Most of us are aware of the healing powers of interaction with animals. Even after a stressful day, only fifteen minutes with our furry, scaly or feathery friends can bring our heart rate and blood pressure down, put our minds at ease and produce feelings of calmness, contentment and happiness.
While our pets are amazing healers, anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to have an encounter with a wild animal, knows that everything described above happens on an even deeper, spiritual and primal level. The connection to Nature and Wilderness can never be given a fair description. One has to truly experience it in order to fully understand it.
Recently I spent few days with my friend, an amazing business woman, who runs a very busy business and leads an extremely hectic life. I observed her for several days and realized that even while she was “relaxing” at home, her mind kept going. She did not know how to turn off. Even though the work day was over, instead of enjoying some down time, she was processing everything that happened earlier that day and already making plans on what needed to happen the following day.
While watching her, I realized that this is what most of us do regularly. We never completely “turn off” and just enjoy being in the moment.
Animals are great teachers of living in the moment. They play when they are happy, they eat when they are hungry, they deal with problems as they arise and than move on to the next task at hand, without carrying any baggage from the previous encounter.
We also never realize how much we need that time for ourselves and often resist taking it, until someone else steps in and insists on it. So when I heard that my friend knows the owner of Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park in Orono, Ontario, I insisted that we go for a visit. I did so for two reasons: One was because I wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to interact with beautiful, amazing wildlife; Two was because I wanted my friend to take a break and experience the same.
This was just what the doctor ordered! As it turned out, they had two, tiny 6 week old White Wolf cubs that were being bottle fed in a private section of the sanctuary. These little guys are being raised to be Ambassadors for Wolves and will be used to educate people on how amazing these animals truly are.
We were allowed to go into their play pen, interact with them and even pick them up. It was the most amazing feeling being in the presence of pure innocence and having your entire face covered with kisses by so called “vicious” wild animals. I can not find words to describe the joy and contentment that I felt.
But the biggest reward was when I looked over at my friend and saw her grinning from ear to ear, rolling around on the grass and giving big hugs to these little furry Ambassadors of love and happiness. She was completely relaxed, she was filled with joy, she was worry-free and she was IN THE MOMENT! That to me was priceless!
We spent the rest of the day not talking about business and family problems, but rather discussing how happy this encounter with our four-legged friends made us feel.
If you are ever in the area of Orono, Ontario, make sure you visit the Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park and experience this little piece of Heaven On Earth for yourself.
Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park
3667 Concession Road 6, P.O. Box 370, Orono, Ontario, L0B 1M0, Canada