Check out our February edition: Creatures Great and Small

Creatures Great and Small

Join us this month at Grotto as we share stories of “Creatures Great and Small.” From our beloved pets at home to wild animals across the globe, we’re diving into all things animal, and we’re excited to see where it takes us.

A First-Timer’s Guide to Adopting a Shelter Animal

“We’re at a time in life when a lot of people are making big changes. People are switching jobs, getting engaged, moving to new cities, getting married, buying houses, and so many other things. Another big decision you might be faced with is adding a furry family member to the mix.”


Wondering how to adopt a shelter pet? This shelter volunteer and Dog-mom suggests these tips for bringing home your first shelter pet.
Read "Camp Lazarus", a poem about animals and camping.

“Camp Lazarus”

“After dark, the sleeping arise. // Scout’s honor, we believed it // and nightly snuck out // from lights-out cabins”


Unexpected Lessons from a Black Bear

Maureen is used to seeing the occasional bear out her window. Living in New England, they’re a part of the environment. However, a close encounter with a black bear caused her to face her own vulnerability. Here’s how she discovered she’s better off learning from them than fearing them.


Read this reflective narrative about a black bear encounter.
Read this reflective narrative about what this author learned from her reactive dog.

How My Reactive Dog Changed the Way I Relate to Others

When Molly’s dream of owning a dog became a reality, it was far from what she expected. Separation anxiety and reactivity made for a difficult first few weeks. But she soon discovered there was a lot to learn from her little Havanese — and her life would change because of it.


These Goats Have a Super Power

Meet Keith Bridges and his goats — who have gone viral for the way they are saving our planet. Keith rents out his goats to properties, where they eat and destroy invasive plants that are harmful to the environment. For Keith, this was a chance for a more peaceful, quiet life after serving in the military. 


Learn what "get back on the horse" means to this author — both literally and figuratively.

Why You Should Get Back on the Horse

“Getting back on the horse” can mean different things to different people. This author explains how she literally got back on a horse after an experience of being bucked off — and how she applied that same thinking to conquering her fears.


Connecting With the Gentle Giants of the Ocean

“It’s no secret that humanity has had a complex, closely interwoven relationship with the ocean over the course of our existence on the planet.”


Discover how we can transition into a healthier human relationship with nature.
Do you ever think about the relationship between humans and animals? Turns out, we're not that different.

We’re Not That Different

“As you learn more about the creatures that share our history, you will learn more about your own innate humanity and the beautiful uniqueness you bring to our planet.”


Anders’ Dino World

It started with a viral YouTube video featuring dinosaurs engaged in battle. From there, claymation artist Anders Visser turned his love for dinos into a craft that takes time, research, and a healthy dose of imagination.


Read this reflective narrative about this author's pet ferret.

What I Learned From Burying My Pet Ferret

For Eric, his ferret Max was more than a pet, he was a cherished companion during Eric’s younger years. Letting go of Max when he passed away took time — over ten years. But when he finally buried Max’s ashes, he realized just how necessary that ritual was for him, and how essential rituals are to our lives.


“Ode to the Noble Tardigrade”

“Slow stepping little water bear
Microzoa in repeating parts
Billions of microscopic pieces
Eight legs and a phylum starts.”


Read "Ode to the Noble Tardigrade", a poem about the tardigrade.
Learning to live with unwanted household pests can make your skin crawl, but take this author's advice.

Learning to Live With Unwanted Intruders

“The bugs dart around, roost on the ceiling, and hang out in the sink unabated, taunting us. They are this little annoyance we cannot vanquish, an itch on your back you can’t reach.”


The Pug Life

Since she was young, pugs have held a special place in Sarah’s heart. They bring her joy — and she’s learned that they bring a lot of other people joy too. That’s why every month, she and a group of fellow pug owners gather together for a “pug meet-up.”


Read this poem about that's about misnomers.


“we ‘rescued’ them—
at least six over two years—

our yellow-bellied sliders,
pet turtles transformed

into raceway drivers,
no cars needed.”


A Tiny Lesson on Living Simply

When Jess set out to re-introduce some native plants to her yard, she didn’t know just how fruitful her efforts would be. The plants themselves flourished in the little bed she planted, but they also brought new, unexpected life with them — and a few lessons on living simply.


Read this reflective narrative about slowing down in life.

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