They love us unconditionally, teach us things about emotions and love that other humans just can’t. Sometimes they poop on the living room carpet. Ruined carpets aside, we honor our furred and feathered friends with this month’s Lucky Stars e-books for $2.99 or less!
Kitty Cornered by Bob Tarte: Bob Tarte had his first encounter with a cat when he was two and a half years old. He should have learned his lesson then, from Fluffy. But as he says, “I listened to my heart instead, and that always leads to trouble.” In this tell-all of how the Tarte household grew from one recalcitrant cat to six—including a hard-to-manage stray named Frannie—Tarte confesses to allowing these interlopers to shape his and his wife’s life, from their dining habits to their sleeping arrangements to the placement and furriness of their furniture. But more than that, Bob begins seeing Frannie and the other cats as unlikely instructors in the art of achieving contentment, even in the face of illness and injury. Bewitched by the unknowable nature of domesticated cats, he realizes that sometimes wildness and mystery are exactly what he needs.With the winning humor and uncanny ability to capture the soul of the animal world that made Enslaved by Ducks a success, Tarte shows us that life with animals gives us a way out of our narrow human perspective to glimpse something larger, more enduring, and more grounded in the simplicities of love—and catnip.
Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte: When Bob Tarte bought a house in rural Michigan, he was counting on a tranquil haven. Then Bob married Linda. She wanted a rabbit, which seemed innocuous enough until the bunny chewed through their electrical wiring. And that was just the beginning. Before long, Bob found himself constructing cages, buying feed, clearing duck waste, and spoon-feeding a menagerie of furry and feathery residents. His life of quiet serenity vanished, and he unwittingly became a servant to a relentlessly demanding family. “They dumbfounded him, controlled and teased him, took their share of his flesh, stole his heart” (Kirkus Reviews).
Whether commiserating with Bob over the fate of those who are slaves to their animals or regarding his story as a cautionary tale about the rigors of animal ownership, readers on both sides of the fence have found Tarte’s story of his chaotic squawking household irresistible–and irresistibly funny.
Fowl Weather by Bob Tarte: In Bob Tarte’s home, pandemonium is the order of the day, and animals literally rule the roost—thirty-nine of them at last count. Whether it’s the knot-tying African grey parrot, or the overweight cat who’s trained Bob to hold her water bowl just above the floor, or the nightmarish duck who challenges him to a shoving match, this menagerie, along with his endlessly optimistic wife, Linda, provides daily lessons on the chaos inherent in our lives. But not until this modern-day Noah’s Ark hits stormy weather—and Bob’s world spins out of control—does he realize that this exuberant gaggle of animals provides his spiritual anchor. It is their alien presence, their sense of humor, and their impulsive behavior that both drive Bob crazy and paradoxically return him to sanity.
With the same sly humor and dead-on character portraits that made Enslaved by Ducks such a rousing success, Tarte proves that life with animals offers a wholly different perspective on the world.
Comet’s Tale by Steven D. Wolf: A former hard-driving attorney, Steven Wolf has reluctantly left his job and family and moved to Arizona for its warm winter climate. There he is drawn to a local group that rescues abused racing greyhounds. Although he can barely take care of himself because of a spinal condition, Wolf adopts Comet, an elegant cinnamon-striped racer. Or does Comet adopt Wolf?
In Comet’s Tale we follow their funny and moving journey as Wolf teaches Comet to be a service dog. With her boundless enthusiasm and regal manners, Comet attracts new friends to Wolf’s isolated world. And finally, she plays a crucial role in restoring his health, saving his marriage, and broadening his definition of success.
My Therapist’s Dog by Diana Wells: Diana Wells’s intriguing exploration into the rewards of relationships–both the canine and human varieties–begins when she reluctantly starts seeing a psychologist, Beth, during a difficult time in her life. With no insurance to pay for counseling, a barter is arranged in which the client becomes part-time caretaker to the therapist’s dog, Luggs, a sweet, clumsy black Labrador retriever. As Wells examines her past–her peripatetic childhood, her eccentric family, her grief over the deaths of loved ones–Luggs provides a bridge between therapist and patient. Dog lover by nature, historian by trade, Wells finds herself curious about the connections that dogs and humans have shared for centuries–and what these bonds tell us about our own psyches. Wells observes that training a dog has much in common with the therapeutic techniques her psychologist employs. Looking into recent experiments that have proved dogs better at interpreting human behavior than chimps or wolves, Wells explores the subtleties of her own relationship with dogs. Increasingly she finds herself agreeing with Diogenes, the original Greek cynic (the word cynic comes from the greek kuon, meaning “dog”), who said that unless we think like dogs, happiness will elude us.Wells analyzes what we name our dogs, how we breed them, how we’ve explored the wilderness with them, the kinds of literature we write about them, why we love them, and, most important, what we can learn from them. When an unexpected illness befalls Beth, Luggs comforts the two women, and his devotion helps Wells come to accept that relationships–despite the possibility of hurt and pain–are what life is all about.