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Tag: peace

Dog, cat and rat

Meet Gregory Pike — currently homeless in Santa Barbara, California — and his dog, cat and rat.

Most days, Pike can be found on State Street there, along with his dog Booger, his cat Kitty, riding atop the dog, and his rat Mousey, riding atop the cat.

The Mayor of Santa Barbara reportedly found it so heartwarming a scene that she had it videotaped and sent it out as a holiday card. We find it to be right up there with the elephant and dog story out of Tennessee.

We also find it more than a little ironic that, if you go to the comments section beneath the dog-cat-rat-getting-along video on YouTube, you can find dozens of petty, mean-spirited, bickering comments from humans who seemingly can’t.

The best factual account of Pike and his animals we could find was in The Bottom Line, a bi-weekly newspaper sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Pike, originally from Telluride, Colo., says he has been studying animal habitats and psychology for about 30 years, has worked with animal rescues and rehabilitation centers for mountain animals, and has a diverse background in animal training.

Pike says the act started ten years ago “when someone said it couldn’t be done.”

“I understand animals and why they do things. I understand some of the barks, and the meows, and what the different ways they do it mean. I’m not a Doctor Doolittle, but I know what they’re asking for.”

Pike told The Bottom Line that he has some insights into what makes people tick as well, and with his act hopes to be able to catch the attention of people to pass on his messages of peace and humanity to the human species. “Peace can happen anywhere — if they can do it why can’t people?” he said.

Pike reportedly hopes to someday open a free pet adoption and rescue center, which is why he keeps a can out for money.

Stand by me

There are a couple of dogs in this video, in the background, at the beginning.

If you think there needs to be more reason for it to appear here, on a dog website, there’s this one: Music — like dogs, like causes, like inspirational leaders, booze, Bingo and lazy Sundays — can bring people together, slow them down and put them in a position to make the world a better place.

That position also being the first name of our country: United.

The video above, from the documentary, “Playing For Change: Peace Through Music,” features non-huge name performers from around the world, street musicians in many cases, performing the Ben E. King classic “Stand By Me.” Each musician added their part to the song as it travelled around the world.

Mark Johnson, the Grammy-award winning producer/engineer and co-founder of Playing for Change, embarked on the mission after hearing two monks playing in a New York subway and watching about 200 normally harried commuters stop and listen.

Over the last decade, Johnson’s mission evolved into promoting international peace through global musical cooperation.

“For the past four years, a small crew has traveled the world with recording equipment and cameras in search of inspiration and human connections,” Johnson explains. “The result is a movement connecting the world through music … Music has the power to break down the walls between cultures, to raise the level of human understanding.”

Dogs are much the same way, I think. And who, after all, is better at standing by you? If we stood by each other the way dogs stand by us, well, to quote John Lennon, “Imagine.” So those are the reasons, if we need them, that we proudly present this particular video on this particular lazy Sunday.