In the animal world many species experience fear, traumatic attacks, deaths of family members , natural disasters, and cruel dominance as a matter of their day or week or month. It’s the food chain. They do experience loss, fear, caution, vulnerability, and seek safety in different ways. But… Do these common attacks define their identity? Do these traumatic moments rob them of ease and community pleasantries?

I’d actually like to know what you think about animals in the wild and how they navigate the inevitable traumas they endure. Then, I’d like to you to do a bit of research as to how animals remember or change after such attacks.

Here is one experience I personally encountered. My very lovely, mild mannered and jubilantly happy 20 year old dog was attacked by a cayote two years ago. She survived…a miracle given where the teeth marks were and how deeply they penitrated. She healed, with scares and a bit of skin sensitivity and became jubilant and curious and bold just like before. In fact the next day, after the vet cleaned and stitched her and gave the antibiotics regimen, she was running around outside gleefully where the attack took place. How in the world did she become so resilient?

So the question for us humans is, do we have the same capacity for recovery and resilience? Have we lost something by adopting certain mindsets about trauma? Why do we suffer personality changes and physical distress afterward when the animals that deal with this regularly return to their status quo?

This is worth contemplating. Never judge yourself for your reactions…please, but contemplate how we humans might perpetuate the trauma beyond those moments and some how miss out on healing and rebounding. Maybe. Let me know your pondering and research. Something to contemplate and learn from not be judged in any way.

Dr Carol Francis 310-543-1824

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