Why I like animals

Two dogs looking up with snow

Old friends: Dogs were domesticated perhaps 15,000 years ago.

I love spending time with animals. Perhaps it’s just one more way of experiencing life the way we evolved.

I always had a lot of pets. During high school, I even worked in a zoo for a little while.

Theresa holds an opossum at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Holding an opossum at the Philadelphia Zoo during high school.

Because of my travels, I now just have one dog, Seanchai. She’s a Glen of Imaal Terrier from Ireland. A seanchai (pronounced shawn-a-key) is a traditional Irish storyteller/historian. A commonly encountered English spelling of the Irish word is “shanachie.”

Theresa Nesbitt with her dog Seanchai.

With my dog Seanchai.

The organization Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America (GITCA), works to preserve this ancient and venerable breed of dogs, called the Glen of Imaal Terriers. The breed has its history in the beautiful Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow, Ireland. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was initially bred to rid the home and farm of vermin, and hunt fox and badger. The European badger can weigh up to 40 lbs and the Glen was tough enough to dispatch them. The breed was fully recognized by the Irish Kennel Club in 1934, and by the American Kennel Club in 2004.

I had a horse, Diva, until a few years ago when I had to give her up.

Theresa with horse, Diva

This was my horse, Diva, until a few years ago.

I also founded the not-for-profit Weight Waggers for people and dogs to get healthy together — “helping health happen on both ends of the leash.”

Humans are animals. That deep concept can help us understand our behavior and how to change it.

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