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Carstel

2 Vizslas, a girl, and a crazy rabbit.

Does anyone else pay attention to their Recommended page on Amazon? It’s generated by what you purchase through amazon, what you review and/or rate, what’s on your wish list, and what you click as “I already own.” Usually when I’m getting a new book, I spend too much time researching the different options on the subject, so I rarely get suggestions for books I don’t already know about. I do occasionally get some good ones, though. And then there’s the rest of them! I love seeing what they think I’d like and why it’s suggested.

Before Disenchantment: Images of Exotic Animals in the Early Modern World somehow led to  The Image of the Black in Western Art

-An anthology of boxing stories was recommended, because I own a book about whales.

-Owning The Song of the Dodo, a book about the modern extinctions of island species, was the “why” for a book about identifying species of fish in Indiana.

-Don’t let amazon know you have any interest in The Whole Dog Journal, unless you want to be recommended every single dog, cat, and healthy living type magazine out there.

-I have a few books about how the ocean is being ruined, so I’d probably love to read a book about how to be a commercial fisherman.

-Along the same path, In Defense of Food because I own The Empty Ocean

-One that seemed good until I clicked on the link to read the summary: It’s a Dog’s Life… but it’s Your Carpet: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Your 4-Legged Friend. According to the description, it “answers all the questions you’ve always wanted to ask about your dog,” including:

  • Can a Chihuahua and a Great Dane mate?
  • Why do dogs eat their own poop?
  • What’s the smartest breed?
  • Can I get my dog’s ears pierced?
  • Why does my dog roll around in rotting feces?
  • If I mix food coloring with Fluffy’s kibble, will it make her poop easier to find in the yard?
Some of those I guess I can see someone completely new to dogs asking, like the eating poop question. But pierced ears? Color coding dog shit? Really? Even if they were included as “joke” questions, including them in the short product description makes the book seem incredibly childish. They’re also a waste of space. There’s so many things people really want to know about dogs that they might not find the answer to, why fluff up the book? The reviews indicate most of the questions are of this nature, mentioning other topics like:
  • Can dogs chew gum to freshen their breath?
  • Is it my boyfriend or Skippy farting, and can I give him Beano?
  • Can I use invisible fencing for my human pets (i.e. the kids)?
  • Do I need deodorant for my dog?
  • Is my dog’s pacemaker from a deceased human?
  • Should I dump my boyfriend because he doesn’t like my dog?
These, and most all of the questions, seem like things a 5 year old would ask. Yet the comments indicate there’s quite a bit of adults-only humor within it. Unsurprisingly, I completely disagree with the answers to the more serious questions that I’ve read. Books like these only encourage ignorant dog owners.
On that note! Some good books I found thanks to Amazon Recommends:
Don’t Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety. Patricia McConnell’s book on the topic is a waste of money, but this one actually seems worth the purchase. It’s much longer and, using the preview function, has a bunch of information and training solutions that you won’t see by doing a quick google search (unlike McConnell’s). Steve used to have terrible anxiety and I’m worried about it coming back when Carly passes, so this is definitely on my wish list.
 Last Dog on the Hill. I tend to skip over the many dog biographies that are available, especially the influx of ones since Marly & Me. I’ve seen this in stores but always skipped over it. I wish I hadn’t! Lou, the Last Dog, was a sickly feral pup born on a secret marijuana farm. After being rescued, “Lou won the respect of gang members, foiled an armed robbery, caught a rapist, fought coyotes and kidnappers, comforted elderly war veterans and Alzheimer patients in their final days, taught ASL to kids, learned scores of unique behaviors and tricks, amassed a vocabulary of nearly 200 words, helped rehabilitate hundreds of aggressive dogs and saved them from euthanasia.” Much more than a typical dog memoir!
 Red Panda: Biology and Conservation of the First Panda. An in-depth look at every thing relating to the species. I’m a big fan of books like this about mammals, although unfortunately they’re usually out of my price range!
 Picturing the Beast: Animals, Identity, and Representation. How animals become icons and symbols, such as the Republican elephant and the word “jackass,” and how those symbols then change our video of those species.
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