Displaying items by tag: Author

"Rescued is a wide-ranging and intensely moving meditation on sharing one's life with adopted dogs. Peter Zheutlin is one of the few journalists who have taken on the complex world of animal rescue and actually gotten it right."

—Bronwen Dickey, author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon
 
“Rescue a dog, and the dog will rescue you. I can vouch for that, and Peter Zheutlin does a lovely, moving job of exploring the subject. Rescued is a delightful read.”

—Dean Koontz, New York Times bestselling author

RESCUED:

What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things

By Peter Zheutlin

While many of us have heard the “adopt don’t shop” expression, what most people don’t realize is just how vast the canine overpopulation problem is: 3.3 million new dogs enter U.S. animal shelters each year, at least 20% of which are euthanized[i] (these numbers are conservative when you start digging). There are an estimated 78 million pet dogs in the U.S[ii], yet less than a quarter are adopted from rescues and shelters. In his New York Times-bestselling book RESCUE ROAD, journalist Peter Zheutlin introduced us to Greg Mahle of Rescue Road Trips and the remarkable, heartwarming story of how one man (and many selfless volunteers) saved over thirty thousand hard-luck dogs from the South.

Peter Zheutlin’s new book RESCUED: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things is a natural follow up to Rescue Road. Zheutlin interweaves heartwarming and humorous stories, lessons, and advice from countless families who have welcomed second-chance dogs into their homes and the transformative effect of these adoptions.Zheutlin captures the beautiful as well as the challenging moments that will resonate with any pet owner, such as:

  • Knowing the moment your dog feels “home,” as shared by Ronnie Stanley, a first round NFL draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens, who adopted Lila, a notoriously “hard-to-adopt” pit bull mix.
  • The new perspectives gained as a dog owner: “If I’m running late for work,” recounts Ericka Kofkin, whose pit bull Zosia only has two legs due to being run over by a train, “I can get grumbly at her slow progress. But then I turn around to check on her and see how hard she’s working and all the effort in her little face and instantly melt… She always acts like I’m giving her the greatest gift in the world.”
  • The many ways in which dogs can help comfort, support, and guide us: As wheelchair-bound Ellen Leigh notes of her service dog, “Ricky helps me with many tasks and gives me independence. He opens doors literally and figuratively. He touches people’s hearts and because of that, I make a connection with lots of people. It’s a wonderful, life-changing partnership. My doctors agree Ricky has improved my health and he’s renewed meaning and purpose in my life.”

Owning a dog, rescued or otherwise, “isn’t going to be one continuous Hallmark moment” – there will always be challenging behaviors, unexplained fears, and a love for rolling in poop and mud. But most importantly, these resilient dogs and their awe-inspiring stories help us put the trials and tribulations of our daily lives into perspective, helping us live every day with greater appreciation and gratitude.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

PETER ZHEUTLIN is a freelance journalist and bestselling author, whose work appears regularly in major national publications, including The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. For more information, visit his website, www.peterzheutlin.com.

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RESCUED:

What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon,

and Finding Joy in the Little Things

By Peter Zheutlin

On Sale October 3, 2017

TarcherPerigee Paperback | ISDN-13: 978-1-101-98285-3 | $16.00

 


[i] The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

[ii]APPA National Pet Owners Survey 2015-1026 by the American Pet Products Association

