David’s Book Club

May 2012

Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes

By Maria Goodavage

Maria Goodavage, editor and featured writer for one of the world’s most widely read dog blogs, tells heartwarming stories of modern soldier dogs and the amazing bonds that develop between them and their handlers. Beyond tales of training, operations, retirement, and adoption into the families of fallen soldiers, Goodavage talks to leading dog-cognition experts about why dogs like nothing more than to be on a mission with a handler they trust, no matter how deadly the IEDs they are sniffing, nor how far they must parachute or rappel from aircraft into enemy territory.
“Military working dogs live for love and praise from their handlers,” says Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association and a former marine scout dog handler. “The work is all a big game, and then they get that pet, that praise. They would do anything for their handler.” This is an unprecedented window into the world of these adventurous, loving warriors.

 

 

April 2012

The Incredible Journey

By Sheila Burnford

Instinct told them that the way home lay to the west. And so the doughty young Labrador retriever, the roguish bull terrier and the indomitable Siamese set out through the Canadian wilderness. Separately, they would soon have died. But, together, the three house pets survive starvation, exposure, and wild forest animals to make their way home to the family they love. The Incredible Journey is one of the great children’s stories of all time–and has been popular ever since its debut in 1961.

 

 

 

March 2012

Let’s Take the Long way Home:
A Memoir of Friendship

By Gail Caldwell

They met over their dogs. Gail Caldwell and Caroline Knapp (author of Drinking: A Love Story) became best friends, talking about everything from their love of books and their shared history of a struggle with alcohol to their relationships with men. Walking the woods of New England and rowing on the Charles River, these two private, self-reliant women created an attachment more profound than either of them could ever have foreseen.  Then, several years into this remarkable connection, Knapp was diagnosed with cancer. With her signature exquisite prose, Caldwell mines the deepest levels of devotion, and courage in this gorgeous memoir about treasuring a best friend, and coming of age in midlife. Let’s Take the Long Way Home is a celebration of the profound transformations that come from intimate connection—and it affirms, once again, why Gail Caldwell is recognized as one of our bravest and most honest literary voices.

 

 

 

February 2012

50 Games To Play with Your Cat
By Jackie Strachan

Cats are commonly misconceived as sedentary creatures that need little if any exercise. In reality, cats require the same sort of mental and physical stimulation as any other pet in order to be healthy and happy and to alleviate boredom.

In 50 Games to Play with Your Cat, discover a complete compendium of games appropriate for cats of all ages and activity levels. The simple instructions make each game easy to set up and play in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. The book features activities that challenge your cat both mentally and physically, helping to satisfy her instinctive hunting skills while keeping her fit and happy. Many of the exercises utilize items often found lying around the house, such as empty boxes or shopping bags and even soap bubbles. It also includes expert tips that explain your cat’s playful behavior and shows you how to coax a cautious cat into play or calm an
overexcited cat.

For the cat owner who wants to help his or her pet stay active and engaged, 50 Games to Play with Your Cat offers enjoyable game ideas that are appropriate for all ages and activity levels of both cat and owner.

 

 

January 2012

 

Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship 

BY TOM RYAN

“In the mountains Atticus became more of what he’d always been, and I became less-less frantic, less stressed, less worried, and less harried. I felt comfortable letting him lead, and he seemed to know what I needed. He always chose the best route, if ever there was a question, and my only job was to follow.”

Middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan and miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. In a rare test of endurance, Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home. . . .

At the heart of this remarkable journey is an extraordinary relationship that blurs the line between man and dog, an indelible bond that began when Tom, following the advice of Atticus’s breeder, carried the pup wherever he went for the first month of their life together. Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation: how a five-pound puppy pierced the heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman, opening his eyes to the world’s beauty and its possibilities. It was a change that led to a new life among the mountains; an unforgettable saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family; and an inspiring tale of finding love and discovering your true self.

 

 

December 2011

A Bad Kitty Christmas

by Nick Bruel

A HILARIOUS NEW HOLIDAY PICTURE BOOK ABOUT EVERYONE’S FAVORITE NAUGHTY FELINE

“Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the city, not a creature was stirring…Except for BAD KITTY.”

A greedy Bad Kitty didn’t get all the presents she wanted for Christmas, but after she goes on a Christmas caper across town and through multiple alphabets, she makes a new friend, finds an old friend, and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Or not. Nick Bruel’s first picture book about Bad Kitty since the uproarious Poor Puppy in 2007 is full of rhyming mayhem… and Christmas cheer.

 

November 2011

I Am Maru

By mugumogu

Meet Maru! This round, adorable Scottish Fold cat may be an internet sensation, but he knows how to keep his celebrity status from going to his fluffy head . . . mostly. Maru and his owner, Mugumogu, give readers a peek into the low-key life of the world’s most famous cat. See all his favorite hiding places—trash cans, cupboards, cereal boxes . . . if it’s cozy, he’s there. Meet his treasured toys and learn what it means to wield just the right amount of cat-titude.

