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Talking to Animals

Talking to Animals

How You Can Understand Animals and They Can Understand You

Book - 2017
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"'There are so many benefits to learning how to communicate with animals. Love, trust, a spiritual connection that goes to the heart of the human-animal bond. Every time I listen to them, I learn about myself.' We seem to need animals in our disconnected lives more and more, yet we understand them less and less. [Here,] bestselling author Jon Katz--who left his Manhattan life behind two decades ago for life on a farm where he is surrounded by dogs, cats, sheep, horses, cows, goats, and chickens--draws from his experience to offer us a deeper insight into animals and the tools needed for effectively communicating with them. By better understanding animal instincts, recognizing they are not mere reflections of our own human emotions and neuroses, we can help them live happily in our shared world. Devoting each chapter to an animal who has played an important role in his life, Katz tells funny and illuminating stories about his profound experiences with them. He shows us how healthy engagement with animals falls into five key areas: Food, Movement, Visualization, Language, and Instincts. Along the way, we meet Simon the donkey, who arrives at Katz's farm near death and now serves as his Tai Chi partner. We meet Red the dog, who started out antisocial and untrained and is now a therapy dog working with veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. And we meet Winston, the dignified and brave rooster who was injured defending his hens from a hawk and who has better 'interpersonal' skills than most humans. Thoughtful and intelligent, lively and heartwarming, this book will completely change the way you think about and interact with animals, building mutual trust and enduring connections."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2017
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476795478
1476795479
Branch Call Number: 591.59 K1594T 2017
Characteristics: 228 pages ; 24 cm

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nellybells
May 14, 2017

I've been reading Jon Katz for a lot of years. I remember his books on Lenore, Elvis, Orson, et al. I am so jealous of his life - "living the good life" with so many animals.

This book has a different underlying theme from the other books. I'll call it spiritual communication/connection. Katz was deeply engaged by Bowlby's work on attachment theory. Katz saw this as the entryway to visualization. That's pretty vague, I know. Katz had to do a lot of inner work on himself, bring himself and animals to a calm state and imagine what he wanted his critters to do. He kept at it, and lo and behold he succeeded. Some examples: he had a 3000 pound steer and was successful in getting the steer to "stay". His farming colleagues were utterly gobsmacked. Another example: Katz had an unruly and unpredictable collie and Katz's farm was near a road with fast-moving traffic. After working with his dog, using food initially and then visualization, the dog would NEVER even attempt to cross the road, not for anything.

Talking to Animals is Katz's autobiography much of the time, and biographies of his animals. Katz also gives examples of what happened when he, the human, really listened to what his animals were trying to convey to him. Sometimes it got a bit too woo-woo for me. But this was his experience, his truth, his way of seeing his life. He is sharing his journey and how animals made the journey possible.

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