Pet Safety Crusader™ Relocates to Villa Rica
15,000 Students, 10 Books and More to Accomplish!
DENISE FLECK, Founder of Sunny-dog Ink, the company she started in 1999 To
Help People Help Their Pets™, recently relocated to Villa Rica, Georgia from Los
Angeles and is pleased to continue teaching, writing and speaking on behalf of the
animals in the Peach State. "It is so rewarding to help pet lovers rescue Rover or
help Fluffy feel better BEFORE they can get to veterinary care, and I have been
blessed to have so many students jump to the task bandaging a wound, alleviating
choking, heatstroke or performing CPR,” she explains.
Dog mom Shirley DeFazio says, “I just can’t believe I saved my pet’s life thanks to
Denise’s class!” DeFazio performed life-saving measures when her beloved Doberman suffered
cardiac arrest.
Fleck is an award-winning author & radio show host and animal care instructor who developed the curriculum for her Pet
First-Aid & CPCR (Cardio Pulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation) Classes after training, practicing, attending seminars and
practicing some more. She has taught more than 15,000 animal lovers life-saving skills and has appeared on Animal
Planet’s “Groomer Has It” and “Pit Boss,” A&E’s “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life,” CBS-TV’s “The Doctors,” CNN Headline
News, PBS-TV’s “Lassie’s Pet Vet,” “K9Corner” and KTLA Los Angeles, on radio and in magazines. She is honored and
delighted to be on the Board of The Grey Muzzle Organization as her soft spot lies with caring for senior pets, as well as
the Board of the Emma Zen Foundation which provides pet oxygen masks to First Responders.
Fleck’s 10th book, “The Pet Safety Bible” will be available in early 2018 but her most recent release, “The Pet Safety
Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Disaster PAWparedness,” discusses an important topic in light of Mother Nature’s
recent rampages. Fleck has assisted Homeland Security with their K9 Border Patrol First-Aid Program and received
kudos from the Burbank (California) Police Department & Animal Shelter for drafting their Animal Emergency Plan. She
has been twice-named a finalist as Pet Industry’s Woman of the Year and has won 2 Muse Awards from the Cat Writers
and 3 Maxwell Medallions from the Dog Writers Associations including Best Children’s Book for “Don’t Judge a Book
by its Cover,” which according to Fleck, “Teaches kids from 0-99 to not judge animals, people, anything on the surface
but to look for the treasures that lie underneath.”
“I was born in Florida and after years on the West Coast, I am delighted to call
Georgia home amongst all the beautiful greenery, rainfall and friendly people –
I’m really anxious to see the first colors of Fall!”
Fleck just returned from a road-trip to New Orleans where she once again had the
honor of speaking at the Pet Sitter World Educational Conference which was
attended by hundreds of professional pet sitters and industry experts from the
U.S. and Canada. Said Beth Stultz, PSI's Vice-President, Marketing &
Operations, “Because professional pet sitters spend more time with clients' pets
than most other pet professionals, it is particularly important that they stay current
on the latest in pet health and care. The Sunny-dog Ink pet first aid training
provides pet sitters with the skills they need to administer aid and respond to
emergency situations before a veterinarian is available.”
Fleck is available to come to your location for children’s book readings, Pet
First-Aid & CPCR Classes, Pet Disaster Preparedness & Senior Pet Care talks as
well as other animal-related topics. Learn more at www.PetSafetyCrusader.com

Spirit
A BOOK OF HAPPINESS FOR HORSE LOVERS
EDITED BY ANOUSKA JONES
Gorgeous photography and memorable quotes combine to
create the ultimate gift for horse lovers.
Horses are the epitome of grace, power, and freedom. They also
have an ability to touch our souls and connect with our hearts in a
way that few other animals can. From a little girl’s first pony to a
gnarled stockman’s last Quarter horse, horses offer us some of
our deepest friendships and greatest inspiration.
Spirit: A Book of Happiness for Horse Lovers (Exisle Publishing,
dist. by QDS/Quarto, Oct 2017) is a compendium of enduring
quotes that capture the essence of our affection for these
magnificent animals. Some are by famous people (Winston
Churchill, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Faulkner, Dale Carnegie,
Ralph Waldo Emerson), others not; some are philosophical, others
light-hearted — all are memorable. Accompanied by beautiful
photography, and presented in a high-quality gift format, this is a
collection of quotes to treasure. Spirit will appeal to horse
owners, as well as those who dream of owning one.
The editor, Anouska Jones, a horse and animal
lover, and also editor of MEOW and WOOF is
available for interviews.
Extracts and images are available for publication.
ABOUT THE EDITOR: Anouska Jones is a book editor, publisher,
reviewer and author, who has worked in publishing for over twenty
years. She and her family live on a rural property with three horses,
two dogs, one budgie and five chickens.
$19.99 US, $25.99 CA Hardcover, 160 pages 8.75x8”
PUBLICATION DATE October 2017
ISBN 978-1-925335-51 4
www.exislepublishing.com and wherever good books are sold.
OTHER GREAT GIFTS OF HAPPINESS FOR PET
LOVERS: MEOW and WOOF
For more information, please contact
Jennifer Prost 973-746-8723,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.exislepublishing.com
Distributed by QDS
400 First Avenue North, #400
Minneapolis, MN 55401
800-4580454 qbookshop.com/qds.com

