DEAR JOHANNA: Is it possible for hummingbirds to keep memories of entry and exit paths through an enclosed space?
Two lobsters recently entered my downtown apartment through a normal-width balcony door, perhaps the same one. The 20 foot vertical space in the living room makes an airy flight space for them while they are presumably looking for escape.
Between flights, they rested on houseplants and curtain rods just a few inches above the door post. I watched in awe and dismay from an upstairs bedroom that looked into the living room. In both cases, the lobsters eventually flew through that opening to circling my bedroom before exiting the double-wide balcony doors.
I am glad I was visited.
Rita Cortez, San Jose
DEAR RITA: Hummingbirds have excellent memories. They can remember where in the past they found food, how long it takes certain plants to replenish nectar and each backyard feeder they visit.
Not sure if this would result in navigable homes but it could be. Just a word of caution: while it sounds like you have plenty of flight space and wide-open exits for them, birds are not used to enclosures and could panic and injure themselves. Best to visit outdoors.
DEAR JOHANNA: How can I help my 5 year old wife doodle with her extreme sadness after she lost her friends who were part of our family?
I gave her extra love and attention, but she seems very calm and just scared. The last loss was my 14 year old female lab mix I had to help cross the bridge due to cancer. That was a week ago. Two months earlier, my 10 year old yellow lab succumbed to complications of Cushing, diabetes, blindness, and related diseases. Last March, my 17 year old cat succumbed to oral cancer.
These three family members were my life. Not only do I have problems losing three lives, my remaining dog is beside himself. I can say that she is not interested in anything. She will reluctantly eat and walk with me, but for the most part isolates herself completely. What can I do to help her fight?
Your fight affects me very much now and I don’t know what else to do. Any help or suggestion would be so grateful because depression not only rests in my life, but has certainly become part of your life.
Lynda, Des Moines, Iowa
LOVE LYNDA: Please accept my condolences. It’s a big loss in such a short time. It’s no wonder both you and your pup are struggling. Time is a great healer, and that could be just what the two of you need – time to process your losses and process your grief.
Your dog, who obviously misses his companions, may sense your sadness too. Once you start getting out of your depression, your depression will likely lift too.
Have you considered adopting another pet or looking for a shelter? No pet can replace the three you’ve lost, but adding another dog or cat into the family allows both of you to focus on something positive. It is obvious that you both love to give.
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