Allison's Book Bag

Rainy is training to become an agility cat! Ever since Andy and I adopted her in the fall of 2015, she’s been exposed to agility in our house, and shown herself a natural at it. Of course, it is one thing train your cat in your own home where she feels safe; it’s an entirely different thing to train your cat in an alien environment. But this is what Rainy did this past Sunday. The experience increased my belief that Rainy enjoys a life of adventure, and it gave me insights our next steps.

Huge thanks goes to Hearts United for Animals, the no-kill shelter we visited last Sunday. Not only did Carol Wheeler respond enthusiastically to my request to let Rainy use their equipment, but she and others showed up with cameras. Big appreciation also goes to my husband, Andy, who provided transportation and shot video, and to Kathy, who is Rainy’s godmother and co-trainer. Now on with Rainy’s story!

As soon as Rainy stepped out of her crate into the indoor agility building, she immediately turned around and tried to retreat into her carrier. I closed the carrier door, and encouraged her to instead walk with by my side on leash. She instead plastered herself to me. In the past, I’ve taken Rainy to visit my-laws and for stroller rides. Why such an adverse reaction now? Many reasons stand out. The most obvious problem was that we were in a scary new place. There was also a couple walking around with a dog, rain and wind pounding on the roof, shelter dogs barking in the adjoining room, and strangers taking photos.
Nothing we did could calm Rainy’s nerves. She refused cat treats and even cheese. She ignored the friendly outstretched hands of strangers. And when she could, she hid deep inside an agility tunnel. When I carried her to an obstacle, she dug her claws into me. When I placed her onto an obstacle, she scampered down as quickly as possible.

What eventually helped calm her? When the couple left with their dog, Rainy’s panic finally somewhat diminished. It also helped that the weather quietened, and so did the dogs. That just left Rainy’s apprehension about being in a new place, and her paranoia about being watched by strangers. I walked her on leash around the cavernous room to let her explore the sights and smells. That helped, but the strangers still made her nervous.

I allowed Rainy to dictate where we’d explore, but at times also encouraged her to try some of the agility obstacles. Her favorite was the cat walk. She trotted back and forth over it a few times. I also got her to agree to try the teeter-totter. She was startled when the raised end hit the floor with a thud, but she shook off her fear and agreeably leaped over a few jumps. To my surprise, she then bounded up the A-Frame. She also climbed onto the table and through a tube. Pretty good for her first time here!

At this point Rainy decided she had enough new adventures for one day. She plunked herself down and refused to do anything until I opened her crate. Immediately, Rainy climbed inside and curled up for a nap. Since then she’s enjoyed more agility at home, and her owners have done some thinking about what training steps are next.

The most obvious next step is that Rainy needs exposure to lots of new situations. At heart, Rainy is a risk-taker. As a homeless kitten, she’d walked up to Kathy and meowed for rescue, even though Kathy had dogs with her. Since becoming ours, Rainy has shown little fear of anything except loud noises. She doesn’t even mind the vacuum cleaner. Rainy also gets into absolutely everything. She knocks things over and likes to eat our plants. She’s eager to welcome guests into our home, and she goes with us to visit Andy’s parent. But to become an agility cat, she’ll need to be exposed to LOTS of new people, places, and events, and in the coming weeks it will be my job to help her become less nervous. Stay tuned, as I share those adventures in the weeks to come!

Animal welfare takes a village. This is the message I took away from the ten nonfiction books I recently read. There were books about shelters, rescues, and fosters. Some titles kept me up at night; others required me to push myself more to finish. Yet all were informative, enlightening, and worth the read for anyone with a passion for animals.

The Animal Shelter by Patricia Curtis details the purpose and history of humane shelters. A shelter is a place where stray, lost, abandoned, or surrendered animals are housed in kennels and rehabilitated until they’re adopted or euthanized. Curtis illustrates this definition with a story of a dog bought by a couple for their children as a Christmas gift, and then later surrendered it when the routine of life resumed after Christmas vacation. Although not real, Curtis drew on a composite of millions of dogs living and dying in shelters to create her story. But shelters don’t just tackle animal homelessness. They also fight to end dog fighting, animal baiting, and medical testing on animals. In addition, they advocate for humane ways to capture and euthanize animals, the hiring of skilled professionals (animal control) to do this job, and humane education. Curtis dedicates a chapter to each of these topics, as well as two chapters to the history of animal shelters. Although her book is somewhat dated, having been published in 1984, it provided me with an appreciation for historically how instrumental shelters were in changing the landscape of animal welfare.

