Swimming, Climbing, Earning Admiration, Hunting Prey

My animals’ greatest moments:

Stormy (11-year-old Aussie): “My greatest moment is when I learned how to jump off the boat into the ocean. Prior I could swim out into the water from a lake beach, but the day I jumped out of the boat into the vast ocean I was thrilled. At first I was scared but you encouraged me. That day I also learned how to climb back on. It was challenging. I loved jumping off that boat in the large, wavy, salty water and swimming. I was strong then.”

Makia (15-year-old ): “My greatest moment is when I was a year old and I climbed to the top of the sycamore tree outside our house. It was so wonderful because I could see to the ocean, the road, and the horses at the back of the ranch. I sat close to a hawk and her nest. That was the first time I realized the world is very big. That was before I rode cross-country in a car. [The Montecito Fire Department actually helped me get Makia down from that tree!—Laura]

Joey: (16-year-old cat): “My greatest moment was the night Juliett [cat] died. She came to me in a spirit and taught me how to hunt in our garden. That night she taught how to be a cat. She taught me how to leap, how to stalk low, and to look into the distance at what I am going to jump on. She said she was sorry for being mean to me when she was alive. She told she was going to be a wild cat and hunt big things but before she goes she wants to teach me how to hunt little things, because one day, God told her, she will have to teach her babies how to hunt. God told her she should teach me as practice. I became a great hunter that day and I also learned friends never die.

Click to enlarge photo

Laura Stinchfield


Serafina (10-year-old cat): “My greatest moment is when I learned how to play with a catnip toy. I didn’t even know I could bat something like that with my paw. Now I can bat it across the room and leap on it from afar. I know how to get it to stick to my paw. It is great because that play needs skill and it also needs me to let go with joy. I never played like that before.”

Bean (4-year-old bunny): “My greatest moment was when you came and picked me up from the smoker’s house. His friends were so mean to me that when I saw you I thought, “She really came back for me!” and that I wouldn’t suffer anymore. I also liked Bunny Festival because I got to see other bunnies and hear what they had to say. I also got lots of presents there. I got new treats and that basket I could chew on. I realized a lot of people love bunnies.”

Maia (wolf-dog in heaven): “In life my greatest moment was when you would teach me something like jumping over an obstacle or shaking paws and you would light up with admiration for me. Also when you would put my bright orange reflective vest on and let me go out for hours and chase deer. In heaven my greatest moment is when I picked the family where I will be reborn and then God said yes, I can come back to you.”

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