>In the beginning, I chose A Bloodhound to Die For by Virginia Lanier because it is about dogs but found many other reasons to read it. The story is fast-paced, starting on Fri. Aug 23rd and stopping on Fri. Sept. 20th with loads of action packed in. Jo Beth trains bloodhounds and uses them for tracking. In these 31 days, Jo Beth struggles with the local sheriff; deals with a crazed jealous gun carrying wife; tracks down an Alzheimer suffering woman twice; meets with a local jailed ever escaping criminal that has the hots for her; is hospitalize when poisoned; deals with the romance in her life; carries on her bloodhound training business; and tracks down the hoodlum that kidnaps her most favorite bloodhound. The characters are fun and interesting and I learned much about the bloodhound. Whew! Now, if you like fast paced light mysteries, take a breath and enjoy reading this book for yourself.
In the new pet noir, Dogs Don’t Lie
, Pru Marlowe has survived a nervous breakdown caused by her newly-found ability to hear animals’ thoughts. Seeking some peace from the cacophony of animal thoughts in the big city, Pru flees New York, and doesn’t finish her degree as an animal behaviorist. Pru sets up shop as an animal trainer in her small hometown. She is accompanied by Wallis, her cat, who helps Pru understand the animal thoughts she is hearing.
Pru finds her best client, Charles, dead on his living room floor, his throat ripped out and his newly-adopted pit bull, Lily, covered in blood-standing next to him. Spurred on by the desperate cries from Lily, and convinced that Lily is innocent, Pru commits herself to saving Lily and solving the murder. Billed as the beginning of a new Pru Marlowe series, Simon launches a delightful book that will appeal to fans of Shirley Rousseau Murphy and Rita Mae Brown.
>Dr. Aronson is a domestic animal veterinarian treating dogs, cats, hamsters, and monkeys at his practice in Cape Town, South Africa. But because of his expertise he is also called upon to help with wild animals in the bush, in zoos, and on game reserves. Each chapter is a new adventure as Dr. Aronson treats elephants, rhinoceros, cheetah, lions, crocodile, and many other African animals. It is fascinating to go on safari with Dr. Aronson as he endangers himself to treat these wild animals. Tales of an African Vet is entertaining as well as educational. Go on this safari for yourself and you will learn about the life of this veterinarian but even more about the land and animals of South Africa.
Nick Trout is a practicing veterinarian surgeon in Boston who actually met the famous Yorkshire country vet and author James Herriot. Some of my favorite books to share out loud with friends and family have been the tales of Dr. Herriott. Pick up a copy of All Creatures Great and Small if you haven’t before or if you are familiar with how funny and poignant his stories were when he wrote them in the 1970′s.
The stories Nick Trout shares in his first book Tell Me Where It Hurts
may not be quite as poignant, but they do give us a great picture of the life of a twenty-first century veterinarian. We see what a single day is like in a Boston animal hospital beginning with being rooted out of bed for a 2:00am emergency surgery on a “bloat” by a resident out 0f her league. We follow the decisions that have to be made regarding high tech, expensive procedures that equal comparable human procedures such as joint replacements, chemotherapy and acl repairs (one of the most common problems)
There is much insight and humor in this memoir of a surgeon who has much compassion for the animals so many of us cherish.
>Dr. Aronson is a domestic animal veterinarian treating dogs, cats, hamsters, and monkeys at his practice in Cape Town, South Africa. But because of his expertise he is also called upon to help with wild animals in the bush, in zoos, and on game reserves. Each chapter is a new adventure as Dr. Aronson treats elephants, rhinoceros, cheetah, lions, crocidile, and many other African animals. It is fascinating to go on safari with Dr. Aronson as he endangers himself to treat these wild animals. Tales of an African Vet is entertaining as well as educational. Go on this safari for yourself and you will learn about the life of this veterinarian but even more about the land and animals of South Africa.
, a severly injured puppy, finds a chance for a new life when Larry Levin and his twin sons, Noah and Dan, take their very ill family pet cat to a local vet. The family did not expect to return with another pet, much less a young puppy who was nearly torn apart by a fighting dog.
But, when Oogy rushed through the doors of the office and into their arms, he claimed them as his family and there was no turning back. Larry focuses on the relationship between himself (a new father at age 45) and his adopted sons, Noah and Dan and of course, Oogy. This story is humanity at its worst and at its best.
