Synopses & Reviews
I don't know if people will ever be able to talk to animals the way Doctor Doolittle could, or whether animals will be able to talk back. Maybe science will have something to say about that. But I do know people can learn to "talk" to animals, and to hear what animals have to say, better than they do now.
--From Animals in Translation
Why would a cow lick a tractor? Why are collies getting dumber? Why do dolphins sometimes kill for fun? How can a parrot learn to spell? How did wolves teach man to evolve? Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel. She has a perspective like that of no other expert in the field, which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas.
People with autism can often think the way animals think, putting them in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Grandin is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense and will forever change the way we think about animals.
*includes a Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide Among its provocative ideas, the book:
- argues that language is not a requirement for consciousness--and that animals do have consciousness
- applies the autism theory of "hyper-specificity" to animals, showing that animals and autistic people are so sensitive to detail that they "can't see the forest for the trees"--a talent as well as a "deficit"
- explores the "interpreter" in the normal human brain that filters out detail, leaving people blind to much of the reality that surrounds them--a reality animals and autistic people see, sometimes all too clearly
- explains how animals have "superhuman" skills: animals have animal genius
- compares animals to autistic savants, declaring that animals may in fact be autistic savants, with special forms of genius that normal people do not possess and sometimes cannot even see
- examines how humans and animals use their emotions to think, to decide, and even to predict the future
- reveals the remarkable abilities of handicapped people and animals
- maintains that the single worst thing you can do to an animal is to make it feel afraid
"Retired psychology professor Pilley's work with his border collie, Chaser, since 2004 is impressive, and his findings have been published in the journal Behavioural Processes. Challenging the bounds of animal knowledge, Chaser has 'learned and retained the proper noun names of 1,022 objects over a period of three years'; the dog remembers more words than any other (nonhuman) animal known. Her achievements have made her a national celebrity, and she's made appearances on the Today show and ABC News. Here, Pilley (and coauthor Hinzmann) effectively describes his family's relationship with Chaser and the theory behind how she was taught such a large vocabulary. His findings have broader implications: the coauthors link the teaching methods developed for Chaser to the controversy about 'teaching to the test' for children. Though there are occasional hiccups in the book, such as Pilley's effusiveness regarding his meeting with news anchor Diane Sawyer, Chaser's remarkable abilities speak for themselves. One 8-page b&w insert. Agent: Steve Ross, Abrams Artist Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Chaser is the most scientifically important dog in over a century. Her fascinating story reveals just how sophisticated a dogand#8217;s mind can be."
and#8212;Brian Hare, coauthor of The Genius of Dogs
"After you read Chaser, you will realize that you may have underestimated the intelligence of your dog. Marvelous insights into a dogand#8217;s mind."
and#8212;Temple Grandin, author of
Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human
"This is an extraordinary book, full of warmth and wisdom that has the potential to forever change the way we look at dogs. While Chaser herself seems extraordinary, maybe she is also every dog, in showing us what every dog is capable of. and#12288;Maybe not every dog can learn over a thousand words, but every dog I have ever known can read our heart, and that, to me, is the great secret between dogs and humans that we are just now learning, and which is so deeply evident in this wonderful book: and#12288;Chaser loves people, and because of that love she will do anything asked of her, even learn the names of one thousand toys! Dr. John Pilleyand#8217;s work with Chaser is not only a loving affirmation for readers who already know how much they adore and trust the ability of dogs, but is also a game-changer for skeptical scientists, who must find themselves, after reading this remarkable book, inching closer to recognizing the full humanity of dogs."
and#8212;Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love
"A Border Collie that understands lots of words wonand#8217;t surprise people who work with these inventive dogs, but what makes John Pilleyand#8217;s tale special is his dogged determination, long after his retirement from teaching psychology, to keep his own brain fizzing with all the new words and techniques and ideas he needs to learn to get his results published in a respected science journal."
and#8212;Bruce Fogle, author of The Dogand#8217;s Mind and The Encyclopedia of Dogs
"If a truly great book leaves one better for having read it, then Chaser is quite simply a masterpiece.and#12288; Dogs and those of us who love them owe to debt of gratitude to the brilliant, courageous author and his equally heroic subject."
