Ask an Animal How They Cope

The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to take the turn.” ~Author unknown

We have much to learn from the animals that share the planet with us and have learned to take the twists and turns that life throws at them in stride.

In a research study supported by the National Institutes of Health, NASA, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, they discovered that some mice were able to produce new stress-coping genes. The report states, “the researchers determined that weeks after experiencing a stressful event, animals that were more susceptible to stress exhibited enhanced neurogenesis – the birth of new nerve cells in the brain.”

I have to admit, when I read the news about the Australian couple who shelled out over $5,000 to correct Pixie the duck’s limp when she developed the limp after suffering a bacterial infection in one of its leg’s joints, I thought this couple is crazy. Was Pixie in pain? Not really, she just limped instead of waddled. What’s even more unnerving is that it only took the surgeon just about an hour to do the surgery and he charged them AU$5,000 (or about US$5,193) for the operation.

Then there is the news of the miraculous discovery in Japan three weeks after the devastating tsunami struck. A dog has been found alive floating in the ocean. You can see the video here. Not only did the dog survive he appeared in fairly good spirits and not suffering from any undue stress.

I began to think about the resilience of these animals even without human intervention. The dog survived all on its own for 3 weeks. The duck would have learned to compensate for her limp. Animals have abilities to take what has been handed to them and just sort of deal with it.

A few years back several researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany discovered that Blackbirds born in city environments have developed ways to keep their stress levels at bay as opposed to their forest-dwelling counterparts. It seems that the urban birds have adapted to living with the human masses and all appear to be coexisting with each other quite nicely.

If you find that you are stressing-out perhaps you should have a little talk with the animals!