Pukka’s Promise The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs Review
by Ted Kerasote
When I read “Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog”, I cried like a baby by the end of the book. I lived with an aging Labrador and had gone through several adventures and felt like I knew Merle because he was just like my darling Brutus, a total free-thinker. When we lost Brutus to osteo-sarcoma at fourteen, I often found myself asking, “Why does it seem like they leave us so soon? Why do so many dogs die of cancer?”
Well, Ted Kerasote, found he was asked the same questions by many readers and fans of Merle’s Door both in email and on his book tour. It inspired him to start researching the many questions we all have as to why our dogs leave us so soon and what can we do to better our dog’s lives so that maybe we can stay together just a little longer.
Ted spent several years and thousands of miles researching for Pukka’s Promise The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs. This book is the most comprehensive book on dogs that I have read period. There are chapters on the importance of a dog’s genetics, the influence of breed specific organizations (AKC) on the breeds themselves (form over function), the influence of the pet food industry on veterinarian schools, animal shelters, no-kill shelters, animal rendering factories (don’t eat while reading this chapter), animal nutrition (raw food over kibble and what is in those cans), vaccines, spaying and neutering over alternative methods of dog birth control, and cancer care specialists and the rise of canine cancers.
Ultimately, after his research, Ted ended up getting Pukka from a breeder which did not endear him to those in the rescue crowd. Ted simply wanted to have the clearest genetics possible to give Pukka his best life possible. Ted did help with the rescue of at least one dog and perhaps many more with his visit to shelters in an economically challenged area of the South. However, some people are still mad at him.
Pukka means “first-class” and throughout this book we are treated to glimpses of Pukka’s puppyhood and early development. The stories are touching and funny at times. Some may not agree with Ted’s discipline and his nutrition but don’t let that distract you from reading. This book is “first-class” all the way and the most comprehensive look at our dogs and their health.
Ted Kerasote is the author of several books, including the national bestseller “Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog” and Out There, which won the National Outdoor Book Award. His essays and photographs have appeared in Audubon, Geo, Outside, Science, the New York Times, and more than sixty other periodicals. He lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Watch this incredible interview between Dr Karen Becker and Author Ted Kerasote
Felissa Elfenbein is the author and creator of Two Little Cavaliers. She loves to travel and so do her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Davinia and Indiana. We have lived in NYC, Florida, Georgia, Berlin, Germany, & Hong Kong.
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