Connie's Book Club—Fall 2017

Connie's Book Club

Connie's Book Club

Saving Sadie: How a Dog That No One Wanted Inspired the World

By Joal Derse Dauer with Elizabeth Ridley
Saving Sadie

As all proud parents of rescue pups know, our dogs are rarely the only saved; for every dog in need that’s adopted, a person’s life is irrevocably changed. Author Joal Derse Dauer knows this firsthand. With three “fur-babies” at home, Joal was not looking to add another member to her family. But when she saw Sadie the Shepherd mix, she heard the call; she knew they needed each other. Indisputably, Sadie needed her—Sadie had been shot in the head and in the back before being left for dead. Despite being told that Sadie would never walk again, Joal was undeterred. Saving Sadie, the resultant inspiring book that chronicles their journey, is a triumphant tale of second chances that shows how patience, hope, compassion, and love can truly transform lives. Highly recommended.

Wagging Through The Snow

By Laurien Berenson
WaggingThroughTheSnow

During the Christmas rush, teacher Melanie Travis is in desperate need of some well-deserved rest, but respite is not in the cards… After Melanie’s brother and ex-husband make a spontaneous bid on an old pine tree farm in need of a lot of work, Melanie finds herself on a forsaken tree farm during the coldest month of the year, her Poodle and the rest of her family in tow. Can things get worse? Indeed they can and do when Melanie finds a Maltese whimpering in the snow… next to the corpse of a man. How did this man die, and who is the killer? And who can Melanie trust? This exciting Christmas whodunit is the perfect page-turner to curl up with as the weather gets cooler.

Finding Gobi

By Dion Leonard
FindingGobi

This amazing true tale will restore your faith in miracles. When ultramarathon runner Dion Leonard sets out to compete in a 150-mile race through China’s Gobi Desert, he doesn’t expect to find a friend for life. But during the race, he meets a small stray dog who, beyond all odds, keeps pace with him for nearly 80 challenging miles, over the Tian Shan Mountains and across seemingly endless sand dunes. Though Leonard is a seasoned runner committed to his personal best, he nonetheless finds himself spending precious time and resources on the safety and wellbeing of his new companion. But when Gobi goes missing, the depth of Dion’s commitment to his new friend is challenged in an unimagined way. This beautiful and touching story will stay with you even after the last page is turned.

The Animals Among Us: How Pets Make Us Human

By John Bradshaw
The Animals Among Us

Historically, the relationship between humans and animals has been based on functional purposes. Animals have lived amongst us for two reasons: to serve our nutritional needs, or to act as workers, guarding our homes or herding our sheep. But if we no longer need animals for those purposes, why do we continue to keep pets? Why do we still keep animals in our homes when they don’t seem to serve any obvious purpose? In his fascinating new book, The Animals Among Us, John Bradshaw answers both of these questions, exploring how our relationship with animals has transformed over time. He reveals how pets have played a large role in our evolution, meaning although humans have domesticated animals, they have affected and influenced humans in return. This is a fantastic and intellectual read, full of the rich anthropological, historical, and psychological reasons behind the meaningful relationships that have developed between humans and animals. A brilliant and illuminating book for anyone seeking to understand their relationship with their dog on a deeper level!

Angels on a School Bus

By Dr. Roberta K. Ray
Angels on a School Bus

When a bus breaks down in Butte, Montana, it turns out to be full of German Shepherds and Huskies—half of which are pregnant and many of which are sick, dirty, and malnourished. With no animal rescue acting on behalf of the dogs, there is no one to step in but community members, who must come together to save the dogs’ lives. The resulting mission becomes one of the largest and most challenging dog rescue operations in the U.S. This wonderful and inspiring story demonstrates the extraordinary strength and commitment of ordinary people and acts as a powerful reminder that we all have an obligation where innocent lives are at stake.

Waggish: Dogs Smiling for Dog Reasons

By Grace Chon and Melanie Monteiro
Waggish

Turn that frown upside down with Waggish: Dogs Smiling for Dog Reasons—this spirit-lifting book banishes bad moods! You’ll find a smile-inducing collection of dog photographs taken by renowned animal photographer Grace Chon, paired with delightful captions by Melanie Monteiro. The super-talented Grace has photographed with pets of Hollywood A-listers like Chris Pratt or Margaret Cho, and the sweet and mischievous grins she captures in this book are accompanied by the dogs’ imagined inner thoughts, as penned by Melanie. This is pure joy captured in a book, folks.

The Ultimate Pet Health Guide: Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats

By Gary Richter, M.S. D.V.M.
UltimatePetHealthGuide

This fascinating and helpful guide is full of medical recommendations supported by scientific research and years of successful outcomes in Dr. Richter’s clinical practice. His approach is not to adhere to one healing modality, such as holistic or western medicine, but rather to examine both modern and traditional medicine from a variety of cultures in order to find what actually works. With its tried and true suggestions for better health, as well as treatments for a whole host of health problems, this a great read for anyone interested in the wellness of their pets.

