Hollies Golf: Animal instinct takes over on links

I don’t get the relationship between humans and animals and perhaps it’s not up to me to understand...

Recently, my wife and I lost our pet dog of 14 years. A Pomeranian, he came with us to Port Alberni when we purchased the business. He took over as the offspring when ours grew to independence.

The death left us grieving, but we now have another little bundle of energy running about the course. In a similar way, I’m told dogs and owners are encouraged to visit senior living facilities as a tender way of communing with the elderly.

I don’t quite get the relationship between us humans and animals, other than what is obvious, and perhaps it’s not up to me to understand.  Regardless, the interaction with them appears enigmatic or puzzling.

Here, at Hollies, I strangely find myself uplifted on a daily basis through animal life more so than the human! A seeming natural therapy, it results from the presence of animals featured on our golf course each day.

In the mornings, I pass deer quietly at peace nibbling away at the long grass stalks. Their manner of living simply makes me forget about problems. There are eagles and hawks that glide above my mowers and the tree tops daily. Large birds that make me stare in wonder.

There are numerous bird nests with their new offspring which cleanse and rinse any sense of tension that tries to take up residence within me from time to time.

Occasionally a bear will lope by looking for their feed of food.  For me, a bear has a way of instantly making one recognize their sense their place!

On specific holes we have species of animals that act as spectators for our golfers. For instance, we have brown rabbits on holes 4 and 8 while pheasants are on hole #5. We even have a phantom turtle which calls Hollies home after being clearly hurt in some altercation. If you have been here, you might see the mounds scattered about the course as fun hazards.   They are called “the turtles,” after our ghostly guest.

One doesn’t see that side of animal life in most other sporting venues.  Wildlife doesn’t live in stadiums, courts, or locations where sporting events take place. It makes golf a place where a person can gently rejuvenate, regain a sense of human balance, and possess a luminous license to ultimately live a longer life.

While financial woes are common in today’s way of life, I nevertheless feel lucky that my work, passion, and life run parallel and often in direct communion with the animal world. They keep me not only youthful in a grasp of the environment, but unknowingly also lead me along another path in life’s daily unpredictable direction.


* Pat and Jackie Little own Hollies Executive Golf Course in Port Alberni.

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