I have a theory-one of these days, I fully expect some major scientific funding back me up on it. My theory is-if you are really good with animals, any kind of animals, then the reactions of the animals in your life to the people you bring around them will tell you all you need to know about the people.
The Sports Model Jackass taught me a great deal about this-of course, he was something of a special kind of guy, too. He loved to play pranks. I’m serious. He didn’t like my sister-but then she didn’t care for him much either. He ran away with her at least twice. He bit her arm so hard she passed out (not nipped-BIT). We were riding side by side one day and she changed the words of The Old Grey Mare to The Old Brown Pinto-he nailed her foot for that (don’t tell me they don’t understand our speech!).
He also had opinions about farriers-loved to drive them crazy. Until a funny little old guy showed up who would work on both fronts then the hinds instead of going around the horse. Whatever worked.
Boyfriends were an issue with him-he never gave even a lukewarm response to one. None got bit, stepped on, or kicked, but he made it very clear-‘if you’re going with THAT-you’ve got a problem picking out boyfriends, toots.’ Sour ears, ugly looks, and The Butt. If it was really awful, he’d walk off.
Subsequent equines did the same-Zhivago, the Tarpan stallion, was particularly expressive in his opinions. ‘Dad’ adored me-and would actually walk between me and someone he did not care for. I sometimes wondered what would happen if somebody did try something with him around. He was a feisty little s*** on his best days.
Madam, my crabby long-haired tortoiseshell cat, was the one who gave the seal of approval to the guy I eventually married. She spent most of an evening upside down purring in his arm while we played a board game-something she never did. Then the horses ratified it. (I met him in ’89-seven years after I lost the Jackass.)
These are but a few of the examples. If you wish to post yours in the comments, please feel free to do so in WordPress. I would enjoy reading them. Animals enrich our lives in many ways-I believe they can make it easier and more worthwhile as well if we will but pay attention to what they try to tell us.