Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs [NOOK Book]


Akin to Monty Roberts's The Man Who Listens to Horses and going light-years beyond The Hidden Life of Dogs, this extraordinary book takes a radical new direction in understanding our life with canines and offers us astonishing new lessons about our pets. From changing the misbehaviors and habits that upset us, to seeing the world from their unique and natural perspective, to finding a deep connection with another being, BONES WOULD RAIN FROM THE SKY will help you receive an incomparable gift: a profound, lifelong...
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Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs

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Akin to Monty Roberts's The Man Who Listens to Horses and going light-years beyond The Hidden Life of Dogs, this extraordinary book takes a radical new direction in understanding our life with canines and offers us astonishing new lessons about our pets. From changing the misbehaviors and habits that upset us, to seeing the world from their unique and natural perspective, to finding a deep connection with another being, BONES WOULD RAIN FROM THE SKY will help you receive an incomparable gift: a profound, lifelong relationship with the dog you love.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Clearly an animal lover, Clothier opens this training manual by recalling her childhood, when she pretended she was a dog. Rather than simply trying to "train" animals to behave in a certain way, Clothier focuses on improving the existing relationship between pet and owner. To help readers gain some insights into more effective training, Clothier offers anecdotes about her clients. Particularly important is the dog's connection to the owner and the ability of the two to communicate effectively: "In each moment that you are with the dog, you must be aware, gently and persistently shifting the balance toward one of mutual agreement and cooperation. This is not easy, and it requires some thought. Most of all, it requires a desire to create-over and over again-the event of quality, which in turn creates a heartfelt commitment to truly being with the dog." Usually Clothier begins by observing her clients interact with their pets: after one owner complained about her dog being disruptive and overly playful, Clothier concluded that the owner's way of physically stopping her dog was in fact causing the dog to be more playful. Clothier is a capable writer, and her descriptive style livens up the subject matter. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446571036
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/29/2009
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 254,761
  • File size: 718 KB

Read an Excerpt

Bones Would Rain from the Sky

Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs
By Suzanne Clothier

Warner Books

Copyright © 2005 Suzanne Clothier
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446696340

Chapter One


You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.


MY ONLY MISTAKE WAS LICKING HER KNEE. Until that moment, they had been quite tolerant of me panting quietly under the dining room table, a good place to lie on a warm summer's evening. I was a smart dog. I knew I might have been cooler lying on the slick tile in the bathroom, or even outside, shaded by the bushes along the foundation. But I would have missed being with my family. Seen from beneath the table, framed by a tablecloth, my family appeared as a collection of limbs and clothing: plump knees, knobby knees, scabby knees, tired-looking ankles rising pale and thin from sensible white socks, pleasantly grubby feet idly rubbing the rungs of a chair, a flip-flop dangling from a swinging toe. I shifted to lean against a woman's knee, eyes closed as I breathed in the sweetly familiar perfume that rose from a hollow on her ankle. Absently, she reached down to pat my head, and grateful for the attention, I licked her knee. With my aunt'sstartled cry, my blissful moments as the family dog came to an end. It was not fair, I thought resentfully as I was hauled out from under the table and placed unceremoniously in a chair with the command, "Sit here and eat like a human being!" All I wanted was a dog. If I couldn't have a dog, the least my family could do was allow me to be a dog. And everyone knows that dogs lick the people they like.

It was a typical middle-class family that owned me-no more dysfunctional than most, and certainly not one that encouraged such odd behavior in its eldest child. While tolerant of and kind to animals, neither of my parents were "animal" people. It was not for want of love or acceptance that I was drawn to animals, though for many children animals do freely offer the unconditional love and acceptance often lacking in young lives. Yet long before I knew disappointment or anger, long before I learned how hurtful and complex human beings could be, there was an instinctive gravitation toward animals. Animals of every description drew me to them simply because they existed; they were, and are, my Mount Everest-ultimately defying any explanation of their magnetism, unbearably inviting-there to be seen and possibly known if I am willing to undertake the expedition.

