In Native American tradition the “prairie dog” brings with it a special message of retreat when it crosses our path. In times of stress and over-exertion it reminds us to take some time out, withdraw from our busy modern lives and recharge our batteries.
This is what the prairie dog does when it gets into trouble. It withdraws into the safe depths of the earth, with several escape routes waiting in case of emergency. The prairie dog teaches us to pick our battles carefully. Prairie dog medicine is also symbolic of the opposite. In times when we have become too withdrawn and disconnected from family, friends and the world around us, this magical animal encourages us to reach out to others and join in social activities.
Prairie Dog…calls me when it’s time to rest, when it’s time to honor the internal quest. I go into retreat so I may see, a way to replenish the potential in me ~ Jamie Sams & David Carson
Sadly, the prairie dog is no longer appreciated in all quarters for their spiritual symbolism. Each year in the United States tens of thousands of prairie dogs lose their lives to poisoning and traps, urban development, non-native disease, or shooting contests.
My grandmother grew up in New Mexico and used to tell me about the prairie dogs and her love for them when I was a little girl. I see why she loved them so much, and I’m glad that I live in a community that still protects these precious, native beings.
Here in Santa Fe, many of their colonies were in the busiest part of town. You could see them as you sat in your car at major intersections, where cars and the commuter train to Albuquerque cross. It was a lovely sight to watch them as you waited for the red light to change to green, or the arm for the train crossing to go up. Fortunately, Santa Fe is very “critter friendly” and went to great lengths to properly relocate them.
First, the prairie dogs are humanely trapped when exiting their burrows, and relocated in kennels to either a holding facility or directly into a new burrow, complete with a holding cap for a slow release into its new home. During the transfer, the prairie dogs are given health and wellness checks, receive any necessary vet care, and are amply fed. Prairie dogs are kept with their families. Colonies number 1,000 prairie dogs at the most, and are moved in batches over the course of a few months’ time.
The new burrows, located in protected areas where the prairie dogs will not be hunted or poisoned, are either pre-existing abandoned burrows that have been restored, or new burrows created with nest boxes and drain pipes about 4 feet underground.
Nine different wildlife species depend on the prairie dog and their habitat for their survival. The prairie dog is a critical component to healthy North American grasslands ~ Dr. Jane Goodall
After the prairie dogs are released, the burrow is capped with a temporary holding cage is the form of a rabbit hutch. The hutch stays over the top of the burrow for three to five days so the prairie dogs can safely acclimate to their new home. The hutches are stocked with moist foods, and are shaded and predator-safe. Once the hutch is removed, the prairie dogs are free to run around their new habitat, dig all they want, and enjoy their new, safe homes.
Although I miss watching them in the places they used to be, I’m grateful to know they are in a safer and more appropriate habitat for their survival now. From their new home they will continue to remind us of the importance of having a sense community, and also how good it is to sometimes retreat into spiritual solitude and inner silence. For it is here where renewed strength and wisdom can be found.
| PsychicAccess.com.Mountain Sage’s profession is Metaphysical Academics. Her extensive training includes Oracle, Healing, Universal Laws & Principles, the Sacred Circle and Psychic Shielding. Focus includes Ascended Masters, Altars, Minerals, etc. She holds the great honor of Oracle Carrier by her tribe due to her outstanding psychic ability, passion for the psychic realm, integrity and sacred work. Get a psychic reading with Mountain Sage at |
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