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.”

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