 

PATCH AND RUBY
WRITTEN BY ANOUSKA JONES, ILLUSTRATED BY GWYNNETH JONES
.
A gently humorous story about friendship and
belonging that will appeal to any young child who feels
they haven’t quite found their niche yet.
Patch the pony is lonely. He has fun with his young
owner, Sam, and the other farm animals are friendly,
but sometimes it feels as if he still doesn’t quite fit in.
Then one day Sam has an idea and something happens
that changes Patch’s life forever. Patch and Ruby is a
wonderful, often very funny tale about friendship and
finding out where you belong.
Anouska Jones is a publisher, editor, book reviewer
and writer. She is the Publisher for Exisle Publishing
and EK Books, and is the Senior Editor of children’s
literature website Kids’ Book Review. She lives on her
rural property with her husband and daughter, three
horses, eight chickens, three ducks, two dogs, one cat
and one budgie.
Gwynneth Jones drew in her math books all through
school, so left to study art at university. She spends her
time imagining, drawing, exhibiting and working on
picture books. She is the illustrator of the successful
Don’t Think About Purple Elephants.
Price $17.99US/$23.99 CA
Publication date: October 28, 2016
9.5x10, 32 pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978—1-95335-22-4
Distributed by QDS. 800-4580454
qbookshop.com/qds.com
Also available as one of three books in the Sugar and
Spice Collection as a beautifully presented boxed set.
Price: $34.99 US, $45.99 CA

This is a book about animals on what can be considered a small farm, the title character is the runt of a group of fourteen newly acquired chicks. On this farm, the animals are considered to be part of the family and all of them have their own names. The attitudes of the chickens are developed with this in mind,,although they have distinct personalities. Once the chicks are large enough to be safer from predators, they are allowed to roam freely, at this time “Bodo,” a Hungarian bird dog, takes over as their protector. There are also horses on this farm and they easily converse with the chickens. The horses are valuable show horse’s and some have traveled all the way to Europe to compete. When they are told that the horses wear blankets and other fashion accessories, the chickens are jealous and express a desire to also be dressed up. The entire farm is presented as a happy family, where all of the animals communicate with each other, yet the humans appear to be oblivious to this. That does not diminish this excellent story about animals of different species that form a society. The story is filled with life lesson’s such as sharing, trust, friendships , love, being yourself and proud of it and simple life pleasures such as splashing in puddles .