It was not enough to watch animals, or even to touch them. I wanted to see their innermost workings, to be inside their minds, to see and feel and smell and hear the world as they did. My experiments in "being" an animal were usually carried out in private, since my mother's tolerance for my animal behaviors had pretty much vanished by the time I had licked one too many knees. In playing house with my sisters, however, these skills and experiments were encouraged, as they allowed for exciting new story lines to be developed. Typically, my middle sister would play mother (a role in which she was and is extremely fluent), and our youngest sister would accept whatever role we assigned her. Without exception, I played the family pet. Sometimes I was a dog, sometimes a horse, and sometimes, stretching myself to more exotic roles, I played a cougar or a lion or a tiger until the requisite fierce roars had exhausted my throat.


In my lifelong quest for fluency in animal languages, fluency in Dog was the first and the easiest. After all, native speakers lived in my neighborhood and could be readily studied. Whether in the company of a living, breathing dog or only conjuring the countless fictional dogs in my head-Bob, Lad, King, Buck, Lassie-I practiced. I practiced panting, to the annoyance of my sisters and to my own dismay when I discovered that far from cooling me as I had read it did for dogs, panting only made me dizzy and left me wondering if dogs ever hyperventilated as I did. I tried lapping water and eating from a bowl on the floor, wishing each time my muzzle were longer and more suited to the task. I truly loved (and still do) gnawing on bones from a steak or a chop, and understood at least in part why dogs look so blissful when granted such a treat. I practiced not turning my head when I heard a sound behind me but instead cocking an ear in that direction. It frustrated me that lacking highly mobile and visible pinnae I was unable to display publicly just how skilled I had become. Tail wagging presented problems not easily solved-a rolled shirt or towel gave a rather dead effect, no matter how much I wiggled my hindquarters. Ultimately, I settled on a wag much like my ear movements -refined, subtle, and known (most regrettably) only to me.

I perfected several growls, a snarl and a snap that ended with a delightfully audible click of my teeth that rarely failed to alarm those at whom it was directed. My hurt-dog yelp covered the complete range of having my paw accidentally stepped upon to mortally wounded and was realistic enough to stop people in midstep. And of course, my barks were convincing-so much so that I was occasionally employed to bark menacingly if my parents weren't home and someone came to the door. In college, my one-man "dog fights" were guaranteed to liven up a boring night in the dorm bathroom. It's amazing how easily you can convince otherwise intelligent people that there are two poodles at war in a shower stall.

There were other languages to be mastered as well. Horses eclipsed even dogs on my passion scale, and when at age ten I began riding lessons, a new language of movement, gesture and sounds opened to me. By age twelve, I had mastered the basics: the greeting exchange of slow, careful breaths in each other's nostrils; the nicker; the whinny; the alarm snort; the head tosses and snaking neck movements of an annoyed horse; the slitted eyes and pinned ears of anger; even the high-headed, wideeyed sideways retreat of a spooked horse. To this day, when startled, I sometimes revert to a horselike shying. Annoying childhood pranksters attempting to dunk my head into the water fountain while I was drinking failed to realize that I had my ears turned back to hear them. They were always surprised when, as any horse might, I kicked them with great accuracy. Of course if they'd been able to speak Horse, they would have seen the pinned ears and the slitted eyes and known that they'd been given fair warning.

My only regret in learning the basics of Horse when I did was that it came too late to be truly useful. Between ages six and eight, I worked on my most ambitious role-the simultaneous roles of a Canadian Mountie, his horse, and his dog. If at that tender age I had known more than rudimentary Horse, my gallops through the neighborhood would have had far more authenticity.


To the best of my ability, my love of animals was incorporated into every aspect of my life. My mother encouraged my interests even though she did not always understand them or share my curiosity and delight in all aspects of the natural world. She learned to check with caution any container in my possession. A mere Dixie cup might be home to a frog or a collection of shed locust skins or even a deliberately grown mold. Her laundry basket might contain newly washed socks or neatly folded pajamas; just as easily, it might be home to a naked baby bird with hideously visible internal organs. Her card table, turned upside down and wrapped in chicken wire, became home to Buster and Dandy, a pair of Rhode Island Red chickens who, as much older chickens, repaid her tolerance by merrily eating every blossom on three flats of Mother's Day plants.

