphy said...

The first thing I thought about was Dr. Doolittle. I did not see the movie with Eddie Murphy, but it sounded like fun. I know my dog says, "Oh, she's finally home!" every time I walk in the door, no matter how long I've been gone. And my cat says, "Pet me. Pet me. Pet me. I'm going to keep saying this until you do."