Animal Happiness: A Moving Exploration of Animals and Their by Vicki Hearne

By Vicki Hearne

A New York Times outstanding booklet of 1994!  hugely revered writer, thinker, and animal coach Vicki Hearne bargains a treasure trove of animal anecdotes, all written in her particular and poetic sort. via enjoyable tales approximately cats, horses, a decorative carp, a scorpion, and tortoises, Hearne makes a speciality of how each one of those quite a few creatures reports happiness in its personal precise approach. She takes factor with Ludwig Wittgenstein on lions and language, discusses the naming of pets, and considers the method of mourning a enjoyed dog’s loss of life.

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Example text

In her training process, she used (in addition to her own considerable skills) the persona of the animal, plus the characteristics of its breed or species, to shape a behavior that was pleasing to them both. I have never really trained an animal, but I have been trained by them, so I know how this method feels and also how well it works. For instance, my dog Pearl, now no longer living, trained me to get up at five o’clock in the morning so that I could prepare her breakfast at a time of her choice.

Bismark’s bloodlines are also American from almost the word go, and his breeders, Judy and Edward Weiss of Levittown, New York, tend to breed for a somewhat “softer” dog than German breeders do. ” This doesn’t mean that German-bred Dobies are nasty—far from it. The truth is a funny thing. I was talking with a friend who was asking my advice about what sort of dog to get. She wanted a large dog that would be easy to train and groom, safe around her children, and a good protector. I said she was describing a Dobie.

I remembered Jo’s poem about light when my friend Sara Suleri told me her frog story. The frog in this story did not live in Los Angeles, or even in the South Coast Air Basin, but rather in Pakistan. But it is a story about light, so it is thereby a story about southern California. Sara told me that the bathrooms in Pakistan are sunken and beautifully tiled affairs, or at least hers was. Frogs sometimes came into them, I suppose, because the tiles were smooth and cool and wet, unlike the rest of Pakistan.

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