The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs
By Ted Kerasote
Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780547236261, 452pp.
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
When Ted Kerasote was ready for a new dog after losing his beloved Merle who died too soon, as all our dogs do he knew that he would want to give his puppy Pukka the longest life possible. But how to do that? So much has changed in the way we feed, vaccinate, train, and live with our dogs from even a decade ago.
In an adventure that echoes "The Omnivore's Dilemma" with a canine spin, Kerasote tackles all those subjects, questioning our conventional wisdom and emerging with vital new information that will surprise even the most knowledgeable dog lovers. Can a purebred be as healthy as a mixed-breed? How many vaccines are too many? Should we rethink spaying and neutering? Is raw food really healthier than kibble, and should your dog be chewing more bones? Traveling the world and interviewing breeders, veterinarians, and leaders of the animal-welfare movement, Kerasote pulls together the latest research to help us rethink the everyday choices we make for our companions. And as he did in "Merle's Door," Kerasote interweaves fascinating science with the charming stories of raising Pukka among his dog friends in their small Wyoming village.
Funny, revelatory, and full of the delights of falling in love with a dog, "Pukka's Promise" will help redefine the potential of our animal partners.
"At once encyclopedic and intimate—a tour de force in canine appreciation." —Kirkus Reviews (starred)"A moving account of one man's journey to understand man's best friend inside and out."—Publishers Weekly "This might be the most important book about dogs written in a decade. Kerasote tells us early on that Pukka means ‘first class’ in Hindi, and first-class is a perfect description of Pukka's Promise. It’s a brilliant integration of speculation, cutting-edge science and story, and will keep you up at night wanting to read more. Every dog lover needs to read this book."—Patricia B. McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash "Here’s a dog lover who actually teaches his dog using modern training entirely: communication, observation, and now and then a clicker—not just to build a bond and a working relationship but also to create a running conversation between man and animal. This book also investigates kibble (Is it really good for dogs?) and vaccinations (Why so many? Why so often?) and other commercial pressures on our best friends’ wellbeing. What a good read."—Karen Pryor, author of Reaching the Animal Mind "Pukka’s Promise is without question the most intelligent, most comprehensive book ever written about extending the lifetimes of dogs. Not only that, but it’s riveting. After years of flawless research plus a life of valuable experience, Kerasote has produced a masterpiece that everyone should read. From pet owners to professionals such as breeders, shelter-workers, and veterinarians, those who think they already know about dogs are in for a real surprise."—Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs "Ted Kerasote gently and intelligently questions our fixed notions about living with dogs. Anyone who reads Pukka’s Promise can't help but become a better dog person. I'd like it to be compulsory reading for all practicing vets and veterinary students."—Bruce Fogle, DVM, author of The Dog’s Mind "Ted Kerasote, a born storyteller, writes about dogs with singular brilliance. Pukka's Promise is great fun but is also packed with important, surprising information; with wisdom, compassion, and love."—Dean Koontz, author of A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog "Ted Kerasote mixes science with love to take on the question every dog lover asks: Can I keep my dog alive longer? Pukka's Promise stirs our hopes for the future and gives us hard information for now."—Jon Katz, author of A Good Dog