Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Animals Employed as Servants

Many, we have as pets..repaying them with love, a home and enjoyment. 
 Others we use for various 'services (jobs)' including entertainment
 for other humans who pay admission fees.

Horses were used in wars by soldiers in combat; today, used frequently as 'control' measures in crowd events. They are ridden by equestrians in show-jumping competitions...or simply 'pleasure ridden'. They were useful for pulling farm machinery or for the carriages of elite persons. Some are trained for 'chuck-wagon races' at the many fall fairs.

Camels were ridden by the 'Wise Men' who following the 'Star in the East' paid tribute to Baby Jesus. They are a 'transportation vehicle' for travellers crossing deserts.

Circus Animals: Lions, tigers, seals, elephants...entertain families under “The Big Tent”.

Dogs: Scent and rescue dogs, highly trained, are at work in airports, border crossings and work with police forces in locating criminals and missing persons. In times of disasters...tsunamis, earthquakes and tornadoes...dogs with their owners, search for humans who have been caught. Sled dogs (mainly huskies) provide Arctic transportation for the Inuits (Eskimos) and for humans like us, outdoor winter entertainment in the North ~ these dog teams thrill at the opportunity 'to run' which is in their blood!

Navy Seals assist soldiers during war and other crises to the country...marine animals such as dolphins, the bottlenose and California sea lions work for the American navy.

Donkeys in some world countries are used daily...ploughing, carrying food, firewood, water & riding.

Reindeer are often used for transportation; they can adapt to cold climates. The herding of reindeer is practised by peoples of the Scandinavian countries, Russia and northern Canada.

Elephants can lift heavy loads, using their trunks. They are proven to be the most intelligent mammal and have good memory power for many years.

Goats, we breed for their milk and cheese. On an over-Christmas Caribbean cruise, my son, home from University, asked the waiter where they kept the cows on board for the milk offered at meals. He responded, “Not cows, they are goats that we have on board.”

Cows are the mainstay of our milk production. And of course, beef appears on restaurant menus.

Birds (canaries, parakeets) are house companions. When my father died in November 1962, we bought my mother a yellow canary, bird cage and accessories at Christmas to keep her happily engaged.

Have you heard of birds being employed to deter other species?
The following article appeared recently in news media.

Warrior Hawk...Xena Goes Missing
and 'Boss' is in a Bit of a Flutter!
(written by Carmela Fragomeni ~ The Hamilton Spectator)

Xena the warrior hawk has flown the coop, but owner, Rob Wernaart hopes she's had her fill of wanderlust and is ready to come home. It's time for her to return to work as a top 'gull harasser,' controlling birds at landfills, commercial properties and shopping malls. It's what she's been trained to do: scare those pesky gulls away!

Wernaart says he gave her the winter off. “She's on vacation.” But he figured she'd stick around her Freelton home and not fly off to who knows where. Xena 2 went missing a week ago when she didn't come home for her usual meals.

Wernaart's pretty sure she's hunting her own food now, but he still needs her ~ not just because she's an 'employee' of his Flamborough Bird and Wildlife business, but also because she is his pet.
She's Xena, my little warrior princess.”
Wernaart says losing her is like losing a pet dog.
It's really heart breaking ~ I do bring her inside and talk to her
and we have that great bonding.”

Xena has a leash attached to each leg so she can be grabbed to be fed and trained. She also has a bell on her right leg. But, he cautions, “I wouldn't suggest anyone touch her because her talons are pretty sharp.” He is asking anyone who sees her to contact him so he can “go down with food and my glove and, hopefully, she'll come down to me.” He can be reached at 905-818-6793 or via email at

Wernaart, his father and brother are all in the business of training hawks
and other birds to control nuisance birds such as gulls.

Xena is Wernaart's second hawk. Before her, he was given one to train and return to its owner. That trained hawk was 'Bitchy' who now works at controlling birds at BMO Field in Toronto.

Animal Wisdom
What a lonely species we are....searching for signals of life from galaxies,
adopting companion animals, visiting parks and zoos to converse with other beasts.
In the process, we discover our shared identity.
(Diane Ackerman)

Merle Baird-Kerr...compiled April 12, 2015
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