May their beautiful spirits and unending dedication continue to give a voice to the voiceless, inspire us to work as one, fill us with enormous hope, and remind us to always balance the dark with the light.–Finding Shelter by Jesse Freidin

Finding Shelter by Jesse Freidin is dedicated all the “animal shelter and rescue volunteers that we’ve lost over the years”.  The world of animal welfare is one filled with controversy, drama, and passion. As such, it’s one where those who dedicate their lives to saving animals sometimes burnout or even take their lives because the stress overwhelms them. Freiden created his portraits to erase the negative connotations associated with animal welfare workers and with homeless animals. Finding Shelter is divided into two sections, one which gives tribute to the volunteers “who spend every waking minute thinking about how they can keep just one more animal from being euthanized” and the other which gives tributes to the dogs that “wake up in the shelter every morning ready for their second chance”. If I were to change anything about Freidin’s book, I’d provide a broader coverage of shelters and animals; he featured only ten states and focused exclusively on dogs. I’d also provide more context to the selected portraits, which currently feels a little haphazard. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading the diverse stories and admired the professional photos. After reading Finding Shelter, you’ll have nothing but high regard for shelters workers and animals.

Miracle Dog is a small book by Randy Grimm, the famed founder and president of Stray Rescue in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2003, headlines were made when the city pound opened the door to its gas chamber, and found a dog still alive inside. How it happened no one knows, but soon the story of “Quentin the Miracle Dog” was being told across the nation. Miracle Dog is an educational and engaging mix of personal narrative, documentary details, and animal welfare statistics. To illustrate, I’ll look at chapter three as a sample. Chapter three begins with a tongue-in-cheek description by Grim of the now famous Quentin stealing food from Grim’s refrigerator. The anecdote transitions to the pound, where the supervisor faced the daunting task of euthanizing the dogs in line for the gas chamber. After this narrative, there’s a news report about gas chambers. From here, Grimm switches back to the gas chamber, where Quentin is discovered still alive. The chapter ends with a press release, written by Grim. Anything by or about Grimm is usually inspirational. Miracle Dog is no exception.

To homeless animals everywhere, may they forgive us. And may we be worthy of that forgiveness by giving them the only fitting tribute: to stop the killing.–One at a Time by Diane Leigh and Marilee Geyer

Of the five books that I read about shelters, One at a Time by Diane Leigh and Marilee Geyer is one of my favorites, because of how thorough and touching it is. The stories presented are based on the experience of the authors during one week in a typical animal shelter in California. When the authors arrived at the shelter, kennels were almost full, with 238 animals being cared for. By the end of the week, another 125 had arrived. For the book, the authors choose a random selection of animals, and then took the time to get to know them. They learned the circumstances that had caused the animals to be at the shelter, and then followed their stories throughout the week without knowing what the end would be. I can’t imagine how tough this project must have been; the emotional rollercoaster of seeing lives saved and lost. The authors not only presented real stories, but also attempted to paint an accurate picture of the shelter demographics: the proportions of animals lost versus those surrendered was reflected in the numbers of stories shared, as was the number of young animals to senior animals, and even the number of happy to sad endings was reflected. In addition to this meticulous care, stories are organized by categories and each section has an introduction that provides context. The end pages list the 363 animals that passed through the shelter that week, includes a one-line description, and tells the fate of the animals.

My second favorite book about shelters is Rescuing Penny Jane by Amy Sutherland. Sutherland talks to shelter directors, researchers, trainers, adoption counselors, and caretakers across the United States to build her understanding of animal rescue.  Through Rescuing Penny Jane, I learned that today some shelters exist more as consultants than warehouses so that owners might stay united with their pets. Sutherland also elaborates on the numerous services which exist specifically to address financial needs and behavioral concerns that pet owners might face. As such, Rescuing Penny Jane serves as a solid companion to The Animal Shelter by Patricia Curtis. Sutherland also draws on her own experiences with rescue dogs to fill out her narrative. I appreciated how honest she is about her failings. She openly calls her first dog “canine training wheels” and refers to his fear linoleum and ceiling fans. I also enjoyed her ability to balance the serious with the humorous. Soon after Sutherland began volunteering at a local shelter, she found herself tackling the mammoth issue of how to find enough homes for all the dogs, but she also quickly realized that an equally important question was the issue of how to pull a halter onto a stir-crazy German Shepherd in the tight confines of a kennel. Rescuing Penny Jane is one of those books that was so good I couldn’t put it down, but for that reason I was also disappointed when it ended.