Without a single question and little more than a raised eyebrow, my mother supplied me with pie pans, flour, molasses, and a paintbrush. Though she may have idly hazarded a wild guess as to what I had in mind, nothing prepared her for the reality of what I did with these items. I had just finished reading The Yearling, as she well knew-she'd been the one to find me sobbing so fiercely on the living room sofa that she actually feared one of my friends had died. But seeing the book in my hand, she ventured sympathetically, "I suppose you've gotten to the part where he shot Flag, huh?" I nodded and sobbed louder. "Well, dinner's ready whenever you are." Once I had recovered from grieving for the yearling deer, I decided to use Jody and his pa's method to track honeybees in my own neighborhood to their hive. The book had discussed at length the seemingly simple matter of using molasses to attract bees who would then receive a dab of flour on their behinds, said flour then serving as an easily followed visual marker of the bees' flight. I can now categorically state that my Great Bee Experiment proved only that this classic book was entirely a work of fiction, and that bees object rather violently to having flour dabbed on their behinds. It was not the last of my Great Experiments, but it was one of the more painful ones.

Only occasionally did my enthusiasm overrun my mother's considerable tolerance. I'll never know what rare gleam in my eye warned her when I asked for a small kitchen knife one fine summer afternoon, but she hesitated as she reached into the kitchen drawer. When further questioning revealed that I meant to carry out an exploratory autopsy on a dead rabbit I had found, she flatly refused me the loan of even a spoon. To this day, I am left wondering if a potentially brilliant career as a veterinary surgeon ended there and then.

But it was probably just as well. The proficiency in math that veterinary schooling requires was not my strong suit. Very often, school bored me. I might have fared better as a scholar if the rather dull Home Economics class had been replaced with a truly interesting course, say Barn Economics or Kennel Management 101. Had my teachers been wise, I could have been encouraged to love algebra at a tender age if only the math problems had been: "Seventeen zebras who left at noon are traveling west at nine miles an hour. Six lions who left at four o'clock are headed east at eight miles an hour. When will the zebras and lions meet, and how many zebras will be alive after that meeting?" The requisite cars, planes and trains usually invoked in these problems left me cold and disinterested.


Even my spiritual life was woven through with animals. Despite the emphasis our church placed on Jesus (who, I noted, did not even have a dog!), I felt a more natural alliance with Noah, my childhood hero.

(Jonah, having had such an intimate relationship with a whale, was another favorite of mine.) Given a Bible with a concordance, I immediately looked up every verse-and there are many-that contained mention of an animal: eagle, ass, horse, sparrow, lion, dog, sheep, lamb, cattle, goats, swine. I took to heart the notion that all of God's creatures were his creation, just as I was. As such, I assumed they were as welcome in Sunday school as any of the little children. And so it was that at a very tender age I had my first crisis of faith, which began with a coonhound I met on the way to church.

He was a grand dog, black with rusty tan, just the perfect size for draping a companionable arm across his back as we walked. And he was an agreeable dog. It took little effort to convince him to accompany me down the stairs and into my Sunday school class, where he settled politely next to my chair. How the teacher missed our entrance, I'll never know. I was not being secretive; it had yet to dawn on me that this was not a perfectly appropriate guest. In fact, I thought as I settled down to hear the day's Bible story, a dog and Sunday school was a heavenly combination.

Singing out the names for roll call, the teacher would glance up from her list to bestow a beaming smile on each child as they answered. "Suzanne?" she asked brightly, her teeth gleaming as she turned her head my way. Perhaps it is only in my imagination that she gasped and stepped backward; perhaps I've only dreamed of how her lips twitched and snarled with unspoken horror. At any rate, I do recall her question, "What is that dog doing here?" There was an unpleasant emphasis on the word dog. I thought it was fairly obvious and said so. "He's here for Sunday school."

