I am not a 100% certain that my son has an ability to communicate with animals but he definitely has an over enthusiastic interest in them. I think this is great as I am the complete opposite and I have always been wary that he may inherit my overwhelming fear of cats and wasps.
In an experimental attempt to evolve my son’s animal communicating abilities my Wife and I have made a concentrated effort to take him to places where there are lots of animals. The most recent of outings took us to a Dog Show and to someone that has never been a dog owner let alone to a Dog show this was a surreal experience.
A Dog show is disturbingly similar to a Baby show with both jam packed full of proud parents parading their ‘babies’ around whilst modestly lapping up compliments. Just as babies naturally look like either both or one of their parents it is the same with the dogs and their owners, the bigger the dog the bigger the owner, the scruffier the dog the scruffier the owner and so on. This got me thinking if I did ever own a dog what type of dog would it be? I like to think of myself as big, friendly and fun so maybe a Labradoodle.
At first my son didn’t seem too excited about the prospect of being surrounded by hundreds of dogs, instead he casually sat back in his buggy and soaked up the sights around him. Ten minutes in and my boy perked up, he started to reach out to touch any dog that would pass by. Unfortunately his success rate was zero so he decided to change tact.
All of a sudden a short, sharp squeak came from my son’s buggy he had grabbed his plastic giraffe teething toy and with a firm grip and sudden vertical thrust of the arm, my boy had transformed into the Pied Piper of the dog world. With every squeeze of the toy another dog would become entranced by the mystery of the squeaking giraffe and they all wanted more of the action! I had no choice but to confiscate the giraffe when the conga line of dogs became over excitable.
There have been some occasions when an animal hasn’t been attracted to my son’s magnetism. The most recent being a cat that to my boy’s frustration had no interest in him at all and was more focussed on relaxing in the corner of the room. If the cat didn’t know before it certainly knows now that when there is a baby in the room no one gets to relax! To everyone’s horror my son threw his arm out and grabbed the cat’s tail and attempted to drag it back towards him.
To be fair to my son that was a one off and generally he is much gentler with animals as he tends to save his violent side just for me. Thanks to my son’s latest handy work I currently look like an older and a slightly more over weight version of Harry Potter, as I have a blood stained lightening shaped scar etched into my forehead.
I have witnessed my son’s genuine affection for animals first hand with a recent trip to a local farm. There was a fantastic area for young children including babies to have the opportunity to interact with some bunnies and guinea pigs. There was an amazing moment when my son gently played with a small bunny and the bunny took a real shine to him.
Although my boy seems to really like smaller animals he tends to get more excited about the bigger and more dangerous species of animal. In fact I think he is destined to follow in the footsteps of the late great Steve Irwin. My son doesn’t just enjoy being around dangerous animals it seems as though he goes out of his way to taunt them!
During a visit to a Zoo, we spent some time watching what can only be described as a very angry Baboon scavenging desperately for scraps of food. Now this may sound unbelievable but if you have read my post ‘My Baby Beats Me’ you will know one of my son’s favourite toys is a plastic banana, which is always taken out with us. You may have guessed, that my then 6 month old son decided to start waving his plastic banana in the air whilst hysterically laughing at the baboon. At the time I put this down to a comical coincidence but you can’t help but question this when the coincidences start to happen more often. Other taunting incidents include my son growling at 10 foot shark and winking at a tense looking crocodile.
Time will tell if my son’s love for all animals will continue and although I am not looking forward to the prospect of a houseful of them, I certainly can’t complain that I haven’t had practice looking after one.