Paternal Instincts Remain Strong in Seniors

Jul 19th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

One of the joys of living where we do is that we have such prolific wildlife as everyday neighbors.  Among that wildlife is a wide selection of birds, particularly quail and doves. 

We also enjoy two four legged canines, one a dacshund, the other a papillion.  The former is a hunter.  Over the weekend Zeb, the daschund, cajoled two baby doves into our house.  He transported them by mouth without injuring either.  The first one was mature enough to be set free quickly. The other is still a nesting bird, who required some care overnight, but is doing well and back in his nest today. 

Sharon, my spouse, having had some experience with domestic birds, took quick action, fed the littlle guy pedialyte, which restores his electrolytes and helps in recovering from trauma.  In addition she prepared an overnight crib for him/her and today he is showing signs of bouncing back quite nicely.  He has been put back in his nest to await the return of his parents, a pair of doves who, according to a bird specialist found on the internet, indicates that doves are quite the best parents among birds in the wild.

Now, all of this can be laid to the quick and able thinking of Sharon, whose sensitivity, knowledge and care likely has saved both of the birds who resided briefly in our house. 

Such remarkable sensivity and instinctive response is characteristic of persons who are motivated by deep empathy and caring.  They don’t let nature fully take its course, if there is some chance that intervention can be helpful.  They don’t say “oh well, it’s just another bird.”  They move in, quietly and quickly.  If I am ever stranded in the seas on a small lifeboat, I would want it to be with someone like Sharon. 

Instincts are not something we lose or grow out of.  They are an essential ingredient of our humanity.  Some seem to cultivate it and make it more available to others more readily than others.  It can contribute to both life saving and unbridled caring at times when that is what is needed most. 

It is also interesting to note that this episode happened over the weekend of Sharon’s 66th birthday.  So, Sharon, thank you for the gifts you give to us through your sensitivity and caring, your thoughtfulness and continued healthy instincts.

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