 

 

October 2011

Skippyjon Jones, Class Action

By Judy Schachner

Skippyjon Jones and his kindle of kitty sisters are back again in this rollicking tale. Despite being a smart Siamese, the feline longs to join his “Chi-wa-la” friends at school. Mama Junebug warns him “School is for the Dogs!”-who are “unruly and drooly”-which is exactly the kind of atmosphere he relishes. Skippy’s extraordinary imagination transports him to dog school where he enjoys being the star student in all his classes, including French. But the real challenge is in confronting the savage “bull-ito,” a tiny terror that spins around the school in a teacup. A banana is the unlikely key to calming the savage beast. Typical of Schachner’s style, the book has hilarious songs, wild antics, a smattering of Spanish words, and humor that everyone can appreciate. The zany illustrations add to its exuberant nature. Children will enjoy the amusing details on each page. As with the earlier books, this one makes for a wonderful read-aloud that will have young audiences laughing out loud.

 

September 2011

Dog Tales

By SusyFlory

“Dog Tales” is a collection of dramatic, heart wrenching and sometimes hilarious true dog stories.  If you always suspected your dog of being a hero at heart, now you will have proof!  “Dog Tales” shows that sometimes the most ordinary mutt can impact lines in an unforgettable way.

Meet the Dog Tales dogs…….

ROSELLE, a guide dog who led her blind owner safely down 78 stories of Tower 1 inside the World Trade Center on 9/11

FAITH, an abandoned two legged puppy that learned to walk upright on her back legs

ANDRE, a survivor who found himself caught in a wolf trap

HIGHWAY MAN, a dog who would not be caught

LEO, the gentle giant mastiff locked away in an abandoned house…..and many more!

 

 

August 2011

Dog Stories

by James Herriot

“Dog Stories” is a collection of 50 stories that were pulled from James Herriot’s books. You will recognize some of them if you have watched some of the PBS show “All Creatures Great and Small”.

What is special about these stories is that they are focusing just on the dogs and their humans. At the end of each story Herriot adds a page of personal reflections about the dog, the human, and the veterinary experience.

In this book, the stories will captivate your heart because we meet a variety of canine heroes and irrepressible dog lovers.  “Dog Stories” can be read straight through like a novel, or sought out when you need a refreshing pick me up. You can even pet your dog while you are reading, and get double the pleasure and companionship.

July 2011

Dog Gone Days

By David Navarria

“Dog Gone Days”, is a dramatic but uplifting autobiographical account about managing life through chronic pain.  The author uses the story of his dog to expose our deeper emotions to show us the way to appreciate life and nature even in the face of adversity.

Past middle age, the author, who lived most of his life in a large city, seeks the possibility of a lifestyle in the small town he often visited in his youth. There in the loneliness of his self imposed exile, and plagued with the chronic pain he sustained from a car accident many years prior, he takes us on a journey through his past while he faces his greatest life-threatening conditions.

This story is touching because it is a true life story that is a wonderful read.  If you are a dog lover, you will identify with the love story.

 

 

June 2011

The Social lives of Dogs

By Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

In this sequel to her illuminating bestseller The Hidden Life of Dogs, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas profiles the canines in her own household to show how dogs have comfortably adapted to life with their human owners — and with each other. A classically trained anthropologist, she answers questions we all have about our pets’ behavior. Do dogs have different barks that mean different things? What makes a dog difficult to house-train? Why do certain dogs and cats get along so well? How does Snoopy recognize people he sees only once a year, while Misty barks at strangers she sees every day? The Social Lives of  Dogs presents marvelous evidence of the power of the group — and shows us that those who are fortunate enough to be given the trust of an honorable dog will also have their lives enriched.

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who has written evocatively on the ways of dogs (The Hidden Life of Dogs) and cats (The Tribe of the Tiger) at large, here turns her attention to the particular canines–and other animals–with which she shares her home. Marshall’s narrative begins with the arrival of an unfortunate, highly intelligent creature named Sundog, who, excluded from the somewhat constricted worlds of her older dogs, is forced to take his place in the next available pack–that of Marshall and the other human inhabitants of her New Hampshire home. “Perhaps we were not his first choice, but he took us,” Marshall writes of Sundog learning his proper place in their order and they in his. Much as domestic dogs enjoy each other’s company, Marshall hazards, when in the presence of humans each becomes a competitor for attention and food. Humans, in that world of small rivalries, become not so much alphas or pack leaders–as so many books have it–as they do “sources of life,” providers of food and security. Such power can corrupt, of course, and at points Marshall observes that popular methods of dog training–or dog control–can do more harm than good, at least as far as a dog’s emotional well-being is concerned. Through her tales of Sundog, Misty, and her other dogs (and cats, and parrots), Marshall explores how fulfilling a life among animals can be. A little softer on the scientific explanations that drive her other books, Marshall’s narrative shares the anecdotal richness of her earlier work. Any human who is curious about how dogs think and how the worlds of dogs and people intersect will find much of value in her pages. –Gregory McNamee