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Whimsical Farm Animals Form Lasting Friendships In A Runtamuffin Tale
West Palm Beach, FL ― Life’s a real zoo at Legacy Farms, where 14 chickens, a couple of dogs and an assortment of horses with diverse temperaments learn to share their days on the sprawling homestead.
Based on the true life adventures of author Melissa Taylor’s charming chickens, A Runtamuffin Tale is a delightful new children’s book that follows the life of Runtamuffin — or Runti — a tiny chicken with a big personality. Runti becomes the first chicken brave enough to form a bond with one of the farm’s largest inhabitants — a beautiful horse named Mariett.
All the animals on the farm soon learn that differences in size and outward appearances don’t mean a thing in this colorful tale that subtly interweaves valuable life lessons on sharing, believing in yourself, love, friendship, anti-bullying and mutual respect.
The 57-page book, wonderfully illustrated by Marc Beauregard, targets children ages 6 to 12 and would make a treasured addition to any family’s home or elementary school library.
Author Melissa Taylor was born and raised in the small town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Melissa’s mom filled her childhood home with animals, which cultivated Melissa’s love and desire to surround herself with all types of four- and two-legged creatures. She currently lives, owns and runs a farm with her husband in South Florida with 14 chickens, 34 horses, 5 dogs and a cockatiel. For more information about Melissa and her children’s book, please visit: www.runtavision.com.
A Runtamuffin Tale Release date: 2017 ISBN: 978-0-9989887-0-2 Hardcover and digital download available from www.runtavision.com.
###
Excerpt from Kirkus Review: “Whatever their temporary differences, the farm is a little family where everyone has fun. In her debut, Taylor provides warm scenarios of friendship, growing trust, and simple pleasures, such as splashing in puddles.”

 

BESTSELLING AUTHOR GREG KINCAID RETURNS WITH A MCCRAY FAMILY STORY IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

NOELLE

A Novel

By Gregory Kincaid

Greg Kincaid’s New York Times bestselling book, A Dog Named Christmas (2008), became a sleeper hit in the fall of 2009 when it was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie. And his two follow-up books, Christmas with Tucker (2010) and A Christmas Home (2012), have touched the lives of many across the country. For the first time in five years, Kincaid takes us back to rural Kansas in NOELLE (Convergent; Hardcover, $16.99, October 24, 2017), a story about the power of family, and the strength and love that comes from our pets.

It’s Christmas in Crossing Trails, Kansas, and three families, each facing different challenges, are struggling to get through the holiday season.

When schoolteacher Mary Ann McCray unintentionally volunteers to redefine Christmas by playing the part of “Anna” Clause, she never thought she would unseat Santa. Her usually stalwart husband, George, and the town question her take on this most cherished of traditions. Meanwhile, Mary Ann’s former students Abbey and her husband, Link, decide to divorce, turning their young children’s lives upside down. Finally, Mary Ann and George’s son, Todd, is at a crossroads with his girlfriend, Laura, as he starts a new job at the city’s animal shelter. There, Todd works with the incorrigible Elle, an oddly shaped dervish of a dog that Todd stubbornly tries to train as a service dog. However lovable, Elle has a hard time staying out of trouble, and the refrain “No, Elle! No, Elle!” is often heard throughout town.

As Christmas quickly approaches, the lives of these families will intersect in unexpected ways—old relationships will be redefined and new friendships forged. And surprising news guarantees that one family’s collective life will be changed forever.

Throughout the story, Kincaid tackles the real-life challenges with family and marriage. As a divorce mediator, Kincaid deals firsthand with marital issues, and in particular the impact of divorce on children. Kincaid also sheds light on a second timely subject: Rudolph, Frosty, Santa, the Grinch—are all men. As he wonders why women are excluded from holiday stories, Kincaid brings Mrs. Clause back to the forefront. Here, Kincaid presents a holiday character that interjects a fresh approach as a woman who stands up for her beliefs against others who may question her motives and abilities.

ABOUT THE BOOK

NOELLE

A Novel

By Gregory Kincaid

Convergent • On-Sale Date: October 24th, 2017

Hardcover • Price: $16.00 • ISBN: 978-1-5247-6119-6

www.crownpublishing.com

About the Author

GREG KINCAID is a practicing lawyer in Kansas who helped to start the Changing Lives Through Literature Program in Kansas. He is also involved in pet advocacy and the mentoring of young people. The father of five children, he lives in Johnson County, Kansas, with his wife and two dogs.


