From the Desk of Linda Tellington-Jones

At a recent weeklong TTouch for Horses training, I made the observation that one of the horses there seemed very grateful to be with his person but felt “he was only a horse,” so could not feel such emotions. Fortunately, there are many people who are awakening to the realization that horses (and all animals)  do feel emotions and, thanks to the internet, we are seeing truly remarkable examples of animal emotions and interspecies connections.

Kathy Wells, who graduated from the 3-year TTouch Companion Animal Certification Training in New Jersey on May 21st, sent the following stories of 2 birds – a Goldfinch and a Swallow – who lost their mates. The stories were emailed to her from her friend Nancy and its my pleasure to pass them along to you.

An incredible thing happened to me the other day, compounded by another incredible thing! As I was driving down the road, I witnessed the most incredible thing I had ever seen in nature: minutes before I reached it, a female Goldfinch had just gotten hit by a car. Right before my very eyes I witnessed a male Goldfinch going back to her, apparently trying to help her get up. I drove around them carefully and then turned my car around and headed back to see if I could help them, but by the time I got back and parked my car it was too late … she had died, and the oncoming traffic had scared off the male bird. What a sad, yet incredible event to witness. I felt truly blessed to have seen such a thing take place. Then later that day, when I checked my email … I received the following email with another incredible tale, very strange indeed … I just felt compelled to share this story with all of you.

There is more love among animals than the average person who has no pets can even imagine.

She had been hit by a car as she swooped low across the road

She had been hit by a car as she swooped low across the road


The female swallow has been fatally injured.

The male swallow brings the female food and attends to her with love and compassion

The male swallow brings the female food and attends to her with love and compassion

He brings her food again but finds her dead  [/caption
]He tries to move her … a rarely-seen effort for swallows!

Apparently aware that his sweetheart is dead and will never come back to him again, the male appears to cry

Apparently aware that his sweetheart is dead and will never come back to him again, the male appears to cry

He brings her food again but finds her dead

At last aware that she would never return to him, he stood beside her in sorrow

At last aware that she would never return to him, he stood beside her in sorrow

Millions of people in America, Europe and India cried after viewing these photographs. The day these photos were published in France, the newspaper that carried the story sold out. Yet many people believe animals lack intelligence and emotion.

© 2009 Linda Tellington-Jones

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Comments on: "Animal Emotion: It's for the Birds!" (5)

  1. Two very nice stories.

    One correction, though:
    The swallow hit by a car is a child. The adult swallow tried to feed its child.

  2. Michael Aaron said:

    Those are two male swallows.

  3. I had a similar experience with two zebra finches. They lived in their cage at night and during the day were allowed to fly around in a spare bedroom. They never seemed to find the door, which was kept open and always stayed in that room. On the outside of their cage was a feeder that could be filled from the top like a funnel, with a ‘feeding bowl’ that stuck through the cage bars to the inside. One evening we were sitting in the living room when the male finch came flying in, chirping frantically. We followed him back to the bedroom to find his little wife upside down in the feeder, unable to get out. It amazes me that the male knew where to find us, and that he came to us for help.

  4. Pam Elliott said:

    Animal emotion is so real. Last December my 20 year old Peruvian Paso mare coliced on one of the coldest Texas days that year. A friend came with 4 others who were studying with on transferring energy …. etc. My friend is a TTouch supporter. As she worked on the mare, a gelding who lives with the mare, kept trying to lick Vista and was standing very close to her. I hollered at him to get out of the way, and quit being a pest. He dropped his head, turned away and started walking the other direction. My friend stopped me and made me apologize to Buddy, because he was actually helping transfer healing energy to Vista. I apologized and Buddy came back to assist his companion. Needless to say had I not been there I would not have believed it. After about 90 minutes of body work Vista sighed a big breath, stood up, shook herself off and proceeded to walk to the round bale that she and Buddy shared. I comment for two reasons, one that the body work and TTouch saved Vista’s life and has improved her overall quality of life to this day. Secondly, I guess I have to say I am amazed at the gelding, Buddy. He came to me 200 lbs overweight and having a suspensory injury. His owner was going to put him to sleep. I had just returned from TTouch with Linda in San Antonio, TX. I felt surely with what I learned I could make a difference in this guy’s life. He has lost most of the overweight, but could stand another 150 lbs off and the suspensory injury does not seem to debilitize him as it did when he arrived. Such a testimony that like I said I would not believe if I had not seen it. About 6 weeks ago, a friend told me she was trimming down her herd. She had a 4 year old Peruvian paso mare that had an injury to her front leg and fetlock joint. It had not been cared for properly and the little mare got around on three legs pretty well. She came home on a Sunday night. I told Buddy and Vista that we had a new addition coming and that she needed lots of help to come back to her perfection. The mare, Queso (yes cheese), acted as if this had been her home always. Vista glared and swung her tail to be sure Queso knew she was the boss. Buddy stood at the round pen with her licking her through the panels. One day passing the pasture, Queso was still in the round pen, and Buddy was standing halfway between her and Vista, who was at their normal napping spot. I guess he was caught in the middle of Queso needing him and Vista needing him. Anyway, not believing animals have emotions is simply idiotic! Queso is being worked on regularly by my friend and I try to do the minimal TTouch whenever I am near her. One of my friends said to me, “Just what you need another horse!” I replied, ” I did not need another horse, but Queso (registered Name is O Que Sopresa, o what a surprise) needed me. She has been turned out with Buddy and Vista and has made friends with the 5 across the fence. She does not appear to be in such great pain as the day she arrived. When it rains or gets cooler – she scoprions her tail and tries to run – unfortunately usually only on three legs. When we look for perfection in an animal or human it is amazing what is released!!

  5. There are 3 swallows in the second picture. Here is the original story:
    http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=2315290

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