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Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul: Stories about Pets as Teachers, Healers, Heroes and Friends

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Like the bestselling "Chicken Soup for the Soul " books, animals brings out the goodness, humanity, and optimism in people and speak directly to their souls. A must-have for pet owners and animal lovers everywhere, this joyous, inspiring, and entertaining collection of stories demonstrates the unique bonds between animals and the people whose lives they've changed.
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Overview

Like the bestselling "Chicken Soup for the Soul " books, animals brings out the goodness, humanity, and optimism in people and speak directly to their souls. A must-have for pet owners and animal lovers everywhere, this joyous, inspiring, and entertaining collection of stories demonstrates the unique bonds between animals and the people whose lives they've changed.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the #1 New York Times Bestselling authors

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the #1 New York Times Bestselling authors

Becker is the author of Becoming Your Dog's Best Friend: How to Earn Your Dog's Love, the practice leadership editor for Veterinary Economics magazine and a featured columnist for Pet Life magazine. Becker is a keynote speaker at veterinary conferences worldwide and a lecturer at veterinary schools across North America.

Carol Kline is co-director of Noah's Ark Foundation, a no-kill animal rescue facility, where she helps care for and find homes for abandoned and injured animals.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt




Becky and the Wolf


With all her big brothers and sisters off to school, our ranch became a lonely place for our three-year-old daughter, Becky. She longed for playmates. Cattle and horses were too big to cuddle and farm machinery dangerous for a child so small. We promised to buy her a puppy but in the meantime, "pretend" puppies popped up nearly every day.



I had just finished washing the lunch dishes when the screen door slammed and Becky rushed in, cheeks flushed with excitement. "Mama!" she cried. "Come see my new doggy! I gave him water two times already. He's so thirsty!"



I sighed. Another of Becky's imaginary dogs.



"Please come, Mama." She tugged at my jeans, her brown eyes pleading. "He's crying and he can't walk!" "Can't walk"? Now that was a twist. All her previous make-believe dogs could do marvelous things. One balanced a ball on the end of its nose. Another dug a hole that went all the way through the earth and fell out on a star on the other side. Still another danced on a tightrope. Why suddenly a dog that couldn't walk?



"All right, honey," I said. By the time I tried to follow her, Becky had already disappeared into the mesquite. "Where are you?" I called. "Over here by the oak stump. Hurry, Mama!"


I parted the thorny branches and raised my hand against the glare of the Arizona sun. A numbing chill gripped me.
There she was, sitting on her heels, toes dug firmly in the sand, and cradled in her lap was the unmistakable head of a wolf! Beyond its head rose massive black shoulders. The rest of the body lay completely hidden inside the hollow stump of a fallen oak.



"Becky." Mymouth felt dry. "Don't move." I stepped closer. Pale-yellow eyes narrowed. Black lips tightened, exposing double sets of two-inch fangs. Suddenly the wolf trembled. Its teeth clacked, and a piteous whine rose from its throat.



"It's all right, boy," Becky crooned. "Don't be afraid. That's my mama, and she loves you, too."
Then the unbelievable happened. As her tiny hands stroked the great shaggy head, I heard the gentle thump, thump, thumping of the wolf's tail from deep inside the stump.


What was wrong with the animal? I wondered. Why couldn't he get up? I couldn't tell. Nor did I dare to step any closer. I glanced at the empty water bowl. My memory flashed back to the five skunks that last week had torn the burlap from a leaking pipe in a frenzied effort to reach water during the final agonies of rabies. Of course! Rabies! Warning signs had been posted all over the county, and hadn't Becky said, "he's so thirsty"?

I had to get Becky away. "Honey." My throat tightened. "Put his head down and come to Mama. We'll go find help."


Reluctantly, Becky got up and kissed the wolf on the nose before she walked slowly into my outstretched arms. Sad yellow eyes followed her. Then the wolf's head sank to the ground. With Becky safe in my arms, I ran to the barns where Brian, one of our cowhands, was saddling up to check heifers in the north pasture.



"Brian! Come quickly. Becky found a wolf in the oak stump near the wash! I think it has rabies!" "I'll be there in a jiffy," he said as I hurried back to the house, anxious to put Becky down for her nap. I didn't want her to see Brian come out of the bunkhouse. I knew he'd have a gun.
"But I want to give my doggy his water," she cried. I kissed her and gave her some stuffed animals to play with. "Honey, let Mom and Brian take care of him for now," I said.


Moments later, I reached the oak stump. Brian stood looking down at the beast. "It's a Mexican lobo, all right," he said, "and a big one!" The wolf whined. Then we both caught the smell of gangrene.



"Whew! It's not rabies," Brian said. "But he's sure hurt real bad. Don't you think it's best I put him out of his misery?" The word "yes" was on my lips, when Becky emerged from the bushes. "Is Brian going to make him well, Mama?" She hauled the animal's head onto her lap once more, and buried her face in the coarse, dark fur. This time I wasn't the only one who heard the thumping of the lobo's tail.