Her response shook my innocent acceptance of the church's teachings: "He does not belong here."

I was dumbstruck. Doesn't belong? Isn't he one of God's creatures? Didn't God make him too? Surely Jesus would be glad to have a coonhound in church, especially one that wasn't bothering a soul. If I could bring this scene to life on film, I would cast an articulate, passionate child who, with tremendous presence, argues the dog's case, quoting Scripture so fast and furious that the teacher eventually bows to the greater command of the Bible as a weapon, yields to a deeper understanding of God's love for dogs, and allows the dog to stay. Unfortunately, I was not articulate in the face of wrath and could only weakly protest as I squirmed under her glare.

"He smells." With that final statement, the teacher revealed the limits of her love for all of God's creatures. (In retrospect, I realize that had I brought in a real leper with stinking bandages or a drunk down on his luck and reeking of the gutter, the teacher's Christian charity might have fled as quickly. But I am older now, and a touch more cynical.) I was outraged, and protested with vigor: The dog did not smell. Well, to be perfectly honest, he did not smell bad, he just smelled the way some dogs do. And that's how God made him!

My arguments fell on deaf ears. The teacher insisted that I take the dog outside and return, sans canine, to my chair. Sadly and slowly, I climbed the few stairs, opened the door and stood for a moment with this dog. I apologized to him, and though I lacked the words to express my deep sorrow at the powerlessness of being only five years old, I think he understood. He must have, for his power and mine were similar; his world was also full of larger, stronger people who set rules that had to be obeyed. I hugged him-the memory of that warm, slightly greasy black coat, of that rich musky dog scent has stayed with me all these years-and he leaned into me, wagging his tail. With tears in my eyes and newfound doubt in my heart, I left him standing in the sunshine and returned to Sunday school, infinitely older and wiser.


How people interacted with and reacted to animals was endlessly educational. I learned, for instance, that many adults were not nearly as brave as they seemed. The summer that I was ten, I carried a coffee can with me at all times.


Excerpted from Bones Would Rain from the Sky by Suzanne Clothier Copyright © 2005 by Suzanne Clothier. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

1. In the Company of Animals 1
2. A Black Dog's Prayers 13
3. Dances with Dogs 31
4. The Quality of Connection 50
5. Walks with Dogs 58
6. Take It from the Top 66
7. Calling Dr. Doolittle 82
8. Pigs in Pokes 93
9. And Nothing but the Truth 103
10. What I Really Meant to Say Was ... 118
11. Take Me to Your Leader 132
12. Leadership Is Action 149
13. Whose Couch Is It, Anyway? 165
14. I'll Go First--This May Be Dangerous 175
15. My, What Big Teeth You Have! 185
16. Put Down the Pancakes and No One Gets Hurt 203
17. What Timmy Never Did to Lassie 219
18. In Search of Soulful Coherence 237
19. Matters of the Heart 253
20. Cold Noses, No Wings 275
Acknowledgments 298
Recommended Reading 302
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2005

    Outstanding for any pet lover!!!

    This is a wonderful, must-read book for anyone who truly loves their dogs. Any example of harsh or violent treatment is certainly NOT advocated by the author and is meant only as an example of what some so-called 'qualified' trainers and behaviorists may advocate in their misunderstanding of the true workings of the animal mind. Reading this book gives you a completely new frame of mind to deal with and love your animals. It teaches wonderful ways to think about your interactions with your dogs and how you can truly have a real relationship with your pet as a competent, thoughtful being. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone who wants to have trusting, understanding, and fulfilling lives with their dogs!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2003


    This book will absolutely change the way you deal with your dog and will allow you to understand him. If you have ever been at a loss for training and know that there has to be a better way than yelling or hitting then please, please, please read this book. Your dog will thank you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    Bones Would Rain from the Sky

    If you are searching for training recipes, this is not the book for you. If you are searching for a closer relationship with the dogs who grace your life, you will read Suzanne's book many times and each time discover a new understanding.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    A different prespective

