I didn't plan to and I normally wouldn't rate each story in a collection like this but something is telling me to so I will. The overall rating will b...moreI didn't plan to and I normally wouldn't rate each story in a collection like this but something is telling me to so I will. The overall rating will be for the entire collection together. Short stories in order:
1. "Gracie's Last Walk" (5 stars) - This is the first story and it's a good one. The narrator is really good with the exception of the vet assistants (Brazilian?) accent and the story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I could totally 100% relate to Caroline and what she experienced with Gracie. "Yankee Dog" - This is the second story. Listening now....
I'm turn as to what to rate this. I'm wavering between 3 and 5. It's not as informative adviser like for an adult but not nearly as "captivating" as i...moreI'm turn as to what to rate this. I'm wavering between 3 and 5. It's not as informative adviser like for an adult but not nearly as "captivating" as it should be for a child. Maybe that's unfair - my 7 year old daughter gave it 5 stars. (less)
I took this out from the library to read with Julia. Anything animal-related is interesting to her and she's been interested in the subject of war dog...moreI took this out from the library to read with Julia. Anything animal-related is interesting to her and she's been interested in the subject of war dogs ever since she first heard of them. We took this and another, similar book out and saved this for last. Obviously it's not the easiest subject to read about so after finished the first one I decided Julia should wait to read more for the moment. My OCD just wouldn't allow me to return it without reading it so.... I did. Yesterday afternoon. It's easily written and under 100 pages so it's definitely fast. But if you're an animal lover it will move you. I think for the age group this is directed towards it's one of the best. Sanderson definitely gives good background, from which country first used dogs in war (Germany) to their job today (many, many), it's covered. She gives general information as well as personal stories an there are even a few photos included. If you've read about war dogs before picking this up you'll find some things you remember. I doubt anyone could read a book on war dogs, adult or child, without learning about Stubby. He might be the most well known of all. (Side-note - there is a photo of Stubby included that may not bother everyone but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want my daughter to see.) It's not graphic but it is a photo of Stubby's stuffed body, wearing the decorated coat he wore on duty, that was then displayed at the Smithsonian. I personally think this is disgusting. I'm aware it's a body, a shell if you will, and that Stubby was long gone but it still bothers me. We can remember Stubby without this gruesomeness. IMO. If you've done any reading you've probably heard of Caesar and seen the pictures of him being carried on a hastily put together stretcher by his fellow soldiers. The famous picture of Eisenhower meeting (and being bit on the hand by) Chips is here. So is well known picture of soldiers and their devil-dogs exiting a boat onto a beach in a run. Nemo and Andy are also written about, both dogs I've read about before and who I would say are well known at the very least. This isn't easy reading, not even for an adult who has seen all sorts of violence, abuse and horror. Even if the dog you're reading about lived through the battle it's still emotional reading about a dog literally risking his or her life to protect their handlers and fellow soldiers. It makes you think. Sanderson also mentions William W. Putney, the author of Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII (this is the #1 non-fiction book on the subject that I always recommend, along with the fictional Finding Jack: A Novel by Gareth Crocker. There are no words for these two books to show how much I think everyone should read them.) I believe the author mentions Putney twice. Sanderson tells about Chips, who is considered the first dog hero of WWII. Chips was a scout dog in Sicily when he and his platoon came under machine gun fire. The soldiers hit the ground and Chips ran. Instead of running away Chips ran toward the enemy. One man stumbled out with Chips latched onto his neck, the other with his hands up in the air. That same night, after receiving medical attention for what I suppose would be considered minor wounds, Chips went on to catch ten more Italian soldiers. All soldiers who could have killed ours. Here's where it gets even harder to read. In 1943 Chips was given the Silver Star (for bravery) and the Purple Heart (wounds received in action). The medals were "later withdrawn". Why? Because there were people who complained that an animal should not receive medals meant for humans. This boggles my mind. An "animal" - the same animal who can do the job of a dozen men - doesn't deserve the medals. Never-mind he risked his life. Never-mind so many gave their lives. They're not that special, they're only dogs. I'm thinking it's possible that some people who lost loved ones took offense at this. But I think any of the men who had passed would have been overjoyed at the thought of these animals being thanked in a way so similar to that of their human