Find out more at GregKincaid.com


Quotes about Dogs by People Who Love Them

BY BOZE HADLEIGH
Life’s a Pooch is, pardon the expression, catnip for dog lovers. Its five riveting chapters comprise hundreds of celebrity quotes and anecdotes about everyone’s best friend. By turns funny, touching, surprising, and informative, it embraces every aspect of the human-dog bond and explores our furry companions’ sometimes baffling world and celebrates their impact on ours. Those quoted range from animal superheroes Betty White and Doris Day to Leonardos da Vinci and DiCaprio to dog trainers, Lassie costars, singers and actors, presidents, Walt Disney, and Martha Stewart--to name a few!
Did you know that:
- Comparing canines with people, Marilyn Monroe once said, “A dog will never tell you to shut up”?
- Aldous Huxley explained the pooch’s popularity: “To his dog, every man is Napoleon,” while President
Harry Truman advised, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog”?
- For Renee Zellweger, “Finding exactly the right dog is a lot like falling in love”?
- Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz felt, “Happiness is a warm puppy”?
- And singer Adele is happy to be “my dog’s best friend”?
Poignant, silly, and heart-warming, Life's a Pooch is a must-have for every dog lover!

Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10018
(212) 643-6816
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
About the author:
Boze Hadleigh is the author of twenty-three books, including Holy Cow!—Doggerel, Catnaps, Scapegoats, Foxtrots, and Horse Feathers, about animal words, phrases, and expressions. He speaks five languages, has visited sixty-two countries, holds a master’s degree in journalism, and has won on Jeopardy! Hadleigh lives in Beverly Hills and Sydney.
To request a review copy or arrange an interview with the author, please contact:
Felicia Tsao / (212) 643-6816 x 286 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Life's a Pooch
Quotes about Dogs by People Who Love Them By Boze Hadleigh
Good Books, also available as an ebook
On Sale: November 21, 2017
ISBN: 9781680993691
Price: $12.99

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WALKING WITH PEETY
The Dog Who Saved My Life
By Eric O’Grey with Mark Dagostino
Grand Central Publishing Hardcover
Pub date: October 10, 2017
$26.00 / ISBN: 9781478971160
eBook ISBN: 9781478971146
Contact:
Nick Small, Associate Director of Publicity
Grand Central Life & Style
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Grand Central Publishing is proud to present WALKING WITH PEETY by Eric O’Grey with
Mark Dagostino, a heartwarming story of how transformation can come from surprising
places—a visit to an animal shelter and finding a special dog ended up saving Eric O’Grey’s
life.
O’Grey was 150 pounds overweight, depressed, and sick. After a lifetime of failed diet attempts,
and the onset of type 2 diabetes, he went to a new doctor, who surprisingly prescribed
a shelter dog. And that’s when O’Grey met Peety: an overweight, middle-aged, and
forgotten dog who, like O’Grey, had seen better days. The two adopted each other and began
an incredible journey, forming a bond of unconditional love that forever changed their
lives. Over the course of their first year together, O’Grey lost 150 pounds and Peety lost 25.
As a result, O’Grey reversed his diabetes, got off all medication, and became happy and
healthy for the first time in his life. He started dating for the first time in fifteen years—and
eventually reconnected with the long-lost love of his life. And Peety? His love would lead
the way on the doggie adventure of a lifetime. WALKING WITH PEETY is for anyone who
is ready to make a change in his or her life, and for everyone who knows the joy, love, and
hope that a dog can inspire. This is more than a tale of mutual rescue. This is an epic story
of friendship and strength.

ERIC O’GREY is an inspirational speaker with a bachelor of science in finance from San
Jose State University and a Juris Doctor from Emory University. Eric enjoys long-distance
running with his dog, Jake, gourmet plant-based cooking, and spending time with his wife,
Jaye. He is passionate about animal kindness, plant-based nutrition, and helping others
reverse obesity and achieve their optimal weight and happiness. More information about
Eric and his initiatives is available on his website EricandPeety.com.
MARK DAGOSTINO is a multiple New York Times bestselling coauthor whose career has
been built through the sharing of uplifting and inspirational stories. Before becoming an
author, Mark served ten years on staff as a correspondent, columnist, and senior writer for
People magazine in New York and Los Angeles. More information is available on his website
MarkDagostino.com.

