For centuries, wolves have been demonized in legend and fiction, despite being so closely related to our beloved dogs. Amidst the controversies surrounding releasing wolves back into the wild in the west, the Dutchers set out to document the social lives of wolves, living closely and for several years with a pack in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. In The Hidden Life of Wolves, they reveal the wolf as an intelligent, highly social animal capable of displaying emotion much like our own pets. Wolf packs in nature have a social order of dominance, from the alpha male and female down to the omega, or lowest wolf on the social scale. The alphas are the only ones to mate, and the entire pack is involved in feeding and babysitting the indulged pups, allowing them to climb, nip and wrestle. Although the omega is the least dominant, his role is to initiate play and alleviate tension in the pack. In the Sawtooth pack, a mid-level wolf often came to the aid of the omega, protecting him from the others and playing with him. The pack demonstrated a sense of mourning when one of their members was killed by a mountain lion–the wolves revisited the site of the killing and quietly roamed the area for many weeks. The authors discuss many instances of social behavior among the pack that discount the stories of the vicious killing machine described in fairy tales.
This book is filled with spectacular photos and gives us a new understanding of the complex lives of these amazing animals. The authors also discuss the controversies around hunting and ranching in the areas where wolves are present, and discuss the benefits of the presence of wolves to the environment. The wolf is an amazing animal that deserves our respect and protection, and the insights offered into their lives by this book will hopefully inspire more protection of these spectacular animals.
The Last Chance to See is a thought-provoking, interesting and at times disheartening series that investigates the condition of several species of endangered animals. Traveling around the globe, Stephen Fry and zoologist and photographer Mark Carwardine search for some of the rarest creatures on the planet in an attempt to learn how species are faring in a world where humans are impacting the environment in many ways. Learn if Amazon manatees, white rhinos, Komodo dragons and others are able to adapt and survive or if they are of the edge of extinction. Not only do we see the animals, but the park rangers, biologists, citizens and volunteers who are dedicated to saving these animals and their habitats. This is an informative and fascinating series with entertaining and enthusiastic hosts, willing to travel in uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous circumstances to bring us the extraordinary stories of these animals and the humans committed to saving them.
If you are a dog lover or are amazed by the abilities of our canine friends, you will enjoy the stories and descriptions of working dogs in this fascinating book, Dogs of Courage. Not just wonderful companions and pets, dogs are taking on jobs that make our lives easier, safer and are even saving lives. From police dogs that make it safer for officers to track suspects and provide a positive link to the community to search and rescue and FEMA dogs, who search for lost or injured people and climb through earthquake and other disaster debris to locate survivors, dogs are willing to work hard for their human handlers. Arson dogs can discern the scent a flammable liquid to one part per trillion and can locate the source of an arson based fire faster than any human. Search and rescue dogs can often follow a scent up to 10 days after a person has passed through an area. Avalanche rescue dogs can locate a survivor buried in snow up to 35 feet deep, and can locate them in a fraction of the time required by rescuers, even with avalanche beacons. Dogs are being taught to identify tissue samples that contain cancer cells, can warn owners of impending seizures, help children improve their reading and can provide stability and reassurance for a veteran with PTSD. They help biologists locate endangered animals and plants and can locate seals and other animals under arctic ice. The uses for and abilities of dogs are amazing and our canine friends are most worthy of our admiration.
Pamela Rdmond Satran has authored seven novels, a humor book which has been optioned by Amblin Entertainment called How Not to Act Old, and eight baby name books which she coauthored. Now she has given us a very funny book about people who are insane dog lovers. The fun of this book is the crazy stories, photos and doggie crazed items that people will buy or create for their pet. Included are chapters on Dog Therapists that prescribe chewable beef-flavored version of Prozac called Reconcile and the World’s Richest Dogs telling of dogs who have inherited fortunes and purchased mansions. This is a dog lover’s jem. Analyze just how dog crazy you are and enjoy the insane things people all over the world will do for their dogs when you pick up Rabid: Are You Crazy About Your Dog OR JUST CRAZY?
by Brian McGrory
Pam, a veterinarian, and Brian, a writer, have differing opinions about the chicken that has come to live with them. Pam’s children raised the chick for a science project and fell in love with her. Brian who usually gets along great with animals and children, doesn’t relate to the fowl and the chicken doesn’t much like Brian either.
