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Written by veterinarian, consultant, teacher, and author Myrna Milani, this site is dedicated to furthering our understanding of animal health, behavior, and the human-animal bond. In addition to commentaries, favorite links, and biographical information, you will find the following:

This Month's Commentary:

The Mountaintop School for Dogs: A dog book like no other

When I was a little kid I used to think that living in the past went along with old age, based on the way my grandparents and others of their era referred to the same old events over and over again. Later I realized that people of all ages may do this. Whether perceived as good or bad, these events become their reference points, the standard against which they judge themselves and everyone and everything around them from then on.

Ellen Cooney’s The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances presents a cast of human and canine characters, all of whom experienced some past negative event that at least initially serves as their reference point. Unlike novels involving human-canine relationships that provide intimate, often gut-wrenching details associated with traumatic events to justify a character’s response,  The Mountaintop School for Dogs asks us to forego that familiar literary tactic in favor of something far more intimate and in some ways unnerving. To achieve this, the author provides only the most essential details in a thought-provoking tale as stripped down as a bunkroom with only one bed made up, and as intelligent, elegant, and energy-efficient as a streetwise dog.

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