The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age

By Marc Bekoff
Jessica Pierce
The Animals' Agenda

Every day we are learning new and surprising facts about just how intelligent and emotional animals are—did you know rats like to play and laugh, and also display empathy, and the ears and noses of cows tell us how they’re feeling? At times, we humans translate that knowledge into compassion for other animals; think of the public outcry against the fates of Cecil the lion or the captive gorilla Harambe. But on the whole, our growing understanding of what animals feel is not resulting in more respectful treatment of them.

 Renowned animal-behavior expert Marc Bekoff and leading bioethicist Jessica Pierce explore the real-world experiences of five categories of animals, beginning with those who suffer the greatest deprivations of freedoms and choice—chickens, pigs, and cows in industrial food systems—as well as animals used in testing and research, including mice, rats, cats, dogs, and chimpanzees. Next, Bekoff and Pierce consider animals for whom losses of freedoms are more ambiguous and controversial, namely, individuals held in zoos and aquaria and those kept as companions. Finally, they reveal the unexpected ways in which the freedoms of animals in the wild are constrained by human activities and argue for a more compassionate approach to conservation.

In each case, scientific studies combine with stories of individual animals to bring readers face-to-face with the wonder of our fellow beings, as well as the suffering they endure and the major paradigm shift that is needed to truly ensure their well-being.

The Animals’ Agenda will educate and inspire people to rethink how we affect other animals, and how we can evolve toward more peaceful and less violent ways of interacting with our animal kin in an increasingly human-dominated world.

William Wegman: Being Human

By William A. Ewing
WilliamWegmanBeingHuman

William Wegman's whimsical photographs of his Weimaraner dogs have been celebrated in the art world and enjoyed by pet lovers for nearly four decades. In this entirely new volume, renowned photography curator William A. Ewing presents more than 300 images from the artist's personal archive, unearthing previously unseen gems alongside the iconic images that have made Wegman—along with dressed-up dogs Man Ray, Fay Ray, and others—beloved worldwide. Presented in sixteen thematic chapters, William Wegman: Being Human foregrounds the photographer's penchant for play and his evergreen ability to create images that are at once funny, striking, and surreal. Audiences of all ages will fall in love—for the first time, or all over again—with Wegman and his friends.

Let Dogs Be Dogs: Understanding Canine Nature and Mastering the Art of Living with Your Dog

By The Monks of New Skete
Marc Goldberg
LetDogsBeDogs

No matter what training method or techniques you use with your dog, the training is unlikely to be optimally successful unless it is predicated on an understanding of the dog's true nature. Dogs need food, water, exercise and play, rest, veterinary care--the basics. But since dogs naturally want to be led, they also need focused and compassionate guidance.

Through abundant stories and case studies, the authors reveal how canine nature manifests itself in various behaviors, some potentially disruptive to domestic accord, and show how in addressing these behaviors you can strengthen the bond with your dog as well as keep the peace.

The promise of this book is that, especially in an ever-accelerating world filled with digital distractions, you can learn from your dog's example how to live in the moment, thereby enriching your life immeasurably.

What It's Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

By Gregory Berns
WhatItsLikeToBeADog

What is it like to be a dog? A bat? Or a dolphin? To find out, neuroscientist Gregory Berns and his team began with a radical step: they taught dogs to go into an MRI scanner—completely awake. They discovered what makes dogs individuals with varying capacities for self-control, different value systems, and a complex understanding of human speech. And dogs were just the beginning. In What It's Like to Be a Dog, Berns explores the fascinating inner lives of wild animals from dolphins and sea lions to the extinct Tasmanian tiger. Much as Silent Spring transformed how we thought about the environment, so What It's Like to Be a Dog will fundamentally reshape how we think about—and treat—animals. Groundbreaking and deeply humane, it is essential reading for animal lovers of all stripes.

The Spiritual Nature of Animals: A Country Vet Explores the Wisdom, Compassion, and Souls of Animals

By Karlene Stange DVM
TheSpiritualNatureofAnimals

Karlene Stange’s spiritual journey began as she drove her pickup loaded with medical supplies to attend to animals throughout southwestern Colorado, where the Animas River carves the landscape. As an ambulatory veterinarian, she has experienced the challenges, sorrows, and joys of working with creatures great and small and feels a powerful kinship with these beautiful beings, a bond that goes beyond flesh and fur and feathers. The Spiritual Nature of Animals chronicles her amazing exploration through the teachings of various religious and cultural traditions, as well as her encounters with the magnificent Rocky Mountain terrain and the quirky characters—both animal and human—who inhabit it.

Dog of the Week!

Meet: CHIP HARTT