Lea's Reviews > A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life

A Small Furry Prayer by Steven Kotler
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's review
Nov 08, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: acquired-2011, books-i-own, read-2011, reviews
Read from October 26 to November 08, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Wow -- I've got a lot to say in this review, and it's hard to know where to start . . . I guess I should say first that I won this in a First Reads giveaway. Thanks!

I signed up for this giveaway on a whim -- I like animals (although I prefer horses to dogs), but a memoir about animal rescue wouldn't necessarily be my first choice. But the idea intrigued me, and I figured I'd just pass the book along to my sister when I'd finished it. Well, sorry, Q, you're going to have to pick up your own copy -- I just can't let this one go!

The book didn't click with me initially. The author seemed a bit . . . angsty to me. I'm a very happy person, so reading about his anxieties and the negativity he was experiencing at the beginning of the book was depressing, and even disturbing. I really wasn't sure if I could read an entire book filled with this seemingly glass-half-empty attitude.

But I did keep reading, and as the story progressed it seemed as though the author experienced a lightening of his spirit. His focus shifted to the dogs in his care, and this part of the book became more enjoyable. It was both heartbreaking and uplifting to see the compassion and attachment this couple have with not just their dogs, but ALL dogs. I can't say I could do what they do, but it was interesting to get a first person perspective of what goes into animal rescue.

The book really came alive for me when the author began writing about his research into dogs and various states of being -- he discusses altruism, sexual orientation, enlightenment, shamanism and shapeshifting, dog and human evolution, inter-species communication . . . I could honestly go on and on and on, and none of it was anything less than intriguing. I really enjoyed how he would use an experience with his dogs as a jumping off point for a scientific discussion, then circle back to the initial story. I found this made this made the technical bits more personal as I considered them in relation to the author's life.

I do believe Steven Kotler has found some form of enlightenment at his dog rescue in New Mexico. I'm not sure he will ever be as emotionally strong as he probably needs to be, given the last-chance nature of the animals he works with, but it appears he's found a balance that works for him.

I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this book, and I will personally be searching out all of Kotler's other books.
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Reading Progress

11/08/2011 page 307

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Paul Lea, you talked me into it -- I ordered a copy from the library this morning. If I wind up with 20 dogs, though, I'm blaming you!

message 2: by Lea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lea Paul wrote: "Lea, you talked me into it -- I ordered a copy from the library this morning. If I wind up with 20 dogs, though, I'm blaming you!"

LMAO -- if you end up with 20 dogs, I want to see photos!

message 3: by Stephen (new)

Stephen What a great review, Lea. This sounds wonderful.

message 4: by Lea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lea Stephen wrote: "What a great review, Lea. This sounds wonderful."

Thanks, Stephen! I think you would really enjoy it -- some of the research discussed is truly amazing.

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