The $60,000 Dog - My Life with Animals
The $60,000 Dog: My Life with Animals
Product Code: 0187
Binding Information: Cloth
Size: 6" X 9" Inches
Copyright Date Ed: 11/20/2012
Trade Code: 00C
Price: $24.95 In stock.
A stunning new book about the role of animals in our lives, by a popular and acclaimed writer
From the time she is nine years old, biking to the farmland outside her suburban home, where she discovers a disquieting world of sleeping cows and a "Private Way" full of the wondrous and creepy creatures of the wild-spiders, deer, moles, chipmunks, and foxes-Lauren Slater finds in animals a refuge from her troubled life. As she matures, her attraction to animals strengthens and grows more complex and compelling even as her family is falling to pieces around her. Slater spends a summer at horse camp, where she witnesses the alternating horrific and loving behavior of her instructor toward the animals in her charge and comes to question the bond that so often develops between females and their equines. Slater's questions follow her to a foster family, her own parents no longer able to care for her. A pet raccoon, rescued from a hole in the wall, teaches her how to feel at home away from home. The two Shiba Inu puppies Slater adopts years later, against her husband's will, grow increasingly important to her as she ages and her family begins to grow.
Slater's husband is a born skeptic and possesses a sternly scientific view of animals as unconscious, primitive creatures, one who insists "that an animal's worth is roughly equivalent to its edibility." As one of her dogs, Lila, goes blind and the medical bills and monthly expenses begin to pour in, he calculates the financial burden of their canine family member and finds that Lila has cost them about $60,000, not to mention the approximately 400 pounds of feces she has deposited in their yard. But when Benjamin begins to suffer from chronic pain, Lauren is convinced it is Lila's resilience and the dog's quick adaptation to her blindness that draws her husband out of his own misery and motivates him to try to adjust to his situation. Ben never becomes a true believer or a die-hard animal lover, but his story and the stories Lauren tells of her own bond with animals convince her that our connections with the furry, the four-legged, the exoskeleton-ed, or the winged may be just as priceless as our human relationships.
The $60,000 Dog
is Lauren Slater's intimate manifesto on the unique, invaluable, and often essential contributions animals make to our lives. As a psychologist, a reporter, an amateur naturalist, and above all an enormously gifted writer, she draws us into the stories of her passion for animals that are so much more than pets. She describes her intense love for the animals in her life without apology and argues, finally, that the works of Darwin and other evolutionary biologists prove that, when it comes to worth, animals are equal, and in some senses even superior, to human beings.
Read Chapter 5,
In the Media
to read a recent article by Lauren Slater in the New York Times Magazine
to read an interview with Slater with Powell's
to read an excerpt from on Salon.com
to read a review by Laura Miller on Salon.com
to read an excerpt from Aeon Magazine
to read a review on TheDailyRecord.com
to read a write-up in The Boston Phoenix
to read a review in The Claremont Sun
to listen to an interview with Slater on Wisconsin Public Radio
Review Kirkus Reviews - October 1, 2012
"A revealing, often surprising memoir . . . Slater continually surprises with connections she makes. Beautifully written, and not just for animal lovers."
Review By: Pam Houston, More - November 1, 2012
"Assumption-busting, gut--wrenching, life-affirming."
Review Booklist - October 15, 2012
"A thoughtful examination of a sometimes difficult life, ameliorated and often alleviated by connections with nature and animals. . . .Dogs, wasps, and bats also figure in a poetic narrative that gives the reader a melodic look into a deeply considered life."
Review By: Vicki Constantine Croke, The Boston Globe - November 21, 2012
"Edgy, revelatory, disturbing, and beautifully written, Lauren Slater's The $60,000 Dog
is too unsentimental and idiosyncratic in structure to be lumped in with more traditional animal books. Lassie Come-Home
, even Marley and Me
, this is not.
Review By: Allison Davis, Elle - December 1, 2012
"A thoughtful memoir unravels the depth of our animal attachments."
Review By: Scott Parker, Minneapolis Star Tribune - December 22, 2012
"It's the fearlessness along with the beauty that makes "The $60,000 Dog" a work of lasting achievement."
Praise for Lauren Slater
"The beauty of Lauren Slater's prose is shocking. . . . Slater's vision is, ultimately, one of unity and possibility."
—Claire Messud, Newsday
"A lovely writer, easily read, often poetic."
—Michael Winerip, The New York Times Book Review
"An enormously poetic and ebullient writer."
"Slater's writing is confessional without being sentimental, honest without being overbearing."
—Joseph P. Kahn, The Boston Globe
"Slater is more poet than narrator, more philosopher than psychologist, more artist than doctor. . . . Every page brims with beautifully rendered images of thoughts, feelings, emotional states."
—The San Francisco Chronicle