>In his book The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and their Tale of Rescue and Redemption author Gorant reveals the details of the investigation into Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation resulting in his eventual conviction and prison sentence for animal cruelty and dogfighting. The details of the horrific lives of the 52 dogs in Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels are disturbing, but Gorant also tells the story of the dedicated USDA and local police officers who diligently worked to compile evidence to convict Vick, and the US Attorney willing to prosecute a difficult case against a popular celebrity, bringing justice to the dogs who deserved better treatment by humans. Most importantly, he details the efforts to save the dogs from euthanasia and recounts stories of the many volunteers, dog behavior specialists and rescue groups who spent endless hours caring for and training the pit bulls that were thought to be beyond help and hope. These dogs, having suffered the worst that humans could inflict upon them, finally benefited from the love and kindness bestowed by these volunteers. Gorant tells the story of each dog–many have been adopted into families, and several have become certified therapy dogs, working in hospitals and schools. This is ultimately the story of the resilient spirit of the dogs and their willingness to still trust in the humans caring for them. These were animals deserving of a new life and luckily there were people willing to dedicate themselves to helping these animals find acceptance and a loving place in the world.
Sara Gruen, famous for her novel Water for Elephants has again chosen animals as her theme. This book, set in contemporary times rather than the depression era of ‘Elephants’, has at it’s heart the fascinating small chimps known as bonobos.
Sara spent time at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa becoming friends with bonobos in order to write this novel. First she was told she had to do her ‘homework’ and spend time preparing for her visit by studying linguistics and a system of lexigrams so she could communicate with the bonobos. She worked with two linguists at York University in Toronto who are doing ground-breaking work on communication with bonobos, particularly the Great Ape Trust family of bonobos.
Knowing that she would need icebreakers to open the conversation with the bonobo family, Gruen brought photos of her dog and children. The pictures of the dogs elicited no response from Panbanisha, a linguistic superstar, but when Gruen showed the bonobo a photo of her young children taking a bubble bath, Panbanisha, a mother of two, used her lexigram keyboard to respond “babies washing bubbles.” (http://www.thegreatapetrust.org/
is the story of Isabel, an ape researcher at the University of Kansas, who is critically injured when an animal rights activist group blows up the linguistic lab to free the bonobos and broadcast their agenda. The apes escape and we are lead in a chase across the country to rescue these intelligent animals. I was thoroughly amazed at the capacity for language these creatures display, and found the book an interesting commentary on how we treat our animal friends.
>The Compassion of Animals is a book full of stories that show the love animals have for humans as well as other animals. This book is a compilation of actual stories of dogs, pigs, horses, cats and other animals coming to the rescue. The pig was being a nuisance when he wouldn’t let his owner sleep, come to find out the pig was trying to warn them that carbon monoxide was leaking into their trailer. A dog inside gets his owner’s attention to save a little boy from freezing when he had ridden his trike too far from home. A man was injured outside his home on a freezing night and the neighbors dog saved him from dying when he insisted his master come out and take a look. A very insistent cat saved his people and their home from a gas explosion. Many stories tell of heroic acts of animals, even at the expense of their own lives. Cry a little, rejoice a lot, and wonder what heroic act your pet may be capable of doing. After reading this book you will find yourself listening a little closer when animals speak.
Alexander McCall Smith has begun another fun series with an international setting. This time we are in a neighborhood in Londom called Pimlico, learning about the quirky characters that live in the four-storey building known as Corduroy Mansion
. We meet William, a wine merchant, and his twenty four year old son Eddie who is past the age of dependence yet continues to outlive his welcome at home. Marcia, a caterer, would like to have a relationship with William but Eddie seems to always be in the way. Living below William and Eddie are four single girls sharing a flat. Each of the four have different jobs and dysfunctional relationships that sometimes feel a little too close to home. The bottom floor flat is owned by Basil Wickramsinghe from Sri Lnaka. We learn little of him in this first book other than that he is an accountant and has a mysterious lady friend.
Freddie de la Hay is introduced as the sweet, vegetarian Pimlico terrier that William dog-shares with Manfred James, a newspaper columnist. We have yet to discover what happens when Manfred finds out that Freddie is no longer a vegetarian pooch when staying with William.
Several other characters are introduced that are funny and either delightful or ones we love to hate. The following is McCall-Smith’s last line in his own review on Amazon.com:
“This is light social comedy, I suppose, but while I admit that the whole point of the exercise is for the reader to have fun, I hope in this story, nonetheless, to say something about how we live and about how finding love and meaning in the very small things of life may transform us, may make our ordinary lives more bearable.”
An Eagle Named Freedom; My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship,
begins when a malnourished eaglet with two broken wings was brought to the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Washington State. It was hoped, if she could survive, that she would be a part of the raptor education program. Jeff, a volunteer, became her devoted caretaker and formed a special bond with her. Though Freedom would never fly, she had Jeff as her wings.
In 2000, Guidry was diagnosed with cancer. During the grueling months of chemotherapy, it was the time spent with Freedom that gave him comfort and the will to fight. it is told in the tradition of Pepperberg’s Alex & Me; about a special bond between human and animal. A couple of videos of Freedom and Jeff are available on Youtube.