From the first day, the caregivers at Best Friends did not see a skinny stray better off dead; they saw one of God’s creatures, worthy of devotion, and they spent well over a decade helping him to become that better dog they saw all along…. In the end, he had ended his days surrounded by people who truly knew him and truly loved him. No one could ask for more.–Dog Town by Stefan Bechtel

Dog Town by Stefan Bechtel is about dogs who live at Best Friends Animal Society. The acclaimed no-kill sanctuary only accepts animals as a last-resort and so, as you can imagine, the dogs featured faced insurmountable obstacles. The very first chapter is proof. It tells about Georgia, one of the pit bulls rescued from a dogfighting operation run by football player Michael Vick. One thing I like about Dog Town, besides the high quality of writing, is that each story also seamlessly incorporates educational information. Case in point, in reading about Georgia, I also discovered why the Michael Vick dogs became among the first former fighting dogs to not simply be euthanized but instead to be given a chance at rehabilitation. Something else I like about Dog Town is that integral to each story is a detailed explanation of how a dog’s behavior was modified. In reading about Georgia, I learned how to teach an animal to not guard food; a strategy I’m trying with my one cat. A final thing I like about Dog Town is that scattered throughout the stories of rescued dogs are profiles of various staff at Best Friends Animal Society. Incidentally, if any of the stories seem familiar that might be because they were also aired on television by National Geographic.

Underdogs by Caryn Casey has been popular in my area because it featured stories from rescues in the Midwest. Her collection of true rescue tales is a mix of storytelling and education. Each section contains a few stories which illustrate a theme and then concludes with facts related to the theme. The themes revolve around reasons animals become homeless. Some are the reasons covered are not the fault of the owner such as disasters, thieves, or sickness. Other reasons do solely lie with people such as abandonment, greed, and neglect. The author’s writings have been published in various publications, but her book has been self-published, and could have used editing to improve the style. Nonetheless, this author who volunteers at a rescue in her hometown in California has written a well-researched and thoughtful book about animal welfare.

Enjoy the new member of your family and take good care of him, no matter how he happened to come into your life.–Rescue Me by Bardi McLenna

Rescue Me by Bardi McLennan is a straightforward guide to selecting, adopting, and caring for a rescue dog. The first third overviews the reasons why dogs end up homeless and the impact of this life on them. The second third provides extensive coverage of rescue groups. Many things are misunderstood or unknown about rescues. They’re often considered the same as no-kill shelters but instead are a small group of volunteers who find temporary homes for animals until they’re placed in permanent homes. A foster care provider is usually expected to attend adoption events until an adopter is found. Rescues often get their animals from owner surrenders, through partnerships with shelters, or might focus on a specific breed. Rescues also typically cover expenses for the animals in foster care. The final third of Rescue Me overviews how to prepare for and welcome a rescued dog. It briefly touches on problems that might be unique to rescues. A potential companion guide would be one that focuses specifically on the issues that foster care providers face in contrast to those who purchase a dog from a breeder.

Of the five books that I read about rescues (of which sanctuaries are a part), Best Friends: The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Sanctuary by Samantha Glen is my favorite, because of how exhaustive it is. Glen takes readers all the way to the 1980s to before Best Friends Animal Society existed, to when a handful of friends were rescuing animals the way many of us do by taking them home. Thankfully for animal welfare, when these friends dreamed, they liked to dream big. And I mean BIG. In 1982, Francis Battista made a call to his friends telling them that he had found an oasis in the desert that would be perfect for an animal sanctuary. And from then to today, it was five steps forward and at times ten steps back. The group faced opposition from residents, bankruptcy, and the death of their first veterinarian. At a pivotal moment, they also had to decide whether to stay small or to reach out to animal welfare groups across the country. Doing so was far from easy, because many volunteers were introverted animal lovers who valued their solitude, but found themselves having to embrace the commercial aspects of being a business. They didn’t always embrace the changes with grace, but they always managed to find a way to put first the needs of the sanctuary and the animals within it. Best Friends is an inspiring tale of passion put into action!

