Photo Challenge & Poem: Variations

“Isn’t it dysfunctional?” he asked,
his head cocked. His confidence
steeped in every privilege due
to a certain sort of man, by
accident of birth. The talk of
animals bored him. “Wouldn’t it
be better to focus on your own

species?” He might have meant him.
Clever and righteous, summing
up the damning evidence like a
closing argument in court, he asked,
“Isn’t choosing to live with animals
actually a kind of avoidance
behavior?” Yes, I say. Exactly.

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
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Variations on a Theme


  1. Yeah, have met people like that – over the years. Avoidance? Certainly! I have friends that are not “animal people”. But they have known me long enough that that kind of conversation does NOT come up. My life has always revolved around my horse, dog, cat, chickens, ducks etc etc. Without their existence, mine would not mean much. And my son & daughter feel the same. (the apples don’t fall far from the tree)!! Which makes me so very proud of them.

  2. “Isn’t choosing to live with animals
    actually a kind of avoidance
    behavior? Yes, I say. Exactly.”
    My animal lover husband is front and center on this. I’m so blessed!

  3. Exactly!!! Followed by eye roll. I think I need a disfunctional tee shirt. And I will wear it proudly. Sounds like we all learned at a very young age that animal company is far better than most people company. Actually I think I also prefer plant company to most people company. I love your blog and poetry Anna, and this group.

  4. I would request that you include this poem in your upcoming book, if it’s not too late. If it is too late, there’s always the next book. 🙂

  5. I used to quite like people once but that was a long time ago. The older I get the more I love my horses and dog.

    • I’m having the opposite experience. I’m meeting some great people as I write and travel. I’m kinda wild about the people who post comments here. 🙂 Thanks, June, for being here.

      • As I get older I still prefer the company of my animals but I find that people don’t bother me much any more. I’ve developed a kind of take me or leave me attitude and find I don’t really care what others might think. It’s very liberating and much less aggravating!

  6. Perfect!!! I think “dysfunctional” really applies to those who think it is dysfunctional to live with and love animals. As for it’s being an “avoidance” tactic, it surely is. I definitely avoid people like that!
    Great message and wonderful photo of sleeping beauties!

  7. Beautiful, confirming words! Thank you.
    Haven’t seen a grey horse that shiny clean since late last summer – gives hope in these shaggy mud covered days of January.

  8. Oh, yeah! The last time I had someone say something about how I was avoiding people, I said that at least the animals NEVER lie to me, they always find a way to let me know they love me even if it’s just a look, they are far kinder and I prefer the company of animals the majority of the time. All the step kids and spouse are animal lovers so I don’t have problems with them about it. I think it’s a very positive thing loving animals.
    The three nappers look so content, having a nice snooze in the sunshine.

  9. I look around me, at the cat on my lap, the dogs by my side, the horses, the gardens, the piano, my books – and I think how rich and satisfying my ‘disfunctional’ life is.

  10. Wonderful, Anna. I love this. In my youth I thought I was a people person and I liked being with friends and I really wanted people to like me. Somewhere along the line all that changed and I prefer all the critters and very few people. Most of the people became so stupid and the animals got a whole lot smarter.

  11. I’m often asked if I’m travelling on my own – to which my reply is, no, my friends are with me, one dog and two cats. That soon sifts out the real ones from the fake. 🙂

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