James and Paulette Goins are long deceased, deeply beloved relatives of mine. They loved animals with all their hearts. They operated a small menagerie of animals inside their Birmingham, Alabama, home. Along with a handful of rescue dogs was a chicken with a partly clipped beak that miraculously escaped a processing plant by wriggling itself out of its cage, flying off the delivery truck, and fortuitously falling into the loving hands of James and Paulette.
James and Paulette always contended that there was a spiritual facet of animals that we don’t fully understand. Whether they were right or wrong, I do know this: that the consciousness we take so for granted as humans is shared to one degree or another by other creatures who occupy this beautiful blue planet.