“I think the concept of Dogtology is as fresh and unique as Chicken Soup for the Soul was two decades ago.” —Jack Canfield, cocreator, Chicken Soup for the Soul series
DOGTOLOGY
A Humorous ExplorAtion of mAn’s fur-ocious Devotion to Dogs
By JEFF LAZARUS
Chew on this. As humans, we have a deep need to believe . . . a need to relate to something greater and more ideal than ourselves. Perhaps that’s why so many millions believe in Dog. Man’s devotion to Dog has come to rival the great -isms and -ologies of the world. This thing has gone way beyond a hobby.
We may not literally worship dogs, but we come pawfully close. This rabid reverence for Rover has a name: Dogtology. Dogtology is for the dog lover who has bailed on a date because they didn’t want Twinkles to be left home alone. It is for the human whose dog owns a more festive holiday wardrobe than they do, whose pups dine on free-range bison burgers while they live off ramen, or whose smartphones have more photos of their dog than of the humans in their family. In this sacred dogtrine, the case is made that Dogtology has become a bone-a-fide belief system on par with the world’s great philosophies and religions.
SKYHORSE
PUBLISHING
307 West 36th Street
11th Floor
New York, NY 10018

www.skyhorsepublishing.com
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10018

www.skyhorsepublishing.com
About the Author:
Jeff Lazarus is a leadership coach, speaker, trainer, adjunct professor, and creative who innovates and builds roads not yet traveled. He has an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA in interpersonal and organizational communication from California State University, Long Beach. He combined his passion for animals with his teachings on communication and released Listen Like a Dog in 2016. Lazarus is a serious dog lover and advocate. After finally having his Cat Mitzvah, way past age thirteen, he wrote the whimsical book Catakism.

Dogtology
A Humorous Exploration of Man’s Fur-ocious Devotion to Dogs
By Jeff Lazarus
Skyhorse Publishing hardcover, also available in eBook November 7, 2017 ǀ 978-1-5107-2644-4 ǀ $14.99

 

Catakism
A humorous purr-spective on humankind’s obsession with cats
By JEFF LAZARUS
Does your cat own you? What has caused us to enthrone cats as the most popular pet on the planet? Why do we devote so much of our time and income to grooming, feeding, coddling, photographing, praising, providing laps for, and “entertaining” our cats? If an anthropologist from outer space were to study our civilization objectively, would she not conclude that our devotion to Cat amounted to nothing less than a full-blown religion? Would she be wrong?
Catakism, the belief system, is rooted in a bold premise: namely, that felines are humanity’s biological and spiritual masters. By allowing Man to handle all of Her low-level needs, Cat is free to do the higher-level spiritual work that Man has no time for, such as meditating seventeen hours a day, teleporting into locked rooms and cabinets, communing with disembodied spirits, and reeducating humanity on the true purpose of boxes, bags, and keyboards.
About the Author:
Jeff Lazarus is a leadership coach, speaker, trainer, adjunct professor, and creative who innovates and builds roads not yet traveled. He has an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA in interpersonal and organizational communication from California State University, Long Beach. He
SKYHORSE
PUBLISHING
307 West 36th Street
11th Floor
New York, NY 10018

www.skyhorsepublishing.com
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10018

www.skyhorsepublishing.com
combined his passion for animals with his teachings on communication and released Listen Like a Dog in 2016. Lazarus is a serious dog lover and advocate. After finally having his Cat Mitzvah, way past age thirteen, he wrote the whimsical book Catakism.

