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Culture: Reviews
Reaching the Animal Mind
Published by Sunshine Books

Curious about clicker training? Get your information from the woman whose name has become synonymous with this positivereinforcement method. Pryor has spent more than three decades refining clicker-training techniques with animals large and small, including, of course, dogs. In this important and enjoyable book, she shares her observations and interactions, giving the reader new appreciation for the ways animals think and how best to work with them. As a bonus, video clips, scientific articles and links that expand the content of each of chapter can be accessed online.

Culture: Reviews
Review: Hounded
Published by Center Street
Hounded Matt Ziselman

This memoir, which expands the “what my dog has taught me” genre to a whole trio of idiosyncratic Dachshunds, recalls each dog’s special way of challenging the author and adding spice to his and his family’s life. A delightful and fun romp.

It never fails to amuse all of us when all 12 pounds of Molly intimidates all 25 pounds of Baxter. And it is often. If Baxter even looks at Molly’s rawhide bone while she’s chewing on it, out comes a deep, serious growl from Molly. It’s a sound you would think impossible to come out of such a tiny muzzle. It’s almost like there’s a pit bull hiding behind the couch, and it’s throwing its growl. Every time I see it happen it reminds me that it’s not always the largest dog that’s the “big” dog. There have been instances where Baxter has gotten a little too close for Molly’s comfort, and she’s taken enough of a nip to leave a mark. What’s Maya doing when this is happening? Nothing. She just goes on blissfully chewing her bone. I guess when Molly joined the household she and Maya came to some kind of understanding —namely, that Molly would be Maya’s muscle. Which is sort of strange, since Baxter and Molly spend a lot of their time shadowing each other. But, make no mistake: Baxter is always Molly’s bitch, and not the other way around.

Read the full excerpt of Hounded: The Lowdown on Life with Three Dachshunds

Culture: Reviews
Review: A Dog Named Boo
Published by Harlequin
A Dog Named Boo

Boo had poor eyesight and a clumsy gait, but he also had something that trumped any physical deficiency: a sweet and unflappable nature. Abandoned along with his littermates, five-weekold Boo caught the eye and heart of Lisa Edwards. The rest, as they say, is history. This is a tale of a dog who has not only made good, he does good; with Edwards’ help, Boo found his true calling as a therapy dog. Edwards skillfully twines Boo’s story with her own, and the result is a memoir that will stay with you long after you read the last page.

Culture: Reviews
Review: The Secret Life of Dog Catchers
Published by CreateSpace
The Secret Life of Dog Catchers

Dogs, cats, ducks, horses, goats, roosters, deer, snakes—animal control officer Shirley Zindler has seen (and helped) them all. As she makes clear in this collection detailing her experiences, working with the public and making a positive difference for animals can be a challenge, but it’s one that she’s embraced wholeheartedly. After reading this book, you’re likely to look at your beleaguered local “dog catcher” with a new respect.

Culture: Reviews
A Million Years with You: A Memoir of Life Observed
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

There is no doubt about it: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has led a fascinating, full life. Now in her eighth decade, she tells her story, which includes teen years in the Kalahari Desert while her parents searched for Bushmen. Not even marriage and motherhood and putting her husband through graduate school hampered her sense of adventure and zest for observation. On assignment for The New Yorker, she lived in Nigeria (taking her dogs with her) during the uprisings that plagued that African country, then went to Uganda as Idi Amin was taking over. She spent time on Canada’s remote Baffin Island studying wolves. And in 1993, she wrote The Hidden Life of Dogs, the first dog book to sell 1,000,000 copies. All that, and much more, is on this remarkable woman’s resume.

Culture: Reviews
Mr. and Mrs. Dog: Our Travels, Trials, Adventures, and Epiphanies
Published by Univ. of Virginia Press

The World Sheepdog Trials in Wales are the Olympics of the herding-dog world. Rather like an open-air ballet, highly trained, highly intelligent dogs move flocks of willful sheep with minimal long-distance direction from their humans. This was the rarefied environment into which Donald McCaig took his Border Collies Luke and June (the Mr. and Mrs. Dog of the title) to compete. His account of how the three of them arrived at this event spans McCaig’s 25 years of raising and training sheepdogs; he not only shares his stories, he provides a valuable commentary on living with and loving dogs.

Culture: Reviews
Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts
Published by Scientific American/FSG

When the first fully adult animal—Dolly, a sheep— was successfully cloned in 1996, it made headline news around the world. Since then, the practice of meddling in animal biology has speeded up exponentially. Humans have been tinkering with animals for centuries, of course— witness the incredible spectrum of dog breeds—but the new tools scientists have been adding to their toolboxes over the last two decades have taken that activity to a whole new level. Anthes not only reports on this phenomenon, she raises important questions about our responsibilities to animals, and about the impact of this experimentation on the living world.

Culture: Reviews
A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher
Published by Riverhead

What do you do when your bright and gregarious dog is bored senseless? Sue Halpern hit upon the perfect solution: put her to work. Pransky, Halpern’s Labradoodle, was six years old and a proven quick study when the two began training as a therapydog team. Once they began making their visits to the local “county home,” Halpern’s belief in Pransky’s skills was confirmed; her partner was very good at her job. Though the bulk of the book focuses on Pransky’s interactions with the home’s residents, Halpern also comments on our attachment to dogs, and theirs to us.

Culture: Reviews
E. B. White on Dogs
Published by Tilbury House, Publishers

This marvelous collection of classic essays, letters and assorted writings from master wordsmith E. B. White was assembled by his granddaughter and should be on the bookshelf of every person who cherishes good prose and good dogs. White, a dog enthusiast, was a keen observer, and his witty and concise writings predate the blogosphere by nearly a century. Nonetheless, his personable storytelling retains its freshness and immediacy and will charm and enlighten a new generation of dog-lovers.

Culture: Reviews
The Soul of All Living Creatures
What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human, Published by Crown
 the-soul-of-all-living-creatures

With its title calling to mind a quote from Hippocrates — “The soul is the same in all living creatures although the body of each is different” —this book is a thoroughly engaging and thoughtful consideration of the ways in which humans can benefit from closer attention to the ways of animals. Dr. Virga describes his conversion from emergency room clinician to behavioral vet medicine, then shares his experiences treating problems experienced by animals both domestic and exotic. His insights into the animal mind have the potential to inform our relationships with our own companion animals.

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