That afternoon my husband, Bill, and our veterinarian came to see the wolf. Observing the trust the animal had in our child, Doc said to me, "Suppose you let Becky and me tend to this fella together." Minutes later, as child and vet reassured the stricken beast, the hypodermic found its mark. The yellow eyes closed.


"He's asleep now," said the vet. "Give me a hand here, Bill." They hauled the massive body out of the stump. The animal must have been over five feet long and well over one-hundred pounds. The hip and leg had been mutilated by bullets. Doc did what he had to in order to clean the wound and then gave the patient a dose of penicillin. Next day he returned and inserted a metal rod to replace the missing bone.


"Well, it looks like you've got yourselves a Mexican Zobo," Doc said. "He looks to be about three years old, and even as pups, they don't tame real easy. I'm amazed at the way this big fella took to your little gal. But often there's something that goes on between children and animals that we grownups don't understand."


Becky named the wolf Ralph and carried food and water to the stump every day. Ralph's recovery was not easy. For three months he dragged his injured hindquarters by clawing the earth with his front paws. From the way he lowered his eyelids when we massaged the atrophied limbs, we knew he endured excruciating pain, but not once did he ever try to bite the hands of those who cared for him.


Four months to the day, Ralph finally stood unaided. His huge frame shook as long-unused muscles were activated. Bill and I patted and praised him. But it was Becky to whom he turned for a gentle word, a kiss or a smile. He responded to these gestures of love by swinging his bushy tail like a pendulum.


As his strength grew, Ralph followed Becky all over the ranch. Together they roamed the desert pastures, the golden-haired child often stooping low, sharing with the great lame wolf whispered secrets of nature's wonders. When evening came, he returned like a silent shadow to his hollow stump that had surely become his special place. As time went on, although he lived primarily in the brush, the habits of this timid creature endeared him more and more to all of us.


His reaction to people other than our family was yet another story. Strangers terrified him, yet his affection for and protectiveness of Becky brought him out of the desert and fields at the sight of every unknown pickup or car. Occasionally he'd approach, lips taut, exposing a nervous smile full of chattering teeth. More often he'd simply pace and finally skulk off to his tree stump, perhaps to worry alone.


Becky's first day of school was sad for Ralph. After the bus left, he refused to return to the yard. Instead, he lay by the side of the road and waited. When Becky returned, he limped and tottered in wild, joyous circles around her. This welcoming ritual persisted throughout her school years.


Although Ralph seemed happy on the ranch, he disappeared into the surrounding deserts and mountains for several weeks during the spring mating season, leaving us to worry about his safety. This was calving season, and fellow ranchers watched for coyotes, cougars, wild dogs and, of course, the lone wolf. But Ralph was lucky.


During Ralph's twelve years on our ranch, his habits remained unchanged. Always keeping his distance, he tolerated other pets and endured the activities of our busy family, but his love for Becky never wavered. Then the spring came when our neighbor told us he'd shot and killed a she-wolf and grazed her mate, who had been running with her. Sure enough, Ralph returned home with another bullet wound.


Becky, nearly fifteen years old now, sat with Ralph's head resting on her lap. He, too, must have been about fifteen and was gray with age. As Bill removed the bullet, my memory raced back through the years. Once again I saw a chubby three-year-old girl stroking the head of a huge black wolf and heard a small voice murmuring, "It's all right, boy. Don't be afraid. That's my mama, and she loves you, too."


Although the wound wasn't serious, this time Ralph didn't get well. Precious pounds fell away. The once luxurious fur turned dull and dry, and his trips to the yard in search of Becky's companionship ceased. All day long he rested quietly.


But when night fell, old and stiff as he was, he disappeared into the desert and surrounding hills. By dawn his food was gone.


The morning came when we found him dead. The yellow eyes were closed. Stretched out in front of the oak stump, he appeared but a shadow of the proud beast he once had been. A lump in my throat choked me as I watched Becky stroke his shaggy neck, tears streaming down her face. "I'll miss him so," she cried.


Then as I covered him with a blanket, we were startled by a strange rustling sound from inside the stump. Becky looked inside. Two tiny yellow eyes peered back and puppy fangs glinted in the semi-darkness. Ralph's pup!


Had a dying instinct told him his motherless offspring would be safe here, as he had been, with those who loved him? Hot tears spilled on baby fur as Becky gathered the trembling bundle in her arms. "It's all right, little ... Ralphie," she murmured. "Don't be afraid. That's my mom, and she loves you, too."






1997 Penny Porter


All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Health Communications, Inc. from Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul



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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 39 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005

    Touching and From The Heart

    there was a lot of stories in this book that made me cry, even when I stopped reading. some of the stories were completely heartwrenching, others were so wonderful I smiled and felt very content with the outcome. Pet Lovers, this book is a must!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2004

    I cried, it was so good...

