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by Steve Dale
Searching for last-minute gifts? How about books for your pet-loving friends and relatives, or maybe as presents to yourself?
Here are some suggestions:
"Pets Who Want to Kill Themselves: Featuring Over 150 Suicidal Pets!," by Duncan Birmingham (Three Rivers Press, New York, N.Y.).
Isn't this a festive title for a holiday book? With tongue firmly planted in cheek, this little picture book has captions to describe what some pets are really thinking. A Multipoo in a dress, wearing chic sunglasses, notes, "She dresses me 'cause it's cheaper than having me spayed." There's a bunny dressed as a skunk with the caption, "Is this your not-so-subtle way of telling me I stink?" A cat in a graduation cap opines, "A college degree in this economy? I might as well slit my wrists."
"Chow Hound: Wholesome Home Cooking for Your Doggie," by Eve Adamson (Sterling Innovation, New York, N.Y., 2009).
If you're working hard in the kitchen prepping for the holidays, you might as well whip something up for your doggie (cats will enjoy much of what's here, too). These recipes are easy to follow, and creative. Examples; Peanut Butter Pooch Bread, Quiche Lassie.
"Animal Investigators: How the World's First Wildlife Forensics Lab Is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species," by Laurel Neme (Scribner, New York, N.Y., 2009).
This book is fascinating, at least for fans of all those "CSI" shows. The title might as well be "CSI Wildlife." Sadly, the illegal pet and wildlife trade is out of control. I'd never before read about having to deal with a walrus crime scene. It's amazing what science can do. I won't be surprised if this book becomes the foundation for a TV series on Animal Planet.
"Dogs Can Sign, Too: A Breakthrough Method for Teaching Your Dog to Communicate," by Sean Senechal (Celestial Arts, Berkeley, Calif., 2009).
Chimpanzees and gorillas have learned sign language, so why not dogs? While they don't have the physiology to communicate in American Sign Language, according to the author a dog can learn to raise a paw or wiggle a rear end to indicate "I want to play" or "I want my favorite biscuits." This is a fascinating premise, never before investigated.
"Thoughtful Owners, Great Dogs: Canine Behavior and Training A Triadic Approach," by James Akenhead (CCB Publishing, British Columbia, 2009).
Akenhead is the kind of dog trainer who ought to be receiving attention, not only for his 45 years of experience but also for his positive, "dog friendly" approach. For example, Akenhead notes that communication is key; so often we assume dogs understand what we're asking of them when they simply don't. As a consequence, they don't comply. The problem is not because they're spiteful or want to be dominant. Akenhead's step-by-step training instructions are practical and easy to follow.
"Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals," by Karen Pryor (Scribner, New York, N.Y., 2009).
Even if you haven't been a fan of clicker training, this book is a must read - particularly for dog owners who are sold on the archaic and dominating techniques promoted by a popular TV dog trainer. It turns out that most zoo staff around the world, and trainers who work with animals for TV, the movies or commercials, also use the techniques popularized by Pryor, a dog-training legend -- and for good reason. From the kleptomaniac dog to the depressed Oscar fish -- this book is a wonderful read! Most importantly, a light bulb will turn on in your head, helping you understand the animal mind.
"Happy Dog: Caring For Your Dog's Body, Mind and Spirit," by Bill Rafferty and Jill Cahr (New American Library, New York, N.Y., 2009).
Rafferty was Oprah Winfrey's dog groomer and a multi-award winner in his field. Cahr is an enthusiastic dog lover who volunteers at Animal Control in Chicago. For both, this is a great effort for a first book. No surprise, it contains excellent information on dog grooming. Otherwise, the authors do a very good job packing tons of general canine care into under 390 pages.
"Christmas Is Good: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Holiday," by Trixie Koontz, edited by dad, Dean Koontz (Hyperion Books, New York, N.Y., 2009).
This sweet little book will takes only 15 minutes to read. It's also philosophical. "It's not necessary to spend a fortune on a gift, as long as it tastes like bacon," says Koontz. The best-selling novelist is donating sale proceeds to Canine Companions for Independence.
Steve Dale's Recommended Books are available at Amazon.com:
- Is Your Dog Cut out for Field Trials?
- Should You Crate-train Your Puppy?
- How to Play Soccer With Your Dog
- The Best Way for Your Dog to Ride in the Car with You
- Good Dog Park Etiquette
- What Is Freestyle Dancing With Dogs?
- Canicross: An Easier Way to Run With Your Dog
- Reading Your Dog's Body Language
- Kitten Kindergarten
- Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe While Flying
- Keep Your Dog Warm in the Winter
- Scottish Deerhound: The Ideal Exercise Buddy
- Teach Your Dog to Fetch
- Is Your Dog Bored?
- 7 Ways to Pamper Your Cat
- The Best Games to Play With Your High-Energy Dog
- Dog Feeding Mishaps Corrected
- How to Succeed at Off-Leash Dog Play
- ID Your Relationship With Your Cat
- Photographing Your Elusive Feline
- How to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays
- When Good Dogs Turn Bad
- From Finicky Fido to Chowhound Charlie
- Insure Your Kitty's Health
- Unconditional Love: My Cat Forgives Me Every Day
- From Feline to Family Member
- Is Water From a Christmas Tree Stand Harmful to Cats?
- A Day in the Life of a Sheepherding Dog
- Go on a Desert Retreat With Your Dog
- Dog Food Goes Natural and Holistic
- Determining a Food Allergy
- Exercise Gone to the Dogs
- Find the Right Sport for Your Dog
- Make Your Dog a Part of Your Wedding
- Hydrotherapy Helps Dogs Get in Shape
- How Your Cat Says 'I Love You'
- Lost Cats Found
- De-stress Veterinary Visits for Your Cat
- Keeping Cat Food Fresh
- Second-Hand Cat, First-Rate Pet
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Pets | Animal Books for Your Pet-Loving Friends and Relatives