To some people, homeless cats and dogs have no value. But to those who are not quite so blind, they are not only precious lives but also very special beings, blessed with the ability to touch our imagination and lead us into a world of true magic and wonder.–The Cats of Kittyville by Bob Somerville

The Cats of Kittyville by Bob Somerville is about cats who live at Best Friends Animal Society. This coffee table style book is partly a history of Kittyville and partly a tribute to its inhabitants. When the no-kill sanctuary first began, most of the cats lived in a bunkhouse that also served as an office, clinic, and general meeting room. As Best Friends grew, the structures became more professional and plentiful as the number of cats increased. The additional houses included Happy Landings for new arrivals, the Wildcats Village for cats from feral colonies, Kitty Motel for older cats, and Tender Loving Care for special needs cats. In giving tribute to the resident cats, Somerville includes a summary of how they came to Best Friends, their specific needs, how those needs were met, and whether they still live at Best Friends or have been adopted. If I were to change anything in Somerville’s book, it would be to double the size of this 78-page book to include even more stories!

With our household of critters having expanded to include three cats and a dog, I thought it fitting to join a meme related to pets. After searching around, I came across Awww….. Mondays. The one rule is: “Post a picture that makes you say Awww…. and that’s it.” Every photo seemed to feature a pet and so the meme is a perfect fit!

“What’s up?” I asked Bootsie. She stared up at the ceiling. I laid my laptop to the side and stood up to check on her. Our oldest cat has been known to chase spiders, while our youngest has a thing for bugs. Most of our cats have brought us mice. Maybe Bootsie’s predator instinct has kicked in.

Following her gaze, I looked upwards, but I saw nothing except the reflection of the light from our living room lamp. Bootsie paced the floor, tail twitching, and uttered a low meow. I smiled and patted her head. Our first cat used to chase unseen creatures too. In fact, it was one of only two times when she’d sprint through the house. The other was when she’d relieved herself in the litter box. “Crazy cat,” I teased and returned to the recliner to work.

A few minutes later, Bootsie shook herself. She plodded my way and jumped up beside me. With her head, she nudged my hands, convincing me to make room for her on my lap. Except no soon than I had repositioned my laptop to allow room for her then she leaped to the floor. Back to the wall Bootsie headed, her meows now more plaintive.

I sighed. Cats apparently do have better vision than humans. They do see things we don’t, I reasoned, as I once again followed her gaze. But once again I saw nothing. Or did I? Using my one hand to shield the light from my eyes, I took another long look at our white walls. Lo and behold, where the ceiling and wall intersected, a moth flapped. “You get that moth!” I whispered to Bootsie and then sat back to watch and wait.

Want to start your week off with a smile? Visit Comedy Plus or Burnt Food Dude and see what others are sharing today.

Cat agility got its start in 2001 because of a dinner conversation about cat tricks. Two couples on the cat show circuit decided to modify some dog agility obstacles and show them to their cats. From there, a group called International Cat Agility Tournaments (ICAT) was born.

Three years later, the Cat Fanciers Association took an interest in the new sport for cats. One year after that, the organization’s first agility competition was held in Oregon as part a cat show, and boasted forty-five contestants. Since then, scores have been kept sporadically, with prizes consisting infrequently of money and more often a ribbon or small trophy.

Feline agility competitions, in which cats run through a miniature obstacle course full of hurdles and tunnels, have become fixtures on the cat show scene.

–Jennifer Kingston of New York Times, Next Best Thing to Herding Cats

Agility is a sport that people and pets can do together. Your pet will race through tunnels, leap over jumps, climb A-frames and pet walks, balance on teeter totters, and weave between poles. Although agility can involve large pieces of equipment, you can also create your own course at home.

For any pet owner, there are three reasons to take up agility. First, it’s fun. Second, all this activity will be good for the health of both you and your pet. Third, because agility is a team sport, the two of you will develop a unique bond.

I think we let cats’ brains rot, and I think it’s sad.