Catakism
A Humorous Purr-spective on Humankind’s Obsession with Cats
By Jeff Lazarus
Skyhorse Publishing hardcover, also available in eBook November 7, 2017 ǀ 978-1-5107-2645-1 ǀ $14.99

To say that John Bradshaw knows animals would be a colossal understatement. Bradshaw is the Foundation Director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol and is at the forefront of canine and feline behavioral science. He’s published widely on topics such as separation disorders in dogs, the welfare of kenneled dogs, the interpretation of “play” behavior in cats and dogs, and the effects of human behavior on cat population dynamics. And last, but certainly not least, he is the bestselling author of Dog Sense (“a wonderfully informative, quietly passionate book” according to the Economist); Cat Sense (which NPR Books praised for being an “indispensable addition to the cat-lore canon”); and The Trainable Cat (called “genius” by the New York Times Book Review).

Now, Basic Books is proud to present Bradshaw’s magnum opus, THE ANIMALS AMONG US: How Pets Make Us Human (October 31, 2017). Today, most of the animals we share our life with are our companions, not the working animals of the past. But why have we given up the potential labor and utility of these animals for pets that we can cuddle and feature on Instagram? Bradshaw explains that pet-keeping isn’t a new human behavior nor is it a meaningless one. Instead, pet-keeping is nothing less than an intrinsic part of human nature.

Bradshaw and his work have been featured on everything from MSNBC to Fresh Air to the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Catster, and the Bark. He is aptly suited to explain why living with animals has always been a fundamental aspect of being human.

“Bradshaw’s…gentle warmth and intelligence make the book enjoyable. A sound introduction to a relatively new area of study, both for those who share their households with animals and those who never would.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“I read everything John Bradshaw writes. He is the professor you always wish you’d had: knowledgeable yet approachable, engaged and engaging. If you are in any way interested in the underpinnings of the human-animal relationship, this is the book for your bookshelf.”

—Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know and Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell

THE ANIMALS AMONG US

How Pets Make Us Human

By John Bradshaw

We all know the old saying “A house is not a home without a pet.” As modern humans, we seem to have taken this statement to heart. In the past century alone there has been a massive surge in pet ownership—over 50% of American households have at least one pet, and $50 billion is spent every year on food, toys, and care for pets. The majority of these animals, who once worked for their keep as herders, guard dogs, or rat catchers, are now kept purely for companionship while appearing to reciprocate with little besides their devotion. Why do we continue to care for, and love, so many seemingly functionless creatures?

In THE ANIMALS AMONG US: How Pets Make Human (Basic Books, October 31, 2017), leading scholar and researcherJohn Bradshaw answers the question, “Why do we keep pets?” Keeping pets isn’t a new phenomenon, of course—evidence shows that humans and animals have enjoyed a special relationship dating as far back as 100,000 years ago with the first ritual burial of animals. Fast forward to today, and “we don’t simply feel the urge to keep pets; we seem to want to believe that they provide some kind of elixir that will allow us to lead more fulfilling lives,” Bradshaw says. “Over the past half century or so, our relationships with animals have become more complex and thus more difficult to disentangle.”

Drawing on the latest research in biology and psychology, as well as fields as diverse as robotics and anthropology, Bradshaw goes on to explain how having pets is nothing less than an intrinsic part of human nature. He walks us through the long process by which humans and animals evolved from “hunter” and “prey” to becoming the best of friends, detailing the different phases of our relationship:

  • Phase 1: We develop the ability to take on an animal’s perspective—in other words, anthropomorphizing animals and imaging what they might be thinking and feeling. This was a valuable skill during the hunter-gatherer days when we needed to gain the upper hand on our prey (i.e. “if I were a turtle, where would I hide my eggs?”). Subsequently, societies that were able to domesticate animals began to thrive at the expense of those who could not and were condemned to relying upon hunting alone to supply their protein.
  • Phase 2: Anthropomorphization leads to our ancestors adopting the wild species with which they now emotionally identify. A few key species—starting with the dog sometime between 30,000 and 15,000 years ago—are domesticated to serve as pets. Our ancestors latched onto dogs, for example, because their specific skills benefited their keepers. And one of those skills was providing companionship.
  • Phase 3: Mass adoption of domesticated animals as companions, not workers, begins. By this point, anthromorphizing led to us interacting with animals and providing care for them. This meant we gained a capacity to feel affection for the animals in our care, which in turn resulted in us keeping pets. While this practice dates back to the second phase, it increases as economic mobility increases (i.e. pets can be kept purely as pets and don’t have to earn their keep), and it explodes during the twentieth century.

