The Lost Pet Chronicles: Adventures of a K-9 Cop Turned Pet Detective

The most frightening thing a veterinarian can say is that your beloved companion animal has cancer. The word hangs in the air, and you don’t even hear the rest of the conversation. As our animals live longer, more of us will face that diagnosis. Deborah Straw’s book, The Healthy Pet Manual, will help you understand what you can do to help your friend live with cancer.

Straw, l an established animal, health and lifestyle writer, lost four pets to cancer. Frustrated at the lack of information she found on what caused the disease and how to make crucial decisions affecting her animals, she wrote her own boo on the subject.

The reader will find a tremendous amount of information in this revised and expanded version of that first book. It helps fill the gap that is left if your veterinarian does not communicate well enough with you about what is happening to your companion animal and what you can do to help. Straw has done extensive research on the causes of the disease, and how it manifests in dogs, cats and other small animals. This includes environmental, dietary, and vaccine-related agents that may cause cancer as well as the preventive measures that can be taken to help ward off this disease in the first place.

If your companion animal has been diagnosed with cancer, this book gives a well-balanced approach to various forms of treatment both conventional and alternative. She covers everything from chemotherapy and laser surgery to herbal treatments, flower essences, touch therapy and the latest in pain relief. Straw doesn’t limit herself to a dry explanation of treatments, though. She explains how to care for a sick companion animal and delves into the grieving process that needs to take place if all the treatments fail and the animal dies. In addition to the excellent material presented in the book Straw gives an in-depth section at the end of the book containing notes and references so the reader can pursue particular points more fully.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has received the diagnosis of cancer for a companion animal or to anyone who is interested in the latest research on animal health issues. The reader will come away feeling that a cancer diagnosis may not be the end of the road for a beloved companion animal. Packed with wisdom and options this book is an excellent basic resource for any animal lover

Amelia Kinkade is passionate about what she believes. That’s for sure. An actress, dancer, artist and animal psychic (and niece of Rue McClanahan, the actress/animal advocate), this young woman (she’s in her early 30s) has written her second book on a controversial field: communicating telepathically with animals. Her first, which I have not yet read, was a how-to for people who want to learn to do it themselves (“Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: How to Talk to Animals and Get Answers”). This book takes it further and presents a multitude of case histories supporting her thesis. And what a thesis that is!

Kinkade manages to meld quantum theory, wave/particle physics, religion, spirituality, reincarnation, and life after death into a not-quite-seamless whole (she’s still working out the details) to explain why it is possible for animals, even insects, to “talk” to us, and vice versa. Her mother is a medical professor, and she clearly has great respect for the role of science in her work. One of her heroes is Edgar Mitchell, a former astronaut and egghead, as well as scientists like Albert Einstein and Nils Bohr. But at the same time, the importance of God, love and positive thinking in successful psychic communication is repeated over and over throughout the book.

Anyone can learn to be psychic, Kinkade claims, but it requires lots of practice and dedication. She includes a number of practices in the book on how to develop the ability to locate lost animals, analyze an animal’s health and behavioral problems, “talk” to both live and dead pets, figure out if a deceased pet has returned to you in the form of a new animal, etc. This book requires a suspension of disbelief and a willingness to go along on her mental rollercoaster ride, but it’s an intriguing read and the author clearly has an agile and original mind.

Kinkade comes out strongly against animal experimentation and wearing fur and includes a chapter describing her animal rights heroes, but I have a problem with her obvious pride in being hired by Buckingham Palace to “talk” with King Charles’s hunting horses to try to discover the source of their discontent. Any animal advocate worth her salt should not be encouraging horses or humans to participate in such a repulsive blood sport, no matter how illustrious they are.

Despite some misgivings, including the fact that so far, I can’t seem to get my dogs and cats to respond to my telepathic chats with them, I enjoyed this book. It occasionally teeters on the brink of mania, cutesiness and breathless idealism and definitely strains credibility, but all in all, it was well worth my investment of time.

f you combine CSI and Animal Planet, you’ll have an idea of Kat Albrecht’s life and work. This is the fascinating story of how a K-9 handler with several California police departments gradually found the path to her true calling – pet detective extraordinaire and founder of Missing Pet Partnership.

Follow the adventures of Sadie, a Wiemaraner, and bloodhounds A.J. and Chase as they track missing persons and pets. If you love animals and are fascinated by sleuthing, this is the book for you. Albrecht was the first to apply the methods she’d learned in police work to the task of finding lost pets. She utilizes behavior profiling and probability theory, among others techniques, as she helps people find lost cats, dogs, turtles, snakes, ferrets and horses. But there are obstacles, too. Try convincing a lab to do DNA tests on a cat whisker or keep people from thinking of you as a comic Ace Ventura type.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book was how tracking dogs do their work. I learned a lot about following scent trails and how long a scent remains viable for a good tracking dog. Her book is also a good resource for what you should do if your pet is lost. She discusses steps you should take to find a lost dog or lost cat. It amazed me to know how close to home most cats stay when they are lost. They might be listening to you call them from under a porch or bush in your own back yard.