–Cynthia Otto of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Next Best Thing to Herding Cats

CinderJump

Agility benefits cats in that it makes use of their senses and skills. Foremost, agility provides them with the opportunity to make use of and hone their unique abilities to sprint and jump. Second, cats have excellent visual focus and accuracy, which agility will exercise to the fullest as cats race through a complicated obstacle course. International Cat Agility also points out that cats excel in learning a skill, remembering it, and adapting it to new situations. This knack to problem-solve enables them to quickly learn an entire agility course. Finally, although their independent nature can work against cats, it can also work for them. Our goal as trainers is to tap into that independence by giving our cats a reason to do agility. As with dogs, we can use treats, toys, and the obstacles themselves as motivation.

Not only is putting your cat through hoops fun, it’s also great for your cat. That’s because agility training fights obesity and boredom, two very common cat problems.

–Animal American Hospital Assocation, Get Your Cat Off the Couch

Lucy_TrainMy interest in cat agility developed in a roundabout way. Even as a puppy, our family’s toy poodle could climb like a goat. This interest prompted my husband to make obstacles courses for him at home, and later enroll him in agility classes at the local Greater Lincoln Obedience Club. The two have gone on to compete in local and even national agility trials. Inspired by them, I started teaching our first cat to do tricks. With our three current cats, I’m even more serious about training, which has expanded to include agility skills.

Training for agility can be done inside the house, takes little space, and is inexpensive.

–International Cat Agility Tournaments, Benefits of Cat Agility

Over the past three years, I’ve tried to replicate each agility obstacle at home. A jumping obstacle was the easiest and most economical to create. Because cats like to be up high, I have mine jump from chair to chair. Cost: free!” For a few dollars, I also added a child’s hula hoop into the mix.

rainy_tunnelAfter my cats mastered jumps, I added a tunnel to their repertoire. The tunnel is one of the most popular obstacles in dog agility and, like jumps, one of the simplest to teach. With a small tunnel, I simply throw a treat into it to get my cats running in the right direction. They then take turns diving into the tunnel’s mouth and bounding out the other end. You can find a small affordable one at the Baby, Toddler & Preschool Learning Toys | Playroom Furniture | Play Tents & Tunnels section at Toys R Us. Larger tunnels are more expensive and more difficult to store. In addition, to train our cats to go through a larger tunnel, I initially had to crawl through the it with them. Only over time could I lead them through the tunnel with a trail of treats.

catweavesThe remaining obstacles are more difficult to replicate and to teach—but not impossible! For weaves, I’ve turned to pop bottles or other tall, thin objects. I then lure my cat through with treats or wand toys. Another relatively low-cost option is small traffic cones. I recently found a set of weave poles for cats at – of all places – Bed, Bath, & Beyond’s website. (The set also includes a hoop. But notice that it only comes with three weave poles. That wasn’t enough for me, so I bought two sets.) I have yet to create an A-frame, but Cat Fanciers Association recommends pushing together two Alpine scratchers (with the corrugated cardboard scratching material) that tilt up at an angle. Another idea I gleaned from the CFA agility site is laying across two sets of pet stairs to create a pet walk; with the bonus that the stairs could be pushed together without the plank to create a stepped A-frame This leaves the teeter, for which I’ve yet to find an economical solution.

Everybody wanted to try running their cats through a course.

–Diane McCartney of The Wichita Eagle Cats in Motion

Recently, I’ve been checking into cat agility classes. A few years ago, The Nebraska Humane Society invited national agility exhibitor Jill Archibald to demonstrate for them. Beyond that, I haven’t been able to find any options in the state or even in the Midwest. Instead cat agility sadly seems to be confined to the coasts. I’d like to end with a plea to dog sports clubs: please open your doors to cats!

Agility builds awareness among the public of how intelligent, beautiful, trainable and companionable cats are, which will benefit all cats everywhere.

–International Cat Agility Tournaments, Benefits of Cat Agility

Even if pet clubs keep their doors closed to cat agility, that doesn’t mean you can’t pursue it. As I said above, to date, I’ve replicated most standard obstacles in my home at minimal cost. Now almost every day I spend a few minutes playing with my cats, training my cats in obedience, and/or doing agility. You can too.

Interested in doing cat agility? Starting with the Spring Issue, please follow my articles on pet training at Lincoln Kids., which will cover all kinds of training for cats. Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments.

