From Publishers Weekly
First published by Knopf in 1986, Hearne's groundbreaking book was born of her need to be able to talk about her training relationships with dogs, horses and other animals. Hearne (1946-2001) found that there was no vocabulary, that captured the complex set of dependencies, trusts and moral quandaries that arose for when she trained dogs to track, or horses to jump. Through luminous anecdotes, she here develops rigorous and beautiful descriptions of the transactions between animals and people, what they entail and what the expectations-on both sides-are. Drawing on everything from Xenophon, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein to legendary Disney animal trainer William Koehler, Hearne anticipates the work of philosophers like Donna Haraway, but also provides of kind of training manual for the soul of anyone who has an animal or animals in his or her life. She would go on to write Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog and other books, but none distills Hearne's vision, and imparts a sense of her discovery, as this book does.
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From Library Journal
This engrossing treatise on animal behavior and interspecies communication provides an astute and possibly unique synthesis of a domestic animal trainer's practical knowledge and the intellectually more distant and even sterile theories of the academic world. Modern psychologists and philosophers have typically railed dogmatically against the anthropormorphism and morality inherent in the language of animal trainers. But Hearne points out that the validity of the trainers' methodology is supported by the fact that trainers who actually work interestingly and successfully with animals can accomplish so much more than most academic researchers in training their charges. The author believes that the training relationship is a complex and fragile moral understanding between animal and human. Enthusiastically recommended. Robert Paustian, Wilkes Coll. Lib., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
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