 

 

May 2011

Ask Curtis

By Curtis and Dan Gertsen

“Ask Curtis” is an entertainingly fun, easy and informative read filled  with doggone good advice & information for dogs on topics that include…

…Learning to water ski

…Joining U.S. Customs

…Coping with a tormenting toddler

…Ridding ourselves of fleas and ticks

…Accepting that it’s okay to wear clothes at times

…Getting a human to pick up after us

…Hanging it up when arthritis limits our rodent chasing

…Overcoming the fear of riding in the car

Plus…

…What to do when they don’t want you humping?

…How to leave the crate for the table?

…Does it really rain cats and dogs?

…Why can’t humans get along?

…Dogs with dogs, dogs with cats, cats with cats…oh my!!

 

 

April 2011

A New Job for Pearl

By Allyn Lee and Connie Forslind’s 2nd Grade Class

Allyn Lee has volunteered for 16 years, teaching second graders about animals and the environment. In January 2010, she was teaching Connie Forslind’s second grade class at Rancho Romero School in Alamo, Calif., about wolves-a subject, she says, always segues to dogs-when Haiti was hit by the devastating earthquake.

Lee followed the coverage, in particular stories about the canine search teams, including California Task-Force 2 (CA-TF2), trained by the Search Dog Foundation. CA-TF2 saved 11 lives in Haiti and learned a great deal about saving more lives in future disasters. Lee decided she wanted to write the true story of a Pearl and her handler, Fire Captain Ron Horetski.

When she told her students they became enthusiastic supporters and illustrators. They studied photos of Horetski and Pearl and watched Search Dog Foundation videos. Every student provided at least one image for A New Job for Pearl: A Homeless Dog Becomes A Hero, and they participate in book sales events nearby.

“They are fully involved and determined to sponsor a search dog!” Lee says.

Lee and her students hope to sell 1,000 copies at $10 each to raise the $10,000 needed to sponsor the training of a search dog. To support the kids, SDF and/or to learn Pearl’s wonderful story, visit ANewJobforPearl.org.

 

 

March 2011

Nubbs – The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

By Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson, Mary Nethery

Nubs, an Iraqi dog of war, never had a home or a person of his own. He was the leader of a pack of wild dogs living off the land and barely surviving. But Nubs’s life changed when he met Marine Major Brian Dennis. The two formed a fast friendship, made stronger by Dennis’s willingness to share his meals, offer a warm place to sleep, and give Nubs the kind of care and attention he had never received before. Nubs became part of Dennis’s human “pack” until duty required the Marines to relocate a full 70 miles away–without him. Nubs had no way of knowing that Marines were not allowed to have pets.

So began an incredible journey that would take Nubs through a freezing desert, filled with danger to find his friend and would lead Dennis on a mission that would touch the hearts of people all over the world.

Nubs and Dennis will remind readers that friendship has the power to cross deserts, continents, and even species.

 

 

February 2011

Whalesong

By Robert Seigle 

This is a classic fable of Hruna the humpback whale and his journey from birth through a life full terror and sacrifice and joy. Follow the migration of giant humpback whales in a story told in the mythical style.  You will find that the life of a whale is filled with plenty of adventure and the dramatic climax of the story will keep readers enthralled. Author Robert Siegel, also known for his poetic style, offers a fluid narrative that sparkles with imagery. Learn together about humpback whale biology and behavior in a story that will captivate young readers.

Reading this story, the first of a trilogy written by Siegel, will bring a rich integration to the study of the great whales. The trilogy continues with White Whale, a Novel About Friendship and Courage in the Deep, and The Ice at the End of the World.

 

 

January 2011

The Art of Raising a Puppy

By The Monks of New Skete

The monks of New Skete, authors of the classic guide on how your best friend is your dog, apply their highly successful training methods for the first critical months of the life a puppy. The monks of New Skete have been breeding & training dogs at their monastery in New York for more than 20 years. Their philosophy of raising dogs emphasizes the important link between the human-dog bonds, get the owners to understand the dogs, the monks say, is the vital information to successfully training him. They first released this philosophy in their 1978 classic guide on how to be your dog’s best friend. Now the monks concentrate on the first three months of life a puppy in the art of raising a puppy.

Almost all types of dog problems & dog training are examined in the book, always compassionate & easily comprehensible language. The monks look well beyond surface training techniques into analyzing the basic problems of dogs & explain how training can help you.