Reprinted with permission from Lincoln Animal Ambassadors Pet Talk. This article is original in content and not to be reproduced without permission. Copyright 2017.

Gabby Duran is a name you’ll remember. She’s the world-renowned babysitter in a hilarious science fiction series by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners for middle schoolers. What makes Gabby so famous? The fact that she’s sought by leaders and celebrities all over the world for the most impossible babysitting jobs. What classifies the books as science fiction? The fact that the Association Linking Intergalactics and Earthlings as Neighbors hires Gabby as babysitter of aliens. To date, the series has three titles. All are fast-paced, action-packed, and will have high appeal to reluctant and avid reader alike.

Gabby Duran and the Unsittables introduces Gabby’s family, friends, and enemies. Her mom is single and believes her husband lost in a war. Gabby has a younger sister who, although she lacks social skills and interprets every speech as literal, is super smart and handles all the family’s finances and schedules. Best friend Zee is a mad scientist stuck in an adolescent body who would like nothing more than to analyze the aliens that Gabby meets. In contrast her musician friend Satchel remains blissfully ignorant even when Gabby’s life is in danger. At the same time, Gabby’s sworn enemy is zealously determined to get to the bottom of Gabby’s secrets and to outplay Gabby in the school band. This initial title also introduces Edwina, Gabby’s contact with alien parents. Edwina is uptight, primly-dressed, and no-nonsense. She’s also totally confident of Gabby’s abilities and deeply concerned about the safety of her alien charges. These charges come with some tall orders. For example, Gabby’s first job is to care for a girl who is no larger than a garden gnome and who can transform herself into anything she wishes. Oh, and she’s also in line for the throne for one of the plants, and so key to intergalactic peace.

The subsequent two titles introduce equally unusual babysitting charges. In Gabby Duran and Troll Control, Gabby encounters the first family to truly dislike her. The mother wrinkles her nose upon meeting Gabby, describes her as “uneasy on the eyes,” and throws around the word unpleasant. The father attempts to act polite, but can’t resist a sneer or cleansing his hands with sanitizer after Gabby and he shake. And who is Gabby’s charge? A frizzy-haired, mole-covered troll with a habit of stealing and showing off. Gabby also encounters the first true setback of her new job. Prior to now, she’s successfully remained secretive about her job and handled babysitting at odd hours. With this newest charge, she inadvertently allows him to get kidnapped. In Gabby Duran and Multiple Mayhem, Gabby has not only redeemed herself in the eyes of Edwina, but received the dubious honor of babysitting One. It’s her first experience with a real baby; all her other charges have been toddlers or preschoolers. Gabby soon discovers that One isn’t all he seems to be. In one short evening, One has replicated into not just two, three, four babies but thirteen! Despite it being against agency orders, out of desperation, Gabby calls her friends to help. To make matters worse, a classmate discovers Gabby’s secret and her mother might be dating a bad guy.

Is there anything I don’t like? Okay, the characters are mostly one-dimensional. But that’s often the case with light-hearted books. Besides, over time, idiosyncrasies are revealed such as the fact Gabby blushes, sweats, and speaks in a high-pitched voice when telling a lie. True, the plots are simplistic. But again, that’s often the case with easy-to-read series. And, eventually, subplots are developed such as the mystery of what happened to Gabby’s dad. The most serious criticism I have is that the overblown “good versus bad guy action” is so outrageous that I gave up trying to understand it.

Over all the series has a lot of creativity and heart. It reminds me of the Scary School series by Derek the Ghost. Those titles entertained me for a few hours and turned one of my reluctant readers into a fan of books. I’m enthused to own the first three titles of Gabby Duran and equally eager for the next book to be published.

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Summer Reviews

Books can take connect us with strangers, take us to unique places, and introduce us to new ideas. They can also offer hope in a chaotic world. And so I must share what I read!

Each week, I’ll introduce you to religious books, Advanced Reader Copies, animal books, or diversity books. Some I’ll review as singles and others as part of round-ups. Just ahead, there will be reviews of:

  • Joni: The unforgettable story of a young woman’s struggle against quadriplegia & depression by Joni Eareckson
  • The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary by Samantha Glen
  • Brothers in hope : the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan–refugees by Mary Williams
  • The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee

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