Tag Archives: dogs

Huck – Janet Elder Blog Tour and Giveaway

21 Nov

“Michael was four when his relentless campaign for a dog began. At seven he made a PowerPoint presentation, “My Dog,” with headings like “A Childhood Without a Dog is a Sad Thing.” His parents, Janet and Rich, were steadfast; bringing a dog into their fast-paced New York City lives was utterly impractical.
However, on a trip to Italy, a chance happening leads Janet to reconsider, a decision then hastened by a diagnosis of breast cancer. Janet decides the excitement of a new puppy would be the perfect antidote to the strain on the family of months of arduous treatments for her illness. The prospect of a new puppy would be an affirmation of life, a powerful talisman for them all.
On Thanksgiving weekend, soon after the grueling months of treatments are over, Huck, a sweet, mischievous, red-haired, toy poodle joins the family and wins everyone’s heart.
A few months later the family ventures to baseball’s spring training, leaving Huck with Janet’s sister in Ramsey, New Jersey. Barely twenty-four hours into the trip, Janet receives the dreaded phone call: Huck has slipped through the backyard fence and run away.
Broken-hearted and frantic, the family catches the first plane to New Jersey to begin a search for their lost puppy. It is a race against time, for little Huck is now lost in an area entirely unfamiliar to him, facing the threat of bears and coyotes, swamps and freezing temperatures, rain and fast cars.
Moved by the family’s plight, strangers – from school children to townspeople to the police lieutenant – join the search, one that proves to be an unyielding test of determination and faith.
Touching and warm-hearted, Huck is a spirit-lifting story about resilience, the generosity of strangers, and hope.”

I have a house full of animals. And I do mean a house full. Our large farmhouse is filled with cats, dogs, birds and a spoiled bunny. I couldn’t imagine the panic and heartache I would feel if ANY of them went missing. Hell, I’d probably freak out if one of the barn chickens disappeared. After all they are hand raised and love getting hugs and pets. So naturally from the moment I picked up Huck, my heart was breaking for this family that finally decided to get a puppers for their son, only to have the dog run away a few months later.

I love that while Janet’s cancer was the catalist for getting Huck, it wasn’t the center of the story. In fact, while she does talk about it a bit, it’s more in passing. This is definintely Huck’s book. Huck, and all the wonderful people who helped with the search effort.

While I was touched by all the amazing people who dropped what they were doing to help search for Huck, it saddened me a bit that Janet and her family seemed so surprised by it. I live in a small community and all the help that was offered just seemed natural to me. And it made me very grateful to live somewhere where kindness and helpfulness are just a part of daily living.

This was just a sweet, uplifting read. Once I started, I had a hard time putting it down. I needed to know how it ended. And Janet’s writing never entered that overly dramatic or overly sentimental area, even though what she was writing about was both of these things at times.  I really enjoyed Huck and will be recommending it to all my animal- loving friends.

Giveaway time!

Okay, guys I have three, yes that’s THREE copies of Huck to giveaway. All you have to do is comment and let me know your favorite book, TV or movie dog. Besides Huck (of course) my fave is Paul Anka from the Gilmore Girls. Contest is open to Canada and the US and will close 11:59 EST November 30th. *I’m extending this until Dec 3rd.*

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Being with Animals by Barbara J. King: review and giveaway

19 Apr

Publisher: Random House Canada
Released: Jan 26th, 2010
Genre: non-fiction, animals
For blog tour.

What do Mickey Mouse, Ganesh, a leopard-skin pillbox hat, A Lion Called Christian, and the Aflac duck have in common?  They all represent human beings’ deeply ingrained connection to the animal kingdom. In Being With Animals, anthropologist Barbara King unravels the complexity and enormous significance of this relationship.    

Animals rule our existence.  You can see this in the billions of dollars Americans pour out each year for their pets, in the success of books and films such as Marley and Me, in the names of athletic teams, in the stories that have entertained and instructed children (from The Cat in the Hat back to well before Aesop created his fables), in the animal deities that pervade the most ancient forms of religion (and which still appear in sublimated forms today), to the paintings on the cave walls of Lascaux.  The omnipresence of animal beings in our lives–whether real or fictional–is something so enormous that people take often it for granted, never wondering why animals remain so much a part of human life.  It has continuously maintained a powerful spiritual, transcendent quality over the tens of thousands of years that Homo sapiens have walked the earth.  Why? 

King looks at this phenomenon, from the most obvious animal connections in daily life and culture and over the whole of human history, to show the various roles animals have played in all civilizations.  She ultimately digs deeply into the importance of the human-animal bond as key to our evolution, as a significant spiritual aspect of understanding what truly makes us human, and looks ahead to explore how our further technological development may, or may not, affect these important ties.

From Random House Canada website.

My name is Colleen and I love animals. You could almost say that my life revolves around them. When we bought our house a year and a half ago we didn’t really care about the flooring, or the wall color or the kitchen. We were looking to see if we could fit all of our bird and bunny cages into the space. And during renovations, 6 wild cats moved into our house. We now have 6 dogs, 12 cats, 2 bunnies and 6 birds. Most of them rescues. So I felt a deep connection to Barbara J. King and her book Being with Animals. A book all about our connection with animals? Yeah, I was all over that.

I found this book enjoyable. It took me a chapter or two to get into it, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. It’s cool that way, way, way back in time people loved and worshiped animals. I mean, I knew about Egypt and how cats were worshiped, but I didn’t realize that there were other cultures and even earlier time periods that had a special bond with animals.

I think the thing I found the most appealing was King’s obvious enthusiasm for the topic and her deep, deep love and appreciation of animals. For me, it made all the difference. There’s a lot of factual information in this book and it had the potential to come off textbooky and I think it would have been fairly dry if someone else had written it. But King puts in just the right amount of her own personality and experiences that the book is interesting to read.

I think that anyone that loves animals or is interested in our history with animals will enjoy Being with Animals.

Giveaway time!!!!!

Okay, I have one copy to give away to someone in the US or Canada. All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me something animal-related. It can be how many animals you share your life with, your favorite TV or movie animals or the weirdest/coolest pet name.  The contest will run until the end of the month and then I’ll randomly pick a winner. 🙂