Monday, April 22, 2013
Merci Reviews Pukka's Promise
A couple of months ago we received a copy of a new book, Pukka's Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, by Ted Kerasote to review. We didn't realize it would be such a long book (284 reading pages, 452 pages total) or that there would be changes in our lives that would allow little time for reading. But since the book is available, better late than never.
When Kerasote lost his canine friend Merle, he didn't immediately get another dog. Instead, he embarked on a five-year quest to learn all he could about DNA, breeds, temperament, training, feeding (Merle itched constantly from corn as 1st ingredient kibble and he couldn't shoot enough wild game to feed Merle a raw diet), vaccinations - anything to help him understand how to give his next dog a long, healthy life because as we are all aware, we dogs just don't live long enough.
Kerasote includes interesting history of breeders deliberately changing characteristics of breeds, such as pugs whose faces are now flat which makes it harder for them to breathe. (What were they thinking!) And that breeders can use such a small gene pool the pups can have adverse health traits from breeding.
Most humans would not have the time or finances available to do the research Kerasote did. He traveled long distances to talk with breeders, veterinarians and animal welfare folks on a variety of dog health and welfare-related subjects, including spay / neuter..
When his heart was ready and he'd found the "perfect" parents (breeder, breed, temperament, genetics, etc.), he adopted a dog from their litter, named him Pukka, and set about training him. You can tell the two are bonded from this short video. Pukka is active and obviously well-trained and happy.
If the video doesn't play, click here.
This is not a cute book about how much fun it is to adopt a puppy and live happily "ever after." This book has a wealth of information woven between Merle's loss and Pukka's life.
Pukka's Promise is available at Amazon.com.
A copy of the book was provided for this review.