    I saw this book at Barnes & Noble and bought it because I love animals. Oh my gosh, I cried when I read it, it was so good! If you are an animal lover at heart, you will find yourself reading these heartwarming stories again and again, and never tiring of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2002

    The Best Selling Book Ever

    This is a book about how pets can teach you lessons that you will never learn from anyone else. The short stories will enlighten your view on animals.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Love this book

    This book showed me that I am not alone in the love that I feel for my animals. They are an extension of my family. These stories made me laugh, cry and think...I have read them over and over and over. I have my favorites, but I cannot get enough of this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2006

    Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul: Stories about Pets as Teachers, Healers, Heroes and Friends

    I read this book not long after my dog died. It helped me understand how to let go but not forget, and to except that God has a plan and isn't abandoning me. I didn't feel so bad when Taylor(my dog) was brought up.Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul helps pet lovers understand their best friends better!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2006

    Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul: Stories about Pets as Teachers, Healers, Heroes and Friends

    This book really teaches pet lovers about their companions, from monkeys to dogs, cats to horses, toads to dolphins, it shows them a side of animals they've never seen before.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2005

    For any pet loving people

    This is the best book in the world!! I'm on my 4th time reading it. I rembemer the first time reading, 4th grade, reading time, I still read even though i'm only in the 6th grade! If you love your pet or don't have one, this is still the book for you!******

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2002

    Will touch pet lovers everywhere

    Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul was a great book for pet lovers. In two days I read all of it. It has touching stories, both to make you laugh and cry. It tells us that animals are one of the best parts within us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2002

    **Clearly a strong passion is shown for animals in this book.**

    There are some books it feels like homework to read. Other books, like Chicken Soup, you wish could go on a little longer. Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's soul is one of a kind. While other Pet books try to capture the love of our companions, this book clearly does it the best. Not only does it warm your heart, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you smile - but it makes you remember that as one of our companions on earth - our pets need to be taken care of. If you're a pet lover, or just someone trying to find a good book - then I think you've just found the jackpot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    If you Like Stories about Animals...

    If you love animal stories then this is the book for you. Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover¿s Soul has stories about love, pets as teachers, pets as healers, celebrating the bond, amazing animals, on companionship, saying goodbye, and petcetera. These stories really bring you into the stories. You can almost picture the things that they say. One reason I would recommend this book is because the language used brings you into the story. When you are reading a book it is nice to be able to picture what is going on am I right? Of course I¿m right. That is what makes this book so great. You can actually picture what is going on. Some books you can¿t get that with but this is a book where you can picture what is going on in your head. The second reason I would recommend this book is because the stories will make you laugh and cry. Some of the stories are touching like the one at the beginning of the book where the old lady who has just lost her husband receives a dog on Christmas that was sent from him. Her husband had purchased the dog before it had been born and he wanted it delivered to her on Christmas. He knew he was going to die and he didn¿t want to leave his wife alone so he sent her someone to keep her company. The third reason I would recommend this book is for the fact that you can relate to at least one of the stories in this book because almost everyone has had a pet in the past or currently. So you can truly relate to how these people feel about their pets. If you are looking for a book that makes you laugh and cry at times, then this is definitely the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2001

    If you love your pet...

    If you love your pet, you'll love this book. The stories capture how important pets are in our lives. My whole famiy has read it. I'm writing stories about my own pet with the help of a journaling book, The Book of My Pet. I don't want to forget the special connection my animal and I share.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2001

    Animal Lover's Beware!

    This book will make you laugh and cry. If you have ever loved an animal you have to read this book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2001

    Absolutely Amazing Animals

    It was an excellent book.All those who love animals as much as I do(a lot)will enjoy the heart warming stories about amazing animals and there owners.Your sure to love it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2000

    BEST TEACHER, I LEARNED A LOT

    I'm an animal lover, I even made a club that loves animals. I bought this book and I read it over and over again and I never got bored of it once! It taught me a lot and I felt myself expressing the same sadness, happiness, and anger. It is an outstanding book, and I would like all of you to read it. Especially people who love animals like me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2000

    These books are all the **GREATEST!!***

    I olove all the Chicken soup book, especially the Teenage Soul Books. And journal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2000

    I Loved It!

    This book kept me reading. It has tons of stories that made me laugh, cry, and really appriciate the love that animals give. I would reccomend that everyone read it, especially those of you who are animal lovers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2000

    Wow!

    Great stories! I love them! Great Books, all of them. I'm an animal lover, this is a book I look at everyday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2000

    Great Book!!!!

    Every one of the chicken soup books are great. They are all touching and inspiring. I am definately an animal lover by heart. I have 2 dogs, a chinchilla, 3 cats, and a hedgehog. Animals are much more loving, caring and forgiving than people because they depend on you and love you unconditionally. (p.s. and they don't talk)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2000

    Defenite Reader!

    this book is a great reader for people all ages!lots of these stories are heart warming!Lots of the stories really made me think about my pets and other animals around me!I'm sure lots of the stories would make people think twice about getting that puppy that there family member wanted(In a good way!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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