yeah, both my wife and I are into falconry somewhat. We have done a course in falconry and although we do not own any birds ourselves, we enjoy flying them whenever possible.
The thing about a raptor is that is is free. It only comes back because you feed it. If it does not like you, it has its own wings and talons and it doesn't need you to catch it dinner. I would never mistreat a dog, but the fact is that they are pack animals and will tolerate a level of abuse that a raptor won't.
Someone once said that -
dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, but pigs look us in the eye as equals.
There may be some truth in that :)
One falconer, though, was being serious when they said "keeping a falcon is something that liberates you. it makes you one with the bird, a noble creature that uplifts and inspires the human spirit."
The friends we make define us. A lot of men hang out together with their mates, but the freindship is based on scoring and the relationship is a constant comparison about who has got the best car, the best job, the best girlfriend, even.
A lot of groups function by confirming and reinforcing the groups members prejudices and attitudes.
Such a group does not like to challenge itself, or offer any change or growth to it's membership.
A very devout person once said to me that their Church was definitly "the One True Way", and like none other. I asked him how many other churches he had been to, and how involved he had been there.
It turned out that he was once involved in a mainstream church and didn't like it. So, on the basis of two soundings, he wrote off all other groups apart from his own. As Bob Dylan said "Don't criticise what you don't understand".
Some people have hit the headlines briefly because they won millions on the lottery or the pools.
it is interesting to see what they do with their wealth. For many, the money brings problems they did not envisage. It is character, not wealth, that improves someone's life, it seems.
The crowd you hang out with will all have goals and values, attitudes and opinions that they want to share with you. You will pick up their habits and maybe their acccent if you hang out with them long enough. So remember - if you want to soar with the eagles, you can't afford to flap with the turkeys.