You may remember Rachael, my friend who has dedicated her life to the welfare of animals. Rachael runs Sydney's Legacy, an animal education program, where she teaches children and adults about sharing our world with animals.
Every Thursday, Rachael volunteers with Orion, the great horned owl, at a wildlife sanctuary outside Los Angeles. Before that she hikes in the mountains around the sanctuary where Orion lives.
Rachael working with a rescued raven.
When Rachael was hiking recently, she came around a bend in the trail and ran right into a skunk. They both stopped dead in their tracks and looked at each other.
The skunk stared at Rachael and stomped its front paws into the ground, a sign of skunk distress. And, of course, we all know what's coming next.
Rachael said she was praying as the skunk turned around, ready to let her have it. There was nothing else she could do. She was certain to get sprayed at that point.
Rachael with Angel and Soldier
But then something wonderful happened: The skunk turned around, stomped its front paws a few more times, then turned and headed off the path into the bushes.
When I heard this, I told Rachael it just proves that animals are so much smarter than we think. The skunk knew Rachael cared and was not a threat. Even if the skunk didn't know all the good things Rachael has done for animals, he felt her energy and that was enough for him to reconsider spraying her and head for the bushes instead.
If you don't believe me, just look at the adoring looks Rachael is getting in the picture above. My dogs don't behave like that with people in general, but they know Rachael is a very special friend.
To learn about Rachael, the animals at Sydney's Legacy, and much, much more, click here. To read earlier posts, click the tab for Sydney's Legacy at the top of my blog.