If Only They Could Speak: Stories about Pets and Their Peopleby Nicholas H. Dodman
Did you hear about the dog who always arranged exactly six pieces of kibble in buttonhole depressions in the couch before he could lie down? Or the cat who compulsively hoarded shiny objects? In If Only They Could Speak, Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, a renowned animal behaviorist, presents fourteen true stories about troubled pets and their distressed owners, revealing that the emotional problems of animals are often as complex, heartrending, and treatable as those of their human counterparts.
Sadly, just fifteen years ago, euthanasia, which still today remains a so-called solution for millions of pets, was the only way to deal with a pet who was untrainable or unresponsive to human commands. A dog with a propensity to bite or a cat who constantly urinated indoors would have been sent to the proverbial pound, and almost always to a premature death. Dodman, believing that animal psychopharmacology could yield results as promising as those experienced by humans, began studying a wide array of psychological maladies that afflict pets, believing that careful drug use, be it Prozac, Valium, or newer psychiatric medications, could help save the lives of even the most profoundly troubled dogs and cats.
These poignant, emotional stories reveal the fruits of Dodman's research, which he has carried out as the founder of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts Veterinary School in Grafton, Massachusetts. With characteristic humor, compassion, and a profound understanding of the way animals think and feel, Dodman explores how separation anxiety, jealousy, fear, and death all affect the lives of the animals he has treated. In "A Second Chance," for example, Dodman describes a cat named Mona who grew so anxious when her owner went away that she began to pull her hair out in clumps, while in "Menage-a-trois," the arrival of a new man, soon to become a husband, threatens the intimate relationship that had previously existed between a businesswoman and her formerly affectionate cat named Honey.
The stories in If Only They Could Speak are memorable in their portrayal of the powerful emotions of pets and in demonstrating how far veterinary medicine has come in the last fifteen years in bringing about an end to animal suffering. Echoing Albert Schweitzer's belief that, "until he extends his cycle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace," Dodman has written a deeply humane book that promises to become a classic of animal literature.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.54(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.80(d)
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