    Before I was even two chapters into this book, I felt that Suzanne had been inside my head. Feelings about my pets that I was reluctant to verbalize with others, were being mirrored back to me on the pages. The book made me take a long hard look at my relationship with my animals (and other people). It made me realize how much they are their own beings, without guile or regrets and while they may not acquiesce to my every directive, it does not make them willful or spiteful. They are just being themselves. The book has made me more aware of each indivdual's likes and dislikes and why they may have those preferences, and to respect those differences. I laughed and cried through the book, empathizing with so many of Suzanne's stories. I have recommended it to all of my canine lover friends.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    Another dog book?

    No, not just another dog book. Suzanne has written an exceptional book that reads more like a good novel than like a "dog book", accented by the fact that she writes brilliantly. Most of the above reviews cover what I would like to say as well- but I would also like to put in my vote for all five stars!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2003

    Bones Would Rain from the Sky is Outstanding

    Reviewer: A reader from Palm Harbor, FL United States This is one of the best books I have ever read about dogs. Suzanne provides a subtitle of "Deepening your Relationship with your Dog" and it is right on. Not only will it help you deepen your relationship with your dog, but it will motivate you to reflect on your relationships with people as well. I have often commented while reading a book that I will read it again, but with this book I finished it and started reading it for the second time on the same day. I actually bought my husband his own copy so I wouldn't have to relinquish it for awhile. I highly recommend this outstanding book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2003

    Reading 'Bones' is the best thing I've done for my dog all year.

    Bones may not really be raining from the sky, but the prayers of dogs are answered in another way by the arrival of Suzanne Clothier's book 'Bones Would Rain from the Sky'. Clothier not only helps us understand our dogs, but with striking and often humbling clarity shows how our dogs view and understand us. At the heart of this book is the insight that a healthy two-way dog- human relationship is essential to living happily with a dog. Not an "I command, you obey" relationship, but rather one of mutual understanding, trust and love. Through anecdotes, analogies and analysis Clothier unveils for us the nature of such a relationship, and, encouragingly, illustrates its desirability and demonstrates its possibility. Whenever one speaks of "relationships" with animals, the natural reaction may be a shudder at the thought of flaky anthropomorphism and a lovey-dovey glossing over of the vexing issues of obedience and temperament. Be assured, however, that 'Bones' quite on the contrary both recognizes dogs as the unique beings they are and recognizes relationships as the complex, often painful things they are. It is only by coming to grips with the way those unique beings tick, and with the implications for how we relate together, that we can begin to address issues of obedience and temperament. 'Bones' is thus philosophical yet highly practical, intellectual yet full of deep emotion. If you don't yet own a dog, read 'Bones' before you get one. If you do have a dog, you will probably find both your dog and yourself somewhere among the pages of 'Bones' and smile, sigh or, if like me, more than once smack your forehead with the palm of your hand in a sudden dawning of new understanding. Either way, you and your dog will be glad you did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    "Bones Would Rain" more than a training book

    If six stars were allowed, I'd give this one seven. I think Suzanne Clothier started out to write a really good book about dog training, and ended up with something much better. Those who are looking for a neat cookbook of training recipes are likely to be disappointed at first. While there is advice (and very good advice) about handling training problems and behavior problems, the most simple message of this book: in order to have a dog you can comfortably live with, you have to have a relationship with that dog. So, beyond the training tips and advice on finding a balance with which you are comfortable in training techniques, this is a book about relationship building. With our dogs, even with each other. It's a story told in Clothier's vividly descriptive and often very humorous style, and generously illustrated with many examples provided by the animals Clothier has worked with but it's told from the heart. Not just a training manual, it's an honest and heartfelt journal of a lifetime journey with dogs. Should be required reading for dog ownership