counterparts. I did learn something new from this book - I had never heard of anti-tank dogs. The Russians used anti-tank dogs to stop tanks. Pretty cut and dry. What they did to stop them is beyond the scope of my imagination. The dog carried bombs and were trained to find food underneath tanks. In the field, seeing tanks and thinking they'd find food, they'd rush to the tanks and be crushed. And exploded. I can't say anything else about it. It horrifies me. Dogs for Defense is mentioned and outlined, even how families went about donating their dogs, a few personal comments are added about how someone in the family felt about donating. The War Dog Cemetery in Guam, the very same one that William W. Putney helped put in place, is talked about in the epilogue. That monument is one I'd like to see before the end of my days. There are a few facts about the dogs in the back of the book, for example, (and I wasn't aware of this) the Army tried to dye Dalmatians khaki to help camouflage them. Needless to say, it didn't work. How and why the Marine dogs got the name 'devil dogs' is a fact included. That the German Shepard is the official Army dog and has been since 1946. Basically, it's like this, this is a very sad book but very necessary. Our government has shit on these dogs over the course of all of these wars and they're still doing it to this day. And it pisses me off. I've written enough so I won't get into it. I just had to say that much. Another side-note - the dogs used today? They're obtained from breeders and wholesalers. It's a fact that war dogs do not have to be pure bred and can be trained, should be trained in fact, from very early on. Why not get the from a shelter whenever possible? Yes, it would be a little extra work I suppose. Yet not only would it save money (that oh so precious money) but it would save lives. And it would also impress people the me, the American public, the ones who this is all supposed to be for in the first place. I can't say how much our government disgusts me every single damn day.(less)
I don't know that this actually "counts" as 'photography' but I'm listing it there for us for our own reasons. That I can't articulate. :) Sooo... we s...moreI don't know that this actually "counts" as 'photography' but I'm listing it there for us for our own reasons. That I can't articulate. :) Sooo... we saw the movie last week! Rented it from RedBox and went straight home to watch it. I personally could have done with more Winter, less everyone else but it's a good movie. I wish I knew exactly how much was exactly true but I suppose it's not as important as I tend to think sometimes. I like to know which details are true and which are the idea of someone behind the movie (book/whatever). The photos of Winter are magnificent. This is a dolphin that, in another day and time, or even in this day and time, with a lesser person involved, we wouldn't be seeing. Yet we're not only seeing Winter, we're watching her swim and play, make friends, animal and human, and love. If that's not amazing I don't know what is. I can't remember a book ever making me seriously plan a trip but after seeing the movie, reading this book and visiting the website (I'll link at the end) we have to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. There is no doubt in my mind that I have to take my daughter there. She deserves to see Winter with her own eyes. Imagine what Winter has done and is doing for kids - and adults - all over this world! Kids who have been made fun of for a defect of whatever kind, kids who are scared or lonely. We don't give animals enough credit. I said this just a few minutes ago in reference to the people who helped Tarra and Bella (see Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends) but it's proves true again. These are the people we should be seeing on t.v. and reading more about. These people are the ones I'll buy a magazine for. These are the people who deserve to be idolized. Not Jay-Z and Lady BlahBlah. Not any football player or Tiger Woods or Danica Patrick. I wish people would use their heads more. I'm using mine at the moment and I'll die happy if Julia ends up happy, doing something she loves with enough money to have what she needs and to help others. I'll be a happy Mom is she's doing what these people are doing if she so wished. This would make me proud. Not her staring in the mirror, wanting a boob job and wishing she were a rich movie star. And I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure she keeps knowing what's important. ('Keeps' because at 6 years old she already knows... it's later that it gets hard.) Everyone knows Winter's story so I'll skip that. Julia and I both loved the photos of Winter and the fact that they showed younger people and older people helping Winter. Kevin Carroll (featured in the back of the book) was extremely interesting to me but Julia's a bit too young for that right now. She was interested in the basics, that he cared enough to come up with this tail, that he worked so hard for it, etc. We both loved the pictures of the children with Winter - so touching. Website time - www.SeeWinter.com - live camera feed people. Top that. When we looked the camera was showing on Winter, Panama and Hope. It's somewhat difficult to see *everything* but you can see them swimming, playing and "jumping". Freaking cool as hell. Julia's mind was blown.
