Review: Mutts Shelter Stories by Patrick McDonnell

A few years ago, I walked into Barnes & Noble with no intention of buying any books and walked out with Mutts Shelter Stories by Patrick McDonnell. I’m a sucker for stories about animals, especially those found at shelters. Granted, this is a straightforward story about animals in needing a home, but it’s also a highly-visual mix of comic strips and photos. And, in the end, it’s an emotive tearjerker that works. I had not heard of the Mutts comic strip prior to my purchase, but of course I’ve since done some research. The popular strip, which Charles Schultz said … Continue reading Review: Mutts Shelter Stories by Patrick McDonnell

Review: Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes

Cute! Fun! Sweet! Inspiring! All these adjectives describe Gaby, Lost and Found, by Angela Cervantes, about a girl who wants to rescue animals but soon finds herself in need of a permanent home. Gaby, her friends, and even the adult guardians in her life make for a realistic and endearing cast. Through the suspenseful plot, readers will learn about shelters and immigration, besides being entertained. What struck me foremost is how true-to-life but also sympathetic the characters are. Gaby loves animals. She’ll do anything to rescue them. But she still feels a little upset when a cat in a tree … Continue reading Review: Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes

Photo provided by Pets Together

Pets Together: Making A Difference in People’s Lives During COVID-19

On May 11, 2020, Animal Farm Foundation announced the launch of Pets Together, as a response to the pandemic. Pets Together is a free online program designed to ease social isolation. The program matches those who are socially isolated due … Continue reading Pets Together: Making A Difference in People’s Lives During COVID-19

Review: The Man Who Talks To Dogs by Melinda Roth

The Man Who Talks to Dogs by Melinda Roth will make you mad—in a good way. It’ll stir you to compassion and hopefully action, as you read the story of Randy Grim and his fight to save America’s abandoned dogs. Roth’s book also shows fine journalism. It is well-researched, well-written, and contains a lot of information not just about Grim but about a national problem. I wasn’t sure initially that I could review this book. All I wanted to do is rage. Many of us are all too familiar with the fact that up to ten million pets are euthanized … Continue reading Review: The Man Who Talks To Dogs by Melinda Roth

Review: The World of Farley Mowat

Published in 1980, there are nine sections to The World of Farley Mowat, each of which contains excerpts from one of more of Mowat’s published writings. Selections are grouped in chronological order. As such, given how much of Mowat’s writings were based on his own life, The World of Farley Mowat not only provides readers exposure to a variety of his writings but also a glimpse into his personal life. Indeed, the autobiographical sections are my favorite. These include Saskatchewan, Tide of War, parts of Northern Territories, Siberia, and parts of The Rock and The Deeps. Although his childhood life … Continue reading Review: The World of Farley Mowat

Review: Newfoundland Pony Tales By Marian Brake

The idea for Newfoundland Pony Tales came to author Marion Brake when she visited the Newfoundland Pony Refuge in Change Islands and could not find a children’s book about the pony in the town’s visitor’s center. To meet that need, Brake decided to write her own. The result was a collection of stories about the ponies, with an introduction about the sanctuary. The illustrations by professional artist Cassandra Gallant are gorgeous, while the semi-interconnected tales are cute and left me wanting more. Newfoundland Pony Tales starts out by introducing Tia, the oldest Newfoundland Pony on Change Island. Her owners could no … Continue reading Review: Newfoundland Pony Tales By Marian Brake

Can Cats Rival Dogs in Social Intelligence?

Can cats rival dogs in social intelligence? Recent research suggests that they can. In this article, I’ll briefly summarize the work of Kristyn Vitale, a postdoc at Oregon State University who studies cat socialization. I’ll also share four experiments that Vitale says pet owners can try at home with their cats. I tried them with my cats, and I’ll share their results in this article as well In November 2018 I interviewed Vitale, who grew up wanting to work with cats. Not seeing many opportunities in the field, she initially pursued zoology as a career, then switched to feline research … Continue reading Can Cats Rival Dogs in Social Intelligence?

2020 Online Community Cats Conference

On the weekend of January 24-26, I participated in an online conference hosted by the Community Cats Podcast on the topic of community cats (unowned cats that live outdoors). Now in its second year, the conference featured thirteen speakers from animal welfare organizations across North America. Following are highlights from the one presentation I disliked, and from a few of those I enjoyed. “So much has evolved in animal welfare in just the past decade. Now that we know better, we can do better,” said Dr. Sara Pizano, in her presentation titled “How We Live with and Love Cats.” Pizano … Continue reading 2020 Online Community Cats Conference