Animal Happiness: A Moving Exploration of Animals and Their by Vicki Hearne

By Vicki Hearne

A New York Times amazing ebook of 1994!  hugely revered writer, thinker, and animal coach Vicki Hearne bargains a treasure trove of animal anecdotes, all written in her distinct and poetic variety. via wonderful tales approximately cats, horses, a decorative carp, a scorpion, and tortoises, Hearne makes a speciality of how every one of those a number of creatures reviews happiness in its personal distinct method. She takes factor with Ludwig Wittgenstein on lions and language, discusses the naming of pets, and considers the method of mourning a enjoyed dog’s demise.

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But my eyes, once open, found it impossible to evade the hard, hot, high desert light and what it revealed—forty mongrel versions of dusty western tack on forty different versions of horse and puzzled western rider. While I was desperately trying to close the vast imaginative gap between the scenery of Twenty-nine Palms, presided over by Sand Mountain, and the whitefenced and well-ordered Arcadia of my dreams, a large red-shirted man ambled over to me. “Reason I came here,” he was saying, as if to himself, “we got this mare won’t do nothing but jump out of her corral.

In fact, she was slated to be a working cat, an actress, so you may have seen her on movie and television screens, though the big cats rarely get decent credits. She may one day play the part of a lovable pet, and you may be moved to want a leopard. Don’t do that. Leave the big cats alone. If you are tempted, then look at the extraordinary intelligence in Cinder’s eyes, at how dangerously that intelligence flames there. Think of the thinness of your own skin, the thinness of your own mind. Think of the vanity involved in presuming that you could ever own or control what goes on in those eyes.

She would point out that humane societies euthanize thousands of animals, which gives the word “humane” an ironic twist, and that PETA and other animal rights organizations, under the impression that training is torture, would deprive animals of the pleasure they derive from their work. Hearne’s beliefs are very well founded—in the latter case, for instance, she knows that training is not achieved by force or punishment. If Pearl had barked at me too much in the pre-dawn hours, or, Heaven forefend, had bitten me as punishment for oversleeping, I would have put her in a crate at bedtime and slept until noon.

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