Tag Archives: animals

Talk to Your Dog: How to Communicate With Your Pet by Susie Green (2005)

Author Susie Green supplements her easy-to-read text with illustrations to help readers better understand what our canine friends’ physical appearance, postures, etc., are telling us. Most dog owners will already know much of this information, but the anecdotes the author shares from old newspaper articles and journals about dog behavior are fascinating. The reader will be struck by how much different life is for our pampered 21st century pets. When I was a kid, everyone owned a mutt, and Gus the overweight Bassett hound freely roamed the school yard looking for pets, and treats. If you have a dog Talk to Your Dog is a must read.

I Am Maru by Mugumogu (2011)

Maru is an adorable Scottish Fold cat living in Japan who became famous from a “The Sliding Box Cat” entry for a YouTube contest. The photos of Maru’s expressive face and round body in all sorts of creative positions are delightful. In addition to sliding into boxes, he loves jumping and squishing into trash cans, and peeking into bags. It is amazing to see him diving and pushing his chubby body through diet soda boxes.

Cute captions from Maru’s point of view increase the enjoyment of the photos. Maru was born on May 7, 2007, and went to live with the author on September 7, 2007. The book features Maru in the first two years of his life. The text is in English and Japanese.

In addition to reading I Am Maru by Mugumogu, it is a treat to see Maru in action on youtube –

The French Cat by Rachael Hale (2011)

Delight in the photos of cats set against the backdrop of Paris and French villages. It is lovely to see a pampered cat in a grand chateau sitting regally on a brocade chair, cats walking along cobblestone streets surrounded by Old World architecture, strays roaming among the tombstones in Montmartre Cemetery, and a cat relaxing on a wrought iron balcony. While expecting a child, Rachael, an animal photographer, moved with her new husband from New Zealand to southwest France. It was interesting reading about her background and how she undertook this project including the effort involved in photographing the cats that required patience, teasers, and treats.

This book will appeal to cat lovers, Francophiles, and photography lovers.

Check the catalog for The French Cat by Rachael Hale.

Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom by Jennifer S. Holland (2011)

Have you ever heard of a dachshund nursing a piglet or a hippo and a tortoise lying side by side? This book features amazing stories of bonds between members of different species. Touching color photographs enhance the stories.

Jennifer Holland wonders “perhaps the need for a good friend is not just a human thing after all.” I especially enjoyed the story about Owen, a 600-pound baby hippo that survived a deadly tsunami in Kenya, and was put in a sanctuary with Mzee, a 130-year-old giant tortoise. Owen began learning tortoise ways, such as chewing on grass and being active during the day rather than the night. He licked Mzee’s face as the tortoise rested his head on Owen’s belly. At night they slept side by side, meaty torso against timeworn shell.

To see if this book is available check here and for more books by Jennifer S. Holland .

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean (2011)
Did you know that the original Rin Tin Tin was very nearly the greatest, most favored star of the silent movie era? Did you know that he was found as a puppy on a battlefield in France by a young American soldier named Lee Duncan? Duncan brought his well trained German Shepherd back to his native California where he soon began trying to get his dog into the movies.

Rin Tin Tin and his offspring starred in the movies, made countless public appearances and was again a star in the early days of television. Orlean explores the dog, his myth, and the many interesting people who surrounded Rin Tin Tin. She also gives you the history of the German shepherd breed and the early days of both television and the movies.

Here is a clip of Rin Tin Tin

Spotlight: Man’s Best Friend

Spotlight: Man’s Best Friend
Waiting for Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean (2011)? Try one of these classic stories about man’s best friend.

Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight (2003) is the classic story of a beloved collie, sold by his impoverished family, who makes his way back home to his boy. Jack London’s The Call of the Wild (1981) is another story of loyalty. Buck the dog is rescued from a brutal existence as a Yukon sledge dog by John Thornton, to whom he becomes devoted. The Incredible Journey (1996) is another story, this time two dogs and a cat, that make their way over hundreds of miles of Canadian wilderness to find a home. Roger Caras’ Treasury of Great Dog Stories (1987) brings together stories by such well known authors as Mark Twain and Stephen Crane.

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson (2010)
As a dog lover, I’m often drawn to books in which a dog is a featured character. I’m glad that this one caught my eye. It’s an engaging story about a wealthy businessman who “snaps” one day while at work and suddenly loses just about everything in his life. With the help of a rescue dog, he starts to turn himself around and appreciate what is really important in life. The story is told from both the main character’s point of view, as well as the dog’s perspective. Entertaining, insightful, and heartwarming.

Looking for more feel good books, check out our list of Gentle Reads.

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (2010)

“It must have some kind of teeth, and it wasn’t shy about using them.”—A description of a nightmarish monster? No. Instead, it’s a tai chi master…snail. This surprising, lovingly crafted homage to a snail, written by the seriously ill and bed-ridden Bailey whose friend one day brings her a wild snail in a flowerpot for her bedside, delighted me with Bailey’s observations of her new companion. She finds many parallels between her life and the snail’s, making this book meaningful and moving. Although the denouement seemed a bit rushed, I found it an easy read and enjoyed the captivating little quotations and haiku poetry about snails that introduced the chapters. Who would have thought? Four ½ stars.

Check out the YouTube video about this book.