Animal dads. Human dads. Different in ways. A lot just the same.
Most dads face similar challenges. Wives who know more than we do. Kids who don’t have a clue. (They probably do. What do we know?) Some dads (animal & human) risk life and limb just to mate. And some — well, they’re just total flakes.
From awful to awesome, let’s take a look at a few animal dads. The good, the bad, and the savviest of those non-human heads of their home (or pack). We humans may not always do right, but hey — at least we don’t gobble our young with an un-fatherly bite.
The Good — Wolves
Family time with Gray Wolves. Photo: Steve Jurvetson.
Wolves are playful, protective dads. They’re also loyal, loving partners. The usually monogamous alpha male may stay with his alpha she-wolf for life. The alpha male and female are typically the only ones who will breed in a pack, until the “crown” is passed on to a new pair.
During courtship, the young “lovers-in-wait” grow close and affectionate. They often play together, even sleeping side-by-side. As mating season approaches, their bond becomes ever stronger. READ MORE
An interspecies friendship — an amazing love story.
Awful in every way. What was happening to me? I was a baby. Age one year at the time. Christmas 2004. Everything gone. A terrible storm. My home demolished. My mom, dad, my brothers and sisters — drowned.
Owen & Mzee, best friends forever
The violent sea snatched me away. It carried me for days. Until a foreign shore appeared. The landscape strange — I knew I was far from home.
Voices, shouting. Strange beings all around. A net over my head. I was too weak to fight — almost. And, I had grown pretty big — about 650 pounds at the time. I was dehydrated. Disoriented. I wanted to die — and I almost did.
The man who helped me — his name was “Owen.” Now that’s my name, too. When Owen first saw me I heard him exclaim,
“What to do? There are no hippos like this here!”
But Owen stepped in when others were scared.READ MORE
Finding Nemo. A movie for our children. A dad message.
Nemo was born with a deformed fin. Marlin is Nemo’s dad. Marlin lost his family to the perils of the ocean. Only Nemo survived. Marlin is determined to protect Nemo. He insulates his son from all risk. It’s his job as Dad, Marlin thinks.
But Nemo feels smothered. He rebels and swims off. Marlin screams, “Come back.” The more Dad pleads, the faster Nemo swims. Because Nemo was over-protected by Dad, he has no experience avoiding danger. A scuba diver captures him. Nemo is taken away in a boat. Marlin, the good dad, pursues.READ MORE