**These people are heroes and that's all these is too it. I have to admit something - most of the time my ratings reflect the actual book, lesser so the story. In this case and that of Tarra & Bella it's the opposite. I can't help it - I just can't help it. The stories themselves deserve a thousand stars IMO so anything less than the max, from me, isn't acceptable.**(less)
I saw this mentioned in a friends review of another book - Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends if I'm not mistaken - and I...moreI saw this mentioned in a friends review of another book - Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends if I'm not mistaken - and I had to check it out. When I looked on-line at my local library I saw there was a DVD also so I ordered both. The DVD happened to already be at my library so I was able to check it out right away. (We're still waiting for the book.) I'm so, so happy I saw my friends review mentioning this. This is as lovely as it is sad. And it has a happy ending! I've found myself wondering quite a few times since watching this (we've watched it twice now in the past two days) how these two met. Were they already friends? Were they strangers who came together because they were both needed? Did Bobby pull Bobcat out of flood waters and save her life? I have so many questions, some of which can't be answered. The boss at the construction company - he allows a worker to have one dog but not two dogs and a cat? I'd be honored and proud to employ someone who sees an animal in need and doesn't turn away. Then again, why do I expect everyone to be like me? How were they left if they were owned? Bobby was tied to a porch, according to the movie, which also portrayed food left out. I honestly don't mean to judge but why did so many leave their animals? I'm sure I'll be slammed for this so let me say this upfront - no, I have never lived through something like Hurricane Katrina. Yes, I do think I know myself well enough to say, with a degree of certainty, what I'd do in 'x' situation. I'd put my dog on my back and swim through filthy floodwater - against the tide - if I had to. I'd swim back for more if need be. Basically I would do whatever was necessary to get my animal(s) out. I'd do whatever was necessary to get anyone's animals out. I dare say I'd do some 'unethical' things if need be. Obviously there are things to be considered - maybe a pet owner was elderly, injured, etc. Okay. But it seems there were a lot of the able-bodied people leaving their animals behind as well. Another thing I want to mention that will hopefully make someone out there think - why is it that when an animal lives through something like this or does something heroic - and is profiled on t.v./the newspaper - that everyone and their mom wants to adopt them? Do these people not know about the bursting to capacity animal shelters right down the street from every single one of them? Do they know the term 'high-hill shelter'? That bothers me to no end. It's also worth pointing out that the authors noted how hundreds of people applied to adopt both Bobbies. One woman got in her car and drove through however many states to meet the two Bobbies. One. As far as I know she had no assurance she'd leave with these animals. Yet she went. None of the others did. I suppose both Bobbies should have been hand delivered to them. In short, most humans make me sick.
We read the book a few days after we watched the movie. The book goes hand-in-hand with the movie. They can go together or they can can be enjoyed separately. "Enjoy" is a strange word to use I guess but there's a happy ending for these two, not to mention their new owner, so I'll keep it. (less)
This is an amazing book - it really is. Animal relationships are fascinating to me and Julia so finding this was perfect. The stories shown here inclu...moreThis is an amazing book - it really is. Animal relationships are fascinating to me and Julia so finding this was perfect. The stories shown here include a baby macaque and pigeon, an orangutan and a cat, a camel and a Vietnamese miniature pig, a giraffe and an ostrich, a lion cub and piglet, a Basset Hound and an owl, a frog and mouse, a baby badger and baby fox, a capybara and squirrel monkey, (this is so fantastic!) a polar bear and a chained Eskimo sled dog, (this is another!) an Asiatic bear and a cat, a yellow Lab and a cheetah, and last but not least, a baby orangutan and Sumatran tiger cub. There are a lot of different variables here. Some of the relationships had human help, some didn't. Some relationships lasted minutes, if that, while others lasted for days or years. Some relationships had to be stopped because of the danger involved as one or both animals aged, some didn't. It's really amazing and the book can show children - and adults - much.(less)