31 January, 2011

Crazy Dog People

A book I read several weeks ago was called A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life, about a man, Steven Kotler, who falls in love with a woman, and finds himself drawn into the world of dog rescue. A couple of years later he finds himself married to that woman (Joy Nicholson), owner of a small ranch in New Mexico, running a dog rescue.

Kottler is a good writer, and his stories of life with a large pack of small dogs (they rescue mostly, but not only, small dogs, like Chihuahuas and Rat Terriers, etc.) are really interesting. At first he's all "Yay, we're doing a good thing by saving all these dogs, Go Us!" Then when they have a hard time when due to age, illness, and accident, they lose 8 dogs within a few months of each other, it hits him hard. He reports spending many months sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, grieving and thinking about what they are trying to do.

When he got out of the rocking chair he started researching the relationship between dogs and people, how dogs think, feel, and communicate. He interviews a lot of people and reports on what scientists are learning about the differences and similarities between humans and their pets. There is also a lot about dog rescue, the kind of people who do rescue, and how it changes the people that get drawn into it.

If you have a dog you love, or if you are involved in any way with dog rescue, check out this book. I think you'll like it.

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