Sophia does her Dad Fernando Proud

Sophia visiting pre-procession

Palm Sunday has been a special day for St. Michaels Episcopal church because of its celebration of Jesus’ ride into town on the back of a donkey. It became an even more special day thanks to Sally Swift who thought the church’s celebration could be improved a bit if a real burro could be persuaded to lead the procession. Enter Fermando, world’s cutest donkey. He led the procession to the delight of Sally and her fellow church members. No one could resist Fernando’s charming ways. Sadly and most unexpectedly Fernando passed away in the early winter of 2009. It was at this point that the church offered Sophia, Fernando’s daughter, a chance to step into her father’s shoes. Last year, her first go at it, was a bit sketchy… Dr. Sorton and I had to literally lift her hind quarters into the air to get her to move forward. Maya Sutton-Smith patiently encouraged her while Sophia’s ‘rear wheel drive’ was not so delicately ‘encouraged’ to get along little donkey… This year was the year for Sophia to prove the naysayers wrong! She most politely and willingly led the Palmsters along with joy in her mighty little burro heart. Palm Sunday was special indeed. Thank you Sally Swift: your vision carries on to the delight of others on Palm Sunday as well as on the  other 364  days of the year!

A huge thank you to Dr.Pam Sorton who has been instrumental in keeping Sally’s tradition going.

The Eyes {sic} Have It

Just as many animals do, we humans communicate a lot of information with our eyes.   Some among us, for one reason or another,  do not pay attention to this valuable source of interpersonal information.  By not looking at another’s eyes much of what is being ‘said’ is lost.  Whether this failure to make eye contact is due to  insufficient arousal in the brain, shyness, fear, etc. ,  the bottom line is that a chance for a more complete understanding with another person or animal can’t happen without it.  In a group setting, failure to scan eyes and accompanying facial expressions can result in a real lack of understanding about what’s going on.   Those who do not routinely read the eyes of others may feel disconnected, confused and alone.  They  can be shocked by things they could have seencoming.  Being social creatures, this is a very real problem.  It is very difficult to make and keep friends without tapping into this valuable source of communication.

Working with animals and observing their nonverbal behaviors can help develop the skills needed to notice and readeye language.

In watching animals communicate with each other, clients can witness the power of what is not being spoken.  Learning something by watching others is called Observational Learning.  Now how perfect is that!100_0166100_0165