ASPCA Animal Watch Editors
From the very practical to the very philosophical, the bloodcurdling to the heartwarming, here are books that can teach, problem-solve and inspire.
The Human/Animal Bond
- Cat Book
- By Emily Eve Weinstein (Beau Soleil Publishing, 2002; $16.95)
A perfect read for the art-loving cat aficionado in your life. Weinstein adorns the profiles of rescued cats with monoprints of each. But it is the felines’ personalities that shine brightest in this unique volume – they are the true stars of Cat Book.
- A Cat Named Darwin: How a Stray Cat Changed a Man into a Human Being
- By William Jordan (Houghton Mifflin, 2002; $23.00)
When an unmarried, companionless, middle-aged entomologist – cerebral, skeptical and reclusive – falls under the spell of a wayward orange tomcat, an unusual relationship is bound to ensue. This true story, in some ways a “confession,” is a uniquely different tale of first love – and transformation.
- Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating Our Pets
- By June Cotner (HarperSanFrancisco, 2000; $19)
Poignant and heartwarming, this treasure of a book will bring comfort to anyone who has ever been touched by an animal. The entries, gathered from such notable writers as Albert Schweitzer, E.B. White, Emily Dickinson and Roger Caras, range from poetry to memorable quotes to reflective prayers that honor our animal friends. Makes a great gift.
- My Fine Feathered Friend
- By William Grimes (North Point Press, 2002; $15.00)
When “the chicken” suddenly moves into the urban backyard of New York Times restaurant critic William Grimes, the irony is impossible to overstate. Grimes is charming as he chronicles his growing awareness and appreciation of a creature he has heretofore enjoyed only cordon bleu. A slim, delightful diary of an unexpected animal encounter.
- The Angel by My Side: The True Story of A Dog Who Saved a Man…and a Man Who Saved a Dog
- By Mike Lingenfelter and David Frei (Hay House, 2002; $23.95)
Everything you ever wanted to know about medical-alert dogs, pet-assisted therapy, access rights for people with disabilities and their service animals, holistic cancer care, inter-species communication, the human/animal bond, and how change is wrought in this world. It reads like fiction – fantasy, even – but every word is true.
- The Daisy Sutra: Conversations With My Dog
- By Helen Weaver (Buddha Rock Press [www.daisysutra.com], 2001; $14.95)
When Daisy becomes old and ill, the author is desperate to know if and when to help her friend depart this world. She finds her way to an animal communicator and is able to navigate these uncharted waters, eventually becoming attuned to Daisy’s continued presence in her life. Intended for anyone facing the death of a pet; scientific types will probably want to pass.
- When Your Pet Outlives You: Protecting Animal Companions After You Die
- By David Congalton & Charlotte Alexander (NewSage Press, 2002; $12.95)
What would happen to your pet(s) if you left the house one day and never came home again? For most pets, sadly, no provision has been made. This thorough, timely and most important book will lead you by the hand to peace of mind.
- Why Cats Do That: A Collection of Curious Kitty Quirks
- By Karen Anderson (Willow Creek Press, 2001; $13.95)
Even long-time cat lovers will appreciate this lighthearted look into the most head-scratching feline traits. Each “quirk” has its own clever illustration, drawn by Wendy Christensen, which astutely captures the essence of cats. Note: A few of the entries refer to behaviors of outdoor cats, and thus do not apply to indoor-only companions.
Care And Training
- Getting Started: Clicker Training for Cats
- By Karen Pryor (Sunshine Books, Inc., 2001; $12.95)
Think you can’t train a cat? With some patience, clicker-training expert Pryor believes that you can persuade your feline friend to learn behaviors like coming when called, staying off the dinner table and even performing tricks. Her method is based on rewards like food and attention – not punishment – so cats actually enjoy learning. Pryor writes with such clarity that beginners and seasoned cat people alike can easily follow along.
- If Only They Could Speak: Stories about Pets and their People
- By Nicholas H. Dodman (W.W. Norton & Company, 2002; $24.95)
Veterinary behaviorist Dodman discusses some of his more difficult and unusual cases. While some are disturbing and others more touching, all are testament to the strength of “the bond.” In a world where so many companions are relinquished for minor infractions, here is the opposite end of the spectrum: caretakers who go to extraordinary lengths to resolve problems rather than part with their animal friends.
- Natural Healing for Horses: The Complete Guide to Preventive Health Care and Natural Remedies
- By Jenny Morgan (Storey Books, 2002; $27.95)
Beautiful pictures combined with a comprehensive text make this book a winner. Novice riders will appreciate the chapters on breeds, riding techniques and general horse care, while veteran barn rats will find the information on massage therapy, herbals, homeopathic remedies, etc. invaluable. Caution: Some herbs have contraindications that are not discussed. Consult your veterinarian before administering any homemade medication.
- All For Animals: Tips and Inspiration for Living a More Compassionate Life
- By Karen Lee Stevens (Fithian Press, 2001; $10.95)
Offering many simple ways to be kind, All For Animals is an excellent starter book for anyone who is interested in animals and their welfare or just wants to make lifestyle changes. For those contemplating a vegetarian or vegan diet, the list of ingredients that always are, or might be, animal-derived is especially comprehensive. Priced for giving as a gift.
- Eating to Save the Earth: Food Choices for a Healthy Planet
- By Linda Riebel and Ken Jacobsen (Celestial Arts, 2002; $9.95)
Here’s a practical guide to eating mindfully in the twenty-first century. Authors Riebel and Jacobsen arm readers with useful conservation information and offer abundant tips for making intelligent food choices. From shopping to cooking to composting, this book – without being holier-than-thou – paves the way for more conscious living.
- Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust
- By Charles Patterson (Lantern Books, 2002; $20.00)
This exhaustively researched and deeply disturbing work explores the historical antecedents for the supremacy of some human beings over other human and nonhuman animals. It ends with comments from Holocaust survivors on the parallels between that horrific event and the current treatment of animals, particularly animals raised for food.
- Minding Animals: Awareness, Emotions, And Heart
- By Marc Bekoff (Oxford University Press, 2002; $27.50)
In his insightful latest book, biologist Bekoff reveals to readers the workings of the animal mind, putting to rest any question about whether animals feel emotion. He skillfully braids anecdotal tales, scientific information and expert opinion to support his theory that there’s a whole other world right beneath our noses. Foreword by Jane Goodall.
- The Pet Surplus: What Every Dog and Cat Owner Can Do to Help Reduce It
- By Susan M. Seidman (Xlibris Corporation, 2001; $21.99)
As well-researched and readable a text as you could hope to find on this subject, Pet Surplus is also full of surprises. If there’s new stuff here for savvy dog and cat people – and there is – imagine how useful it will be for that friend or neighbor you’d love to enlighten. Better get two copies.
- Wild Orphans
- Photography and text by Gerry Ellis (Welcome Books, 2002, $24.95)
From rescue to recovery to release, Wild Orphans follows a group of eight baby elephants in Kenya. Stunning photography documents the wide-ranging emotions of these tragically endangered animals and lovingly portrays the sensitivity and intelligence of the species.
ASPCA Animal Watch – Winter 2002