The Day the Animals Took Over My Company

Okay, the hour they took over. But we had been eagerly looking forward to this day, and didn’t soon forget it after it happened.

During the month of June, our charity was the Wildlife in Need Center. These wonderful people rescue and rehabilitate animals that have encountered misfortune, either through natural means or through humanity (and yes, it’s most often through humanity).

Some animals can’t be released back into the wild, either for health or other issues, or because they’d been stolen right out of their nests or lairs as babies and had imprinted themselves on their human captors, and thus becoming unable to fend for themselves in the wild.

And then we got to meet some of them! Here’s the full list of Animal Ambassadors. Read along to spot the five that came to our company:





We learned something about each animal beyond what and who they were.

For example, the turtle has gotten a bit too big for her shell. I am sure she just needs to rearrange some furniture…



Also, Waldo Woodchuck is NOT a morning chuck and was reported as being grumpy when he was extracted from his lair and loaded into his crate to come here, but he came out readily enough with the array of treats presented before him.



Dakota Owl has a multifaceted story. He’s been at the Center for 16 years; he’d been with his previous person there for 14 years. She died two years ago from cancer, and Dakota went through a mourning period. He’s been two years with our demonstrator here, and we could see how much they have bonded.



He also was owlnapped several years ago by two teenage boys who took him to a drinking party.…/not-really-a-hoot-thieves…

Because originally he’d been taken from his nest as an owlet by a couple who thought it’d be just great to own a pet owl–and he was only removed from that situation when they took him to a vet, wondering why their pet owl wasn’t doing so well (they’d been feeding him cat food)–he had completely imprinted on humans, so he didn’t know what to do about predators, and not a whole lot about prey.

It took them three weeks to get him back; he had been sighted roosting in trees, but because the perches offered for him to fly down and roost on weren’t the ones he was used to, he didn’t come down. They only retrieved him when, weakened through lack of food, he fell off a branch to the ground.

It took four months of physical rehabilitation to get him back to a state close to normal, and to this day he gets very anxious around anyone who looks like those two teenage boys.

The boys have gone on to a rich life full of more crime.

After just one hour spent in their company, this seems like such a cool, caring place for these animals to be. The ones that aren’t able to be rehabbed into the wild are living pretty good lives!

The Unexpected Owl

My morning workday routine had just been capsized: My car had to go into the shop and I had to go with it.

I got there before they opened. I told myself it was better this way; first in means getting out that much sooner (theoretically).

While I waited, I was busy logging into work, answering emails, digging through all the supplies I’d brought in my bag, and basically doing everything that was the opposite of the mindfulness we hear so much about these days.

And that’s when I saw the owl.


The unexpected owl.

I don’t know how long he’d been sitting there. I certainly hadn’t been thinking I’d see an owl today. The area I was in wasn’t accustomed to owls at all.

Yet he, primed to be aware of everything around him, probably saw me drive up from quite a distance away. And just to anthropomorphize for a bit, he could well have wondered what fools these human mortals be, because…

Here was an opportunity to fully experience a moment and I was missing it.

I got out of the car. The owner and one of the mechanics drove up and also got out of their cars. And from a respectful distance, we all fawned over this owl, who just sat there being an owl the whole time.

It made an otherwise ordinary morning a magical morning. And I wonder: How many things have I missed because I’m plugged into my routine?


The full scene. I swear he posed for each of us, too.

What’s made you stop lately and just enjoy the moment?


Originally published on LinkedIn.

Went to Pier 1 for a Candle & Came Back with an Owl

There he was, sitting on a couch in front of the store, looking as cute as only a newly-hatched owl could. I could picture him as our own Couch Owl, and only the other day I was talking about retail therapy, so it was quite obvious to me that I needed to bring this owl home.

Did you know Pier 1 doesn’t have much in the way of taper candles? They said to wait until Christmas, which for them is a month from now. I confess I found that disheartening.