Sunday, October 27, 2013

Book #4: Pukka's Promise

I haven't done too well on my book reading goal this year.  I took a long time on this book: Pukka's Promise: The Quest for Longer Lived Dogs by Ted Kerasote.  I enjoyed this book and it was pretty thought provoking in many ways, but being a non-fiction book with a lot of detail, parts were hard for me to get through.  The book explores and questions a lot of dog ownership practices and their effect on dog longevity including the practice of pure breeding, commercial dog food, and spaying and neutering.  My main "take away" is that each of these decisions have pros and cons and the list of pros and cons will vary depending on your particular life circumstances.  But regardless, it would be good to consider the options.  For example, the author questions why male dogs are routinely neutered when this absence of male hormone makes them more susceptible to certain types of cancers.  The arguments for behavior control have been shown to be false and if what we are trying to control is reproduction why not perform vasectomies on the dogs instead of castration?  That retains the hormones, eliminates the extra cancer risk and still controls the puppy birth rate.  Like I said...just something to consider.  The chapters on dog shelters are really hard to get through and not for the faint hearted.

So, good book, but now I'm ready for something much lighter.



  1. I just finished reading this a few months ago. Well, I didn't read every word. There were some sections I skipped over. I was mostly interested in learning about Kerasote's training techniques so I read for that. There were a few sections, about diet and immunizations that were helpful.

    Have you read Merle's Door? It's also by Kerasote but is much, much lighter reading and was an absolute joy to read. I fell in love with Merle (it was easy to imagine him as an Airedale) and enjoyed learning about his training. If you haven't read it, you might enjoy it - even as light reading.