Steven Kotler was forty years old, single, and facing an existential
crisis when he met Lila, a woman devoted to animal rescue. "Love me,
love my dogs" was her rule, and Steven took it to heart. Spurred to move
by a housing crisis in Los Angeles, Steven, Lila, and their eight
dogs-then ten, then twenty, and then they lost count-bought a
postage-stamp-size farm in Chimayo, New Mexico. A Small Furry Prayer chronicles their adventures at Rancho de Chihuahua, the sanctuary they created for their special needs pack.
dog rescue is one of the largest underground movements in America, it
is also one of the least understood. An insider look at the "cult and
culture" of dog rescue, A Small Furry Prayer weaves personal
experience, cultural investigation, and scientific inquiry into a
fast-paced, fun-filled narrative that explores what it means to devote
one's life to the furry and the four-legged. Along the way, Kotler combs
through every aspect of canine-human relations, from humans' long
history with dogs through brand-new research into the neuroscience of
canine companionship, in the end discovering why living in a world made
of dog may be the best way to uncover the truth about what it really
means to be human.
Kotler (West of Jesus), owner of Rancho de Chihuahua, an organization that treats dogs with special needs, offers a joyous, almost spiritual chronicle of his journey from L.A. based apartment dweller to owner of a dog sanctuary in New Mexico. He introduces readers to Leo, a destined-to-be-euthanized German shepherd who becomes his first rescue; Gidget, a dancing dog with mange and epilepsy; and Ahab, who appears to contemplate suicide while balanced on a three-story ledge. Kotler lays bare the challenges he and his wife face as their brood grows and his attachment to his pack grows: he suffers separation anxiety on an out-of-town trip and is devastated when placing rehabilitated dogs in loving homes. His nurturing is returned ten-fold when a rescue saves his life and, when he is taken ill, a dog vomits in his mouth to as he believes nourish him. Brimming with humor, gratitude, and grace, this is a remarkable story.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Best book I have read in years
This is a very well written book balancing humorous anecdotes and the heart felt stories of life with dogs. It is equal parts funny, sad and informative. A must read for anyone with dogs or thinkings of adopting one
Fantastic book! I read this twice and will probably
read it again. I have also given it to friends and relatives as gifts and all loved it. It helps one understand dogs and how sanctuaries can be run, but more importantly it inspires one to be like Steven and Joy and give above and beyond, as they do.