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2002

    A Dog Must Have Written This Book

    This well written book makes one pause and think deeply about living with and working with dogs. If Bones Would Rain From the Sky gives the dog world what it has needed for too many years, a lucid and logical peek into relationships, boundries and love. I don't think anyone who lives with animals or who cares about the lives of others will be disappointed with Ms. Clothier's work. As a professional trainer with over 35 years experience, this is the book I will reach for when a training issue frustrates me. I need to be reminded that if I am frustrated, so is the dog. I will be recommending this book to every student in my school. Absolutely a MUST READ.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2003


    There no doubt are some special ideas here; however, by the time I reached page 34, at least two nightmarishly explicit cases of dog abuse were encountered. It is unfair to the Reader that this book does not come with a clear warning of graphic violence. It will take time and time spent with soul-agony for my own spirit to get away from the haunting scenes Ms. Clothier presented 'for my reading pleasure'. I could go on about my disappointment in her 'me me me' writing style, etc; however, the most important factor is here addressed. There is no way I will continue reading this book; nor would I give it to anyone else.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2003

    It's more than a book about dogs!

    Suzanne Clothier tricks us. We think we are merely picking up a book that will help us ¿deepen our relationships with dogs¿. But in fact, Ms. Clothier¿s has a parallel goal: to help us deepen our relationship with ourselves and our co-members of the human race. This reader feels she has been very successful with both ambitions. She is insightful. She is unafraid to use her own mistakes and misunderstandings as a powerful tool to help teach us to think in different ways. She is articulate but very available in her writing. She does a wonderful job in asking us to ¿See the dog,¿ and to learn some powerful lessons from our Best Friends. If you already feel a connection to your canine companions, if you call yourself ¿an animal person rather than a people person¿, if you are thinking about getting your first dog, please read the book. Your relationship with your dog friends will be the better for it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    ...takes you to your soul, and leaves you grateful for it.

    What a gift Suzanne Clothier has given us with this book of wisdom and treasures for our relationships with dogs. The profound impact of her writing emerges as we realize not only HOW we can truly understand dogs and allow ourselves to live with them in a more fulfilling way, but also WHY we should do so. Clothier's style leaves you laughing and crying, but most of all wanting to contemplate and then celebrate your own philosophy of relating to dogs and to others. Even for the most dog-dedicated of us, this book offers "soul opening" wisdom to be held precious for our life with our canine companions. It nourishes our convictions and determination to do right by our dogs and by life as a whole. All dogs and humans can and deserve to benefit from what Clothier shares with us. She is a wise teacher who with empathy and humility helps us be the leaders that our dogs deserve. "Bones" has the capacity to make this a better world. What is left to say is: "THANK YOU".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    Best darn dog training book I ever read

    This book is about a gentle lady training dogs in a gentle manner. Ones who are deemed untrainable are changes into the loving reliable dogs the handlers want them to be. I recommend this book for all dog lovers, handlers, owners, and especially trainers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    Wonderful Book

    One of the finest books on dog relationships with people. This is so warm and touching and eye opening, I will never look at my dogs the same again. Suzanne points out things that are right under our noses right now but we just don't realize what we do to our dogs. This should be a must read for everyone that ever considers owning a dog. This book has effected how my relationships with dogs now and in the future will be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    A Must Read......

    Suzanne Clothier shows a deep and true understanding of dogs. This is a must for anyone having or thinking of getting a dog. A must for every dog trainer's library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    Explore the true meaning of relationship!

