This holiday season, I want to take the opportunity to share with you a few books that have been on my reading list lately; books that will make the perfect gift for the animal lover in your life. These books offer tales of hope and will surely bring a smile to that special someone’s face.
If you’re looking for a little light reading in between shopping, fixing the family meal and everything else, why not take a few minutes to flip the pages of Tracy Ahrens’ recent book, Raising My Furry Children? I know things can get hectic this time of year, but picking up this book and reading a couple of her very short tales—only a few pages at most per story—will certainly be a welcome diversion.
Tracy uses this book to introduce us to all five of her kids, but these aren’t the two-legged kind. Each is furry, and each has a tail. Tracy is referring to her pets and the joy and mischief they bring to her virtually every day.
Her Brittany spaniel, Speckles, is like most dogs always looking to get in a bit of trouble. He loves scampering off with wads of paper from the wastebasket, enjoys rooting through the dirty laundry basket, and is, according to Tracy, a bit of a lush. Thankfully, he mostly imbibes water, but the occasional glass of iced tea isn’t safe from the reach of his tongue if no one is around.
Tracy also tells how she became the proud parent of four cats: Desdemona, Chocolate Drop, Joan of Arc and Captain Jack Sparrow. Each has a unique way in which they came into her life, but together the four cats make quite a partnership, and offer great companionship to her. Whenever she or her husband come and go, each of the five animals has a way of greeting them or saying goodbye. If Joan were a child, Tracy writes, she would’ve been taken away by the Department of Child and Family Services for all the mishaps she’s gotten into.
With such a full house, Tracy never feels alone; rather, she feels the love reciprocated by her five “kids.” What she has done with this book is to demonstrate the power of the human-animal bond, something we work to underscore and celebrate every day at American Humane Association. Tracy understands the value of studying the link and its importance in forging humane communities, which is why she has generously agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from this book back to our institution. For that, we are grateful.