Sunday, September 13, 2009

Did You Know ...

Did you know that September is National Honey Month? Just a thought!

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(Image from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project Annual Report)


What do you know about gorillas? Mr. Dragon and I learned about Mountain Gorillas at a recent wildlife lecture at the zoo. I’d like to share this from the yearly report from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. “The story of the mountain gorillas begins like many other conservation stories: only 700 left in the wild, threatened by poachers, habitat destruction, and disease transmission from domestic animals and human. But unlike so many other stories of threatened species, this one has taken an optimistic turn: the numbers of Mountain Gorillas are increasing. In fact, mountain gorillas are the only great ape population that is growing, despite the challenges. What explains this success? A focused effort by governments and conservationists working together to overcome the odds. Key to this effort is the work of Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, which not only provides veterinary care to the mountain gorillas in their wild habitat, but also champions the “One Health” approach to conservation. The One Health approach recognizes that to sustain the wild Mountain Gorillas, the health of their environment, including their habitat and the human and domestic animals with which they interact, must be maintained. This approach is the key to the hopeful future for this species, and may provide the most promising prototype for conservation projects elsewhere.”

We spent an evening listening to Dr. Mike Cranfield the Project Director of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project talk about the Mountain Gorillas. It was amazing the work these volunteers are doing, not only for the health of these wonderful animals, but also the health of the people living near them -- vital to the well being of the gorilla. More information can be found at their public web site: Gorilla Docs. It is an amazing story.

It is very apparent, from this lecture and the others we have attended on wildlife that the greatest ape of all -- man -- has not been a very good steward of the earth and its inhabitants. Have you noticed the number of stories in the press lately about tainted water and that its getting worse, right here, now? Will man ever learn? Is it already too late? Mr. Dragon often looks at me and says “What makes you think this is the first time man has been on this earth? He’s probably been here before, destroyed it, returned and didn’t learn again. Perhaps this cycle has been repeated many times.” Our own science fiction story?

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I thought I’d share with you what our veterinarian believes happened to our little Rocky. There is a syndrome in male cats that causes cardiomyopathy. It is completely without symptoms. No murmurs. No nothing until there is a catastrophic incident. Just like what happened to our little dumpling boy.

I suppose we are getting better. The house is still too quiet. I cry everyday, but can now look at his pictures or remember little things without completely breaking down. Ms. Riley, his litter mate, misses him the most -- her brother, her playmate. Looking at Riley will always remind us of Rocky.

We normally write a check to our local SPCA and Humane Society when one of our companions passes from this life and we will do the same for Rocky. But, Rocky was too special. There was something about him --- perhaps a look on his face that said "I know everything that is of importance in this world"! We decided we need to do a little more in his memory. So, we have arranged for Rocky to have a brick at the entrance to the zoo. It will be at the zoo long after we are gone and will be engraved with the following:

ROCKY

Little Dumpling Boy

We Miss You

Rest

I will leave you with this thought sent to us by our wonderful veternarian and friend.



We were indeed blessed.

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I am thankful for another day on beautiful Mother Earth.

Joy to You!


6 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Snap, I am so sorry about Rocky. I cried while reading your post. Losing a loved one so suddenly is harder I think. But--that's the way I want to die when my time comes. I don't want the pain and lingering--even though it is hard for those remaining.

Interesting about the gorillas. Thanks for sharing....

That's a great way to memorialize Rocky at the zoo...

Hugs to you,
Betsy

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

What a beautiful tribute for Rocky. He will always be remembered in your heart and memories. I am so sorry for your loss.
How very interesting the concept that we may have been here before and just didn't learn the lesson. Man today is selfish and not thinking of others and the earth that we live on. No we have not been good stewards and hopefully, the tide will change. What a wonderful lecture that must have been ;)

Sarah said...

Aww hon that was beautiful..now I'm in tears!! Huge hugs..it's hard I know!!! Breathe!!!
Namaste, Sarah

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

It is scary to think of the damage to the earth thus far. And like you said, we are not learning. How many of us can say we have changed enough of our ways to make a difference?

I understand why you needed to know why Rocky died. I hope it helps to know that there was nothing you did or could have done or not done to prevent his death. Ah yes, he sounded like a wise soul and his memory will walk this earth with your tribute. I, too, am grateful for another day on mother earth today.

Barbara said...

I'm such a cat person, animal person, dog person, too. There is something so pure about that kind of love. I'm so sorry about Rocky and how sweet you can leave that little memorial for him at the zoo. Beautiful choice. Hugs!

sherry ♥ lee said...

Your commemoration of Rocky is a perfect way to show how much he meant to you. And while you all miss him still, you and Mr. Dragon can have a place to go to be "with" him.

I didn't know all of this about gorillas, but you are so right, we have made such a mess of the bounty and the beauty of this earth.

Maybe Mr. Dragon is on to something with his theory!