    If there was ever a ¿four paws¿ stamp of approval for a book...this is it! Suzanne Clothier presents a refreshing look at the power of establishing a mutually trusting, loving and respectful relationship with our companion dogs. Suzanne is well known for her holistic attitude towards training and caring for our canine friends. She shamelessly presents anecdotal data after anecdotal data detailing the partnerships we can form with dogs if we only will open our hearts along with our minds¿and accept that our dogs are willing and quite often more forgiving partners in that journey to a deep, sensual, mutually productive relationship. Suzanne is not afraid to romanticize our relationships with dogs; recognizing training as at least equally an art¿a connection welded with love¿not merely a scientific endeavor. From the first sentence I was hooked¿¿My only mistake was licking her knee.¿ Suzanne¿s own admittance of modeling a dog¿s behavior as a little girl under the family dinner table! ( Such pureness of heart¿not unlike a puppy) A little girl striving to feel what she could only guess a dog would feel in the same situation. Sadly, as learned adults, we often place little significance in this child within us¿Suzanne in her descriptions of many case histories, gives us ¿permission¿ to be childlike in our relationship process with our dogs. (Childlike as in open, non-judgmental, and free of ulterior motives) This attitude of putting one¿s self in the ¿paws¿ of our dogs prevails throughout the book. The emphasis is placed on understanding your dog¿s wants and needs¿holistically¿mentally and physically¿and making the connection. There are many trainers out there who subscribe to the ¿just train it¿ attitude¿the purely clinical, scientific approach. To them , I say, light a fire in the fireplace¿pour a glass of wine or hot cocoa¿ snuggle with your dog¿and read this book. The story you will read may very well be the best love story ever! There are many books describing the importance of relationship building as a training tool¿none send it home to the extent that Suzanne has in ¿BONES.¿ Thank you! Suzanne!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2003

    LIsten to your dog, he want you to read this book!

    Suzanne Clothier's latest book, Bones Would Rain From the Sky, is perhaps the best single book on the nature of the relationship between dogs and people I have ever read. But saying just that does not nearly encompass the entirety of the book. It is about much more than "just" our relationship with dogs. It is about relationships of all sorts. What we bring to a relationship, what the other party brings to the relationship, and how we can and must learn to read ourselves and our partner. I am by no means a new age type. In fact if I am anything, I am very much a nuts and bolts type. I have worked most of my adult life as a race car mechanic and a designer of performance parts. I am a freelance technical writer for automotive magazines and a hobbyist race car driver. I am also a dog lover and have been since my earliest memories. I have trained and handled dogs professionally off and on since I was 10 years old. My approach to working with dogs is pragmatic and results oriented. I tend to look more at the how and less at the why. I currently run a rescue that works only with deaf Great Danes. I relate this only to assure you that anyone can find value in, and learn something from Bones. While Bones is not your typical "users manual" for dog ownership and training, it is a profoundly important work and should be required reading for anyone who owns or works with dogs. It will help you see an entire new side of your relationship with your dog and the dogs you work with, and will help you to better understand how and why they behave the way the do. Suzanne is one of the best trainers in the business, and in Bones she gives us an insight not only into how she lives and works with dogs, but also how dogs live and work with her, and with all of us. Buy this book, even if it is the only book on dog ownership, behavior, or training you ever buy. The nuts and bolts stuff you can find in a dog training class in most areas. What Bones can teach you comes only from a select few and at the astronomical hourly rates that a behaviorist would charge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2003

    Beyond anything I've Ever Read -> 5 star +++++

    This book goes beyond anything that I've ever read about dogs. If you want a better understanding and great relationship with your animal companion, this is the book to get. Not only did it help me understand my dogs, but it has open the door to understanding myself! It made me laugh as well as touched my heart. Very clear, direct and well written. I was very impressed!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2003

    A book for multiple readings

    This beautifully written book has forever changed my understanding of and relationship to my canine companions. Like many other ordinary humans who reside with another species, for years I struggled to find the right balance in my relationship with my canine companions. I attended training classes and read dozens of training books. Most of the time I either felt like a dictator or gave up and let the dogs run the household. Living arrangements were never quite satsifactory to either species. What I wanted was something that felt right to my heart and right to the dogs' sensibilities. With great humor and examples from her own life and that of her clients, Suzanne Clothier gave me the insight I needed to achieve the canine-human relationship I had been seeking. I highly recommend this book to everyone wanting an everyday life that feels both right to you and to your canine companions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2003

    My dogs love this book

    I thank the author for writing a book that has prompted me to rethink my actions towards my dogs. After reading this book, I like to think that I am more willing and able to understand the world from their canine perspective, and thus communicate to them in a language that they can understand.

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