Buddy the Rooster is thought to be a hen until about half way through the book. It’s the Brazilian cleaning lady that sets them straight. Roosters aren’t known for being friendly, so the family fears that Buddy will have to go, and that makes Brian happy, although he would never have admitted it to Pam and her girls. Throughout the book Brian’s hopes of ridding his life of Buddy are dashed. But in the end Buddy has a special place in his heart.
The Bird Shrink’s Guide to Keeping Polly from Going Crackers and You Out of the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ruth Hanessian
If you have birds, like birds, or have friends that like birds, Birds on the Couch is a great book to help you learn about the antics of these feathery pets. Even if you don’t care for birds as pets, you will enjoy Hanessian’s bird stories that she has accummulated during her years as a pet store owner. They are entertaining, educational, and just plain fun. Find out why Polly says the things you really don’t want her to say and how you can get her to stop. If you are considering getting a bird, especially one that talks, you definately need to read this book before you buy.
Balthazar and Hebe Jones were very happily married and parents of a small son, Milo,when Balthazar accepted a new job in a very unique place. The family moved to the Tower of London so Balthazar could serve the Queen as a Beefeater.. The adjustments were many, such as adjusting to living in rooms with no square corners only rounded walls with ancient markings left by the centuries of prisoners who were held there while imprisoned. Balthazar is nominated to become the Keeper of the Royal Menagerie. Gift animals given to the Queen by heads of state had been kept in the Tower from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries when they were transferred to the London Zoo. Now they are being returned to the Tower to attract more visitors. Hebe and Bazlthazar are upset over the new responsibilities, but their most difficult problem is learning to deal with their grief over the loss of their son. The curious setting and unique, zany and funny story is actually a very charming love story with much historical interest. Like most historical fiction there is some truth to the story of the Royal Menagerie explained in this link.
Baxter Black shares his dry wit and poetry with us in Horseshoes, Cowsocks and Duckfeet. There is something for everyone in this book by the famous NPR cowboy poet. Those from a rural background will understand each story and those more urban can appreciate most of his two page humorous stories told on NPR in 2001.
He covers rodeos, politics, doing laundry, getting in accidents, all kinds of critters and veterinarian woes with sarcasm and wit. My favorite is on page 125, a family story he shares about his small daughter’s payback for the many times he has scared her. Baxter Black is good medicine for the soul!
Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight
Acts Pets by Dr. Nick Trout is much more than a veteranarians account of his daily life. It is a story of relationships, of hope, and of hurting. The senior Mr. Trout had Nick pictured in a “James Herriot” type practice, so when Nick decides to go to America and practice, his father is disappointed. Another disappointment came when Dr. Trout married a woman with cats and they didn’t add any dogs to their family home. Dr. Trout tells how the pets in his life help him understand, enjoy, and get through hard decisions. When his daughter became very ill, it took a pet to help him through her illness. Of course his memoirs include animal antics that are hilarious and heart warming as well as sad. You’ll enjoy this book if you like animals, but even if you aren’t an animal lover it’s a great story for everyone.
>Justine is a 43 year old mother who drifts from job to job and place to place, estranged from both her father and her teen-aged son. The only constant in her life is her dog Mack, a dog who Justine has taught to dance. Alice and Ed Parmalee are a couple caught up in grief and unable to accept the death of their daughter several years earlier. Their lives intersect when a trucker driving Justine from Seattle to the east coast to see her dying father, leaves Justine at a rest stop and unknowingly continues with Mack in the truck. When he discovers the dog, he releases it along a busy highway. Mack finds his way to Alice and Ed, while Justine begins a frantic search for her dog. Needing to be at her father’s side, Justine leaves the search for Mack to others. Mack, called Buddy by Alice and Ed, begins to bring them happiness and interest in life and each other again.
