I was very excited to discover that Patricia McConnell has her own blog, which I have added to my blog list (i.e. The Other End of the Leash). Her book of that title is one of the most important books I’ve read about dog behaviour, and specifically on understanding canine-human interaction. I strongly recommend the book to everyone who has a dog, or who interacts with dogs.
She also has a really interesting book on dog emotions, entitled For the Love of Dog. Another really great read. One thing I really love about this author and behaviourist is how she challenges the separation between animals and people. She clearly sees her dogs, and I think animals in general, as having the emotional and intellectual capabilities just like us. And she treats them with respect accordingly. This is something I feel very strongly about: that we are not really different from animals, we have just crated an artificial separation from them through our arrogance and self-centeredness. This is very much our loss, but animals suffer horribly as a result (we slaughter 58 BILLION per year to eat, nearly all of which lived their lives under horrific conditions). But I digress…
I was just reading through Patricia’s blog and enjoying it very much, and wanted to bring it to your attention if you haven’t already taken a look at it. I haven’t read very far into it, but there’s something very easy to relate to about the way she writes. I find this true of her books as well. I think it is because she comes across as being very humble and fallible, despite her expertise and experience.
Patricia McConnell is someone I would love to meet some day and have a conversation with. I already feel like I kind of know her a little, from the stories she has told about her dogs and her life on her farm. I cried like a baby when she lost Cool Hand Luke, as if I had known him myself. I love the photos of her sheep and the stories she tells about them and her dogs. How much she loves them, and how much she respects and admires them, really shines through.