Survival Instinct - Choice or Ingrained?
Posted on June 03, 2011 by Veronica Forsman, One of Thousands of Life Coaches on Noomii.
SURVIVAL...is it a choice we make? Or is it perhaps, simply a part of our make up?
Mason, a one-year-old terrier mix, was given up for dead after he was sucked out a garage during a massive tornado in Birmingham, Ala.
The following story is an incredible lesson of survival and hope. In reading this article, I could not help but begin to ponder the idea of SURVIVAL instinct…is it a choice we make? Or is it perhaps, simply a part of our make up – you either have it or you don’t – a part of your DNA, ingrained and non-negotiable? Hmmmm, I wonder.
Wikipedia describes SURVIVAL as this: ‘Survival is the struggle to remain alive and living.’ Alive and living…two completely different things. One must then ask the question, Are we truly LIVING? Is that the secret? While we may be alive in the basic sense, breathing, going about day to day life seemingly happy enough, work, eat, play, sleep, more work, more eating, more sleeping…ARE YOU LIVING? What would it mean for you to actually be LIVING your life, verses the truth of it, that most days, life is actually living us. Days pass. Time passes by. Be blink and we don’t even remember how we got here, to this place in time, this outcome of our lives.
What would it take for you to fight for your survival? An even bigger question…If given the choice, would you fight for the life you have right now?
Big questions and perhaps I’m over-thinking here…but as you read the story of Mason, this wonderful little dog that fought his way back, crippled and broken, hungry and desperate, just to get home to his life and family…could any one of us do the same?
Animals live simply. They ask for very little and expect even less. Food. Shelter. Love. That’s it. Those are the basics that each one us, if we lost everything else, would need to survive on. Simple things. But these offer huge rewards, no?
So at the end of this pondering, I’m just wondering if by complicating our lives with all of the busyness, the ‘stuff’ and more ‘stuff’, the ideals and opinions and pride, ego and hatred…the never enough mentality…by simplifying our lives, in gratitude and simplicity, we can truly LIVE.
I leave you with the story and your own pondering, but would love to know your thoughts on this.
Written by Kenyon WallaceToronto Star
A furry, friendly canine from Birmingham, Ala., is leaving veterinarians incredulous after the family pet found his way home with two broken legs three weeks after being blown away by a tornado.
Mason, a one-year-old terrier mix, was hiding in his family’s garage in the Birmingham suburb of North Smithfield on April 27, when he was sucked out by the massive tornado that destroyed whole neighbourhoods and killed more than 40 people.
Despite days of desperate searching by his owners, who asked not to be named and are not granting media interviews, Mason was nowhere to be found. With most of the garage destroyed, family members resigned themselves to the likelihood that their four-legged pal did not survive the ordeal.
Then, three weeks later, the family arrived home one day to find their beloved pooch, mouth agape and stumpy tail wagging like crazy, sitting on the front porch.
Fearing their resilient little friend might not be long for the world, the family immediately took Mason to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Animal Control Shelter.
“He was emaciated and his two front legs were literally flopping below the elbows,” said Phil Doster, adoption and rescue coordinator at Animal Control. “Mason literally had to crawl on his elbows to get back. The little guy had no indication of pain, remarkably. He was just happy to be home.”
Instead of euthanizing the pup, Animal Control contacted the nearby Vulcan Park Animal Care Clinic to see if a surgeon was available to save Mason’s life.
When the clinic heard the remarkable tale of survival, it immediately offered to take X-rays and make an attempt to get Mason healthy again.
“One of our surgeons offered up his services, free of charge, and on Friday Mason underwent three-and-a-half hours of fairly invasive surgery,” recounted Chuck Eagar, a manager and veterinarian technician at Vulcan Park Animal Clinic.
“He’s got two metal plates and several pins in his legs, but he’s doing great. He’s eating and drinking well. He’s got a lot of heart and a great personality.”
No one has any idea how far Mason had to crawl to get home, but rescuers suspect it was probably a substantial distance given that the two doors ripped by the tornado from the front of the garage have never been found.
The tornado, which was classified as an EF-4 and had peak winds reaching 305 km/h, killed 41 people and injured another 1,000 as it carved a path of destruction nearly three kilometers wide through heavily populated areas. The storm was part of the largest and most violent tornado outbreak in the history of the United States.
Doster told the Star Mason’s veterinarians were shocked by the dog’s survival, particularly because of the severity of his broken bones.
“Both breaks on his front legs are non-union breaks, meaning they completely broke in half and did not realign,” he said.
Mason is now recovering and learning to get around on his two splints. Eagar says offers of adoption have been coming in from around the world, including Canada and Belize, but the owners have said they want him back.
“It will take him about six weeks to recover so he’ll be with us until then, at which point he’ll be going back to his family,” Eagar told the Star.
He says staff and residents alike are still in awe of the little dog’s remarkable journey.
“This is the most extreme case I’ve seen. Most animals thrown far away with two broken legs would have just crawled up and died. That’s something that’s hard to get over. Mason’s survival is incredible.”