Much of the story is told through the eyes of Mack, who describes his perceptions of human behavior and feelings.
The Dog who Danced is a touching story about recovering from loss, building relationships, forgiveness and the loyalty and unconditional love that pets bring to our lives.
Buck Brannaman spends his life traveling throughout the U.S. teaching people to communicate with their horses. A consultant on The Horse Whisperer, Brannaman has a quiet way of calming horses and showing them what is expected of them. In the inspiring documentary Buck we get to follow his story as he grows from an abused child to a man who’s lessons touch the lives of horses and the people who ride them.
A miniature schnauzer named Atticus M. Finch has climbed all48 of the four-thousand-foot mountains in New Hampshire several times. Following Atticus most of the way has beenTom Ryan, a middle aged formerly overweight newspaper owner from Newburyport, Massachusetts.
I was delighted toopen this book after seeing the cute cover of a winsome dog, Atticus, and begin reading a storythat warmed my soul. Having recentlybeen on a fall foliage tour of New England anddiscovering the White Mountains of New Hampshire I was amazed to also havestayed in the quaint town that adopted Atticus. We stumbled onto it one rainy evening looking for a place to stay. Our next day’s destination was Boston, but we were too tired to drive thatfar and fight city traffic. The ClarkCurrier Bed and Breakfast will always be a highlight of our trip, as will Newburyport’s beautifulsea captain’s homes. Tom shares storiesof the special people of this place but also the low-down nasty politics of asmall town. He spends his days rubbingshoulders with everyone possible to find gossip for his underground newspaper,the Undertoad.
When Tom finds alittle puppy to purchase and accompany him on his business excursions, Atticusopens doors all over town. Who can resista well mannered little dog? As Tom andAtticus begin spending time in the mountains, first with friends and family andthen more regularly on their own, he begins to find peace and contentmentmissing from his rough upbringing. Thosewho enjoy the solitude of the outdoors and hiking will appreciate the way Tomwrites of his love for nature. Those wholove animals will be amazed at the devotion and fortitude of this 20-pound spirited dog. Those who love books will be constantly touched by the lovelyreferences to great writers through quotes and poetry sprinkled throughout thestory. Following Atticus: Forty-EightHigh Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship
is truly abeautiful book you will want to share.
A golden retriever stars in this memoir, Until Tuesday. Luis’s memoir is about his experiences as an Iraq veteran who returns to New York recovering from injuries with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Failing to cope with a “new”world and at the end of his sanity, Luis enlists the help of a service dog to help him re-acclimate. It is a charming story of the bond that grows between Luis and Tuesday. More than that, it is a dramatic look into the mind of a person suffering from PTSD. Montalvan, a former captain in the US Army, is most compelling when he zones in on how he reacts to his world. He is an advocate for service dogs to help the disabled.
>This fascinating book called The Wild Life of Our Bodies has a very telling subtitle: Predators, Parasites, and Partners that Shape Who We Are Today. Dr. Rob Dunn, a professor in the Department of Biology at North Carolina State University, has written the story of how human evolution was influenced by our interactions with other species. From the smallest intestinal worm to snakes and large predators, Dr. Dunn addresses everything from why humans currently look the way we do to why we have good eyesight to how some modern illnesses are caused by our guts “missing” their old enemies and the body attacking itself in search of something to fight. Not only does Dunn address the interactions that have made us who we are today, he addresses how we can reintroduce old enemies (and helpers) into our lives to improve them and the health problems we have created by banishing nature from our lives.
This book took me quite awhile to read since it was so compelling I wanted to read the stories he used to illustrate his points slowly and carefully. The notes provide a wealth of background papers and books in which to further explore this subject.