But the question still remains—why do we continue to keep pets as companions when doing so means we are increasing our monthly bills without getting the labor in return that we used to get? To fully understand our love for our pets, Bradshaw maintains that we must turn to four characteristics of human nature that have helped to bind us to animals—the “cute response” (our brains’ hardwiring drives us to take care of anything we think of as babyish or cute); the bonding factor of stroking (petting animals provides tactile pleasure and releases dopamine and endorphins which calm us); the reward system (humans are the only mammals who seem to find nurturing to be a fulfilling act in itself); and the aforementioned ability to anthromorphize—which has helped us to consider animals as “one of the family.”

In THE ANIMALS AMONG US Bradshaw shows us how animals have played a major role in the development of our species—first, as important sources of protein, and then, after domestication, as food, currency, and lastly as beloved family units. An affinity for animals drove our evolution and now, without animals around us, we risk losing an essential part of ourselves. As Bradshaw explains, “culturally, animals have always been important to us…All this suggests that our interactions with animals may have shaped the structure of our brains—the organ that distinguishes us most from all other mammals. If this is true, pet keeping may be a habit that our basic humanity will not allow us to give up.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John Bradshaw is the foundation director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol, and author of the New York Times bestsellers Cat Sense and Dog Sense and coauthor of The Trainable Cat. He lives in Southampton, England. Follow on Twitter @petsandus.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

THE ANIMALS AMONG US: How Pets Make Us Human

By John Bradshaw

Published by Basic Books

Publication date: October 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-465-06481-6 · E-book ISBN: 978-0-465-09315-1 · $28.00 / $36.50 CAN · Hardcover · 384 pages


The Spiritual Nature of Animals:

A Country Vet Explores the Wisdom, Compassion, and Souls of Animals

Karlene Stange, DVM

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.

“Dr. Karlene Stange weaves a heartwarming web composed of her personal experiences as a veterinarian caring for all our kindred spirits, along with insights from ancient wisdom traditions and perspectives on our boundless interconnectedness with all beings. . . . Allow it to touch your heart and spirit, and enjoy!” — Allen M. Schoen, DVM, MS, PhD ( hon.), author of Kindred Spirits

“In this book, you will find stories that make you laugh, others that bring tears to your eyes, and still others that evoke enlightening views about the world we cohabit with animals and how this affects our belief systems. I highly recommend this inspiring book.”

— Nancy S. Loving, DVM, author of All Horse Systems Go

“Dr. Karlene Stange addresses some of the hardest questions veterinarians face and does so with a fascinating and surprisingly seamless blend of science/medicine, spirituality, and personal experience. She gives us the kernels of truth about the spirit, or anima, of animals from the perspective of each major religion and distills these into a very practical philosophy.”

— Susan J. Tornquist, DVM, MS, PhD, Dip ACVP, Lois Bates Acheson Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University

“Everyone who cares about animals will benefit from this book.”

— Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, founder and dean, Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

“Finally gives the issue of animal spirituality the attention it deserves . . . the definitive examination of animals and spirituality.”

— Marta Williams, author of Learning Their Language

As a child, Karlene Stange, DVM, wanted to be an “animal doctor” before she knew the word “veterinarian.” Today she incorporates acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional therapy into her Rocky Mountain practice. She often speaks at conferences and lives in Durango, Colorado. Her website is www.animasanimals.com.

The Spiritual Nature of Animals:

A Country Vet Explores the Wisdom, Compassion, and Souls of Animals

By Karlene Stange, DVM

Animals/Nature • Pub Date: November 7, 2017

Price: $16.95 • Trade Paper/ebook • 304 pages • ISBN: 978-1-60868-515-8

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