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Laurel Braitman

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Born
in Ventura, CA, The United States
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August 2007


Laurel Braitman is the author of Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves. She has written and performed live for Pop Up Magazine, The New Inquiry and Orion, among other publications. She lives on a houseboat in Sausalito, California.

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Goodbye Mel Richardson DVM

Mel Richardson


Mel and Bonobos


Mel Richardson, veterinarian and animal advocate died, suddenly, on January 2nd. He was 63 years old. Melaccomplished so much in his lifetime. He also taught me most things worth knowing about animals.


Just a few things I learned from him:



Orangs who sit on their heels rocking back and forth are masturbating.
Elephant feet are the Achilles heel of captive pachyderms, their hea Read more of this blog post »
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Published on January 06, 2014 19:00
Average rating: 3.83 · 1,122 ratings · 172 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
Animal Madness: How Anxious...

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East of Eden
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“The problem was that this sort of training took weeks, if not months—and we still had to go through the door in the meantime. We tried to do the exercises. We gave it our best shot. Or to be honest, we gave it our best shot for a while. But it was exhausting, for us and for Oliver. He was so finely attuned to the various stages Jude and I had for getting ready to leave that as soon as we tried to decouple one cue from his “they are leaving me” anxiety, picking up our keys, for example, Oliver would figure out another, such as making our lunches or putting on our work clothes. He may have been dysfunctional and disturbed, but he wasn’t stupid. Sometimes I stored my computer bag in our building’s shared hallway because even the sight of it would make Oliver start vigilantly watching for our departure, panting heavily and pacing. He also reacted to the sight of suitcases. And the putting on of shoes. And the opening of the coat closet. Possibly, if Jude and I had left for work naked, through a window, with no lunches, no keys, no bags, no shoes, and at odd hours, we could have avoided triggering Oliver’s anxiety.”
Laurel Braitman, Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves

“animal suicide accounts gave scientists, natural historians, and the general public a means of reflecting on the concept of human self-destruction as well as ideas about humanity’s relationship to nature without always having to talk about people. Writing and thinking about animal suicides, just as we saw with the cases of animal heartbreak and homesickness, gave people a way to ponder their own afflictions, even if they were doing it unconciously.”
Laurel Braitman, Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves

“Recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of dogs as they’re reunited with their owners or discover food is coming suggests that the neuro-networks that process these positive emotional experiences function similarly in them and us.”
Laurel Braitman, Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves

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