Albrecht’s compassion for the people who have lost their beloved companion animal and her sleuthing expertise give hope to her clients and to anyone who reads this book. If you’ve lost a pet, her message to you would be, “Never give up the search.”

The Adventures of Bro & Tracy

If you love dogs and you love the Southwest, this is a must have book. Joyce Fay,a professional photographer, has a love affair with dogs and the stark beauty of the Southwest, which she demonstrates in every picture. It would be difficult for me to pick my favorite picture in this lovely book, but the ones of Bro and Tracy in a tree in Monument Valley and in the Painted Desert would be high on my list. Beyond the gorgeous photographs of her dogs playing, climbing trees, sitting on stools at a restaurant, and enjoying the farolitos on Christmas Eve in Old Town, Fay gives sound advice on traveling with your dogs and just having fun. As she says, “Climbing trees wasn’t the goal. It was the accidental result of the relationship, a relationship that involves having fun, communicating, traveling and enjoying dogs.” Her love of dogs led her to found the Bro and Tracy Animal Welfare, which fosters and gives hope to homeless dogs. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book go to Bro and Tracy Animal Welfare to support their work. If you can’t get enough of the pictures, some of the photographs are available on greeting cards through the web site. This would be a wonderful gift book for all your dog-loving friends.

Allergic reactions to animals are one of the main reasons that animals are relinquished to shelters. But now there Is hope for all of you who love animals but sneeze at the thought of being in the same room with a cat for more than two seconds. This small book is a “must read” for anyone who suffers from pet allergies.

Kalstone is thorough in discussing what allergies are and what causes them. By the end of that section I was sneezing. Then she deals with various popular pets and explains what causes a person to be allergic to them. The main animals she covers are cats, dogs, birds and horses. But she also devotes space to rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, mice, rats and ferrets. She provides tips for minimizing the allergens in your home and office as well as giving the latest information on what doctors have in their arsenals to help allergy sufferers. Kalstone suffers from allergies herself, but it hasn’t kept her from having many animals in her life.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves animals but is afraid to adopt a pet because of allergies. Kalstone give advice, explanations and easily followed tips for dealing with your allergy symptoms. A wealth of information in a small package. Everyone needs this book either for himself or for a friend.

I have a real problems with this book and with Temple Grandin, a designer of humane handling facilities for livestock and Colorado State Professor who sees herself as an animal advocate. For decades she has been trying to straddle the vast divide between agribusiness and animal advocacy, and as a result, in my opinion, she’s made life easier for factory farmers and worse for farmed animals. She’s improved living and dying conditions for the victims of factory farming (the animals) at the expense of allowing the industry to feel less guilty and increase its profits, thus perpetuating a system that has wreaked havoc on the environment, on human health, on slaughterhouse workers, as well as on the animals who are imprisoned and murdered by the millions every year to keep it all going. It is irresponsible of Grandin, if she really considers herself an animal advocate, to enable a system that is so harmful on so many levels.

On the last page of her book, she reflects on her career choice:

“After I developed my center-track restraining system, I remember looking out over the cattle yard at the hundreds and hundreds of animals milling around in their corrals. I was upset that I had just designed a really efficient slaughter plant. . . . Cows are the animals I love best. Looking at those animals I realized that none of them would even exist if human beings hadn’t bred them into being.” (!)

So in other words, bioengineered animals should be grateful to humans for their existence, even if it’s a miserable and short one ending in slaughter? I find that a strange rationale.

In the area of pets, although I agree with Grandin that mixed breed dogs are the best bets for people to adopt, she also insists, several times, that pit bulls and Rottweilers are more aggressive dogs than other breeds-although she stops short of calling for a ban on them-even though it should be clear to anyone familiar with dogs that ANY dog is capable of being dangerous, depending on its environment and how it’s treated.

Bizarrely, Grandin also implies that insects and humans aren’t animals. Maybe she feels that insects are too lowly to be called animals and humans are superior to other animals.

I get the feeling, after reading this book, that Grandin is schizoid about our fellow animals. She obviously is attracted to them, has great admiration for their extraordinary abilities, and believes that she as an autistic person has a lot in common with them, yet she can talk about the ghastly experiments of Harry Harlow with baby monkeys without bothering to point out how sadistic they were. And she only mentions in passing her brief experiment with ethical vegetarianism that ended in failure because she felt ill, apparently causing her to conclude that she needed meat to survive. As a vegan for seven years, I know that no human needs meat to survive. It takes some getting used to, but anyone can do it. Although she does present some original and thoughtful ideas about animal behavior, as an animal advocate I can’t recommend this book.