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Wow...irresponsiblity at its height (The Secret Life of Dogs)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was looking at books on dog behavior and happened to look at "The Hidden Lives of Dogs" by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. It is one of the worst books I have ever read, because it completely stands up for animal abuse. Her twelve million dogs run around the neighborhood, unfixed and crossing busy urban highways. She even lets a dog who killed her puppies give birth again! One fourth of the puppies her dogs have had have died. She let them attack an innocent yorkie pup! No effort is made to make them part of the family, they are just poorly socialized research subjects. I wish people like her could never own animals again, period.
post #2 of 16
Thank you for the warning - I'll not waste my time on that book. I wonder if the author is trying to cash in on the success of "secret life of bees" with her title?

She should be embarrassed to proclaim to the world that she has no clue on how to manage dogs.
post #3 of 16
She has too many dogs (she should have ANY to tell you the truth) and should be handled as a hoarder and animal abuser.
post #4 of 16
People like her should not let own a single animal...
post #5 of 16
Hooooooooly crap...I can understand taking in too many with the best of intentions and getting in over one's head, but for the love of whatever, she could at least build a stupid fence so they don't get hit by a car...
post #6 of 16
How is it that she is able to write an entire book about hoarding so openly and the authorities have not come down hard on her? Is she using a pseudonym? If someone reads her book and reports her, will the authorities do anything?
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyWukong View Post
How is it that she is able to write an entire book about hoarding so openly and the authorities have not come down hard on her? Is she using a pseudonym? If someone reads her book and reports her, will the authorities do anything?
I don't know why she is not arrested...she has since moved to a rural area. However, she comes to from Cambridge, which has leash and mandatory spay/neuter laws. She mentions several times she is well known to animal control. I don't think she is writing with a pseudonym because she has written other well known books on cultural history, I believe. I think she's a animal abuser and I'm pretty sure anyone on this board will agree. She lives in rural New Hampshire so I'll ask from of my friends from the area if they've heard of her-I hope they do, because if they know there is no doubt I'm calling animal control to save the poor dogs!
post #8 of 16
I read it and wondered how she got away with following a Husky around the streets of Cambridge MA in the middle of the night. Also I thought her interpretation of a male dog's act of vomiting when meeting a female dog as meaning he was telling her he'd always be a good provider was over the top. I think she had way too many dogs for someone living in Cambridge but since I also live in rural NH I can say that it's easy to have plenty of room for dogs. I have two dogs an 14-1/2 acres so they are in dog heaven.

That book is about 15 years old though, and she is close to 80. I doubt she is active anymore with her "research."

And I still think the book is interesting so if you buy it on half.com for $2 you're not putting cash in her pocket.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Thank you for the warning - I'll not waste my time on that book. I wonder if the author is trying to cash in on the success of "secret life of bees" with her title?
I doubt it is, since "The Hidden Life of Dogs" was published 16 years ago...
I doubt this person is still doing the things she describes in her book.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
I doubt it is, since "The Hidden Life of Dogs" was published 16 years ago...
I doubt this person is still doing the things she describes in her book.
She does have a more recent book that's about eight years old. I'm not sure if she continues this kind of crappy abuse in her other book, though. On Amazon though there were no negative reviews, at least not for that reason.
post #11 of 16
Just think how many pets had suffered under her for 16 years... yikes...
post #12 of 16
Thanks for the heads up... I won't be looking into this book..
post #13 of 16
This thread reminds me of another dog book, "My Dog Tulip" by J.R Ackerley... It is a man's account about his German Shepherd, he had no experience/knowledge about dogs when he got the dog and he does everything wrong including breeding the dog and making a total mess of the puppy raising.
post #14 of 16
Hey look at the success of "Marley and Me." How to make a fortune by not training your dog. Or Jon Katz? There is no shortage of dog books out there that are controversial or downright offensive.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
Hey look at the success of "Marley and Me." How to make a fortune by not training your dog. Or Jon Katz? There is no shortage of dog books out there that are controversial or downright offensive.
I've never read any John Katz book, but I agree, there is lots wrong with Marley and Me (at least the movie version which is the one I saw). He gives her a dog without any thought, doesn't train him, and isn't fixed until he is well over the appropriate age. At least it does show that a dog is not a replaceable object to give up when it breaks-aka misbehaves.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
This thread reminds me of another dog book, "My Dog Tulip" by J.R Ackerley... It is a man's account about his German Shepherd, he had no experience/knowledge about dogs when he got the dog and he does everything wrong including breeding the dog and making a total mess of the puppy raising.
Ack, I think I read that one about 15 years ago. The one where he was going to drown the female puppies, but didn't because the mother dog objected, but later said he wished had had gone through with it because they ended up in bad homes? Yeah, real responsible
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