and#8212;Jennifer Arnold, author of Through a Dogand#8217;s Eyes
"An engrossing and remarkable tale." -- The Bark "A delightful memoir that offers a challenge to behavioral psychologists and inspiration for pet lovers." -- Kirkus Reviews "This marvelous blend of good science and heartwarming dog story will inspire all of us to reexamine our canine friends." -- Booklist, *starred* review
PRAISE FOR MERLE'S DOOR
and#147;This summerand#8217;s Marley.and#8221;and#151;People
and#147;Anyone who ever loved a dog will find something to enjoy in Merleand#8217;s Door.and#8221;and#151;The Christian Science Monitor
and#147;Merleand#8217;s Door is a window into the mind of a dog. You will experience his loyalty, fears, and joys and his true inner self. Everybody who loves dogs must read this book.and#8221;and#151;Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
and#147;A truly wonderful bookand#151;iconoclastic, mind-blowing, and gorgeously written.and#8221; and#151;Delia Ephron, author of Hanging Up and Frannie in Pieces
PRAISE FOR ANIMALS IN TRANSLATION
"Neurology has Oliver Sachs, nature has Annie Dillard, and the lucky animal world has Grandin, a master intermediary between humans and our fellow beasts . . . Animals is one of those rare books that elicits a 'wow' on almost every page. A."--Entertainment Weekly
"Inspiring . . . Crammed with facts and anecdotes about Temple Grandin's favorite subject: the senses, brains, emotions, and amazing talents of animals."--The New York Times Book Review
"Inspiring . . . Crammed with facts and anecdotes about Temple Grandin's favorite subject: the senses, brains, emotions, and amazing talents of animals."
"Grandin's focus in Animals in Translation
is not on all the 'normal' things autistics and animals can't do but on the unexpected, extraordinary, invaluable things they can."
"Neurology has Oliver Sachs, nature has Annie Dillard, and the lucky animal world has Grandin, a master intermediary between humans and our fellow beasts . . . At once hilarious, fascinating, and just plain weird, Animals
is one of those rare books that elicits a 'wow' on almost every page. A."
PRAISE FOR BLOODTIES"The world is lucky to have this book."ELIZABETH MARSHALL THOMAS, author of THE HIDDEN LIFE OF DOGSPRAISE FOR OUT THERE"[A] sly, funny, and wise look at the world beyond the walls that we erect to keep ourselves safe from the wilderness and to keep the wilderness safe from us."ALEXANDRA FULLER, author of DONT LETS GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT
"In telling Merle's story, Kerasote also explores the science behind canine behavior and evolution, weaving in research on the human-canine bond and musing on the way dogs see the world. Merle is a true character, yet Merle is also Everydog. An absolute treasure of a book."
"Merles Door is a love story for grown-ups—an intense reciprocal relationship between a dog and his man, and how we and our dogs genuinely share feelings and emotions."
"It is no exaggeration to say that Merle's Door could be the best book ever written about a dog or dogs--one dog in particular, the magnificent Merle of the title, but also about dogs in general.... It is beautifully written, a real page turner, often funny, always fascinating, and very moving. It's a book you will never forget."
"Kerasote has created a whole new work of art. Merle's Door is the best, the most utterly compelling translation of dog to human I have ever seen. A terrific book, a superb book, I can't think of a single other book that conveys the love of a human for a dog so well."
"Beginning with Jock of the Bushveld in 1907, many biographies have been written about wonderful dogs whose lives have crossed the borders between the wild and the tame, but none surpasses Merle's Door. It is a joyous, sad, gripping, and deeply moving testament to the fulfilling relationship that can grow between human and dog."
"A thoughtful look at animal intelligence and the human-dog connection."
"Kerasote gives readers much to consider that will enrich their own relationships with their pets. His book is highly recommended, but it does come with a tissue alert."
"This exquisitely written book is sure to be controversial, but it raises important questions that every thoughtful dog owner should consider."
"[T]his summer's Marley? In his memoir cum training manual, Kerasote waxes poetic about his mutt Merle and provides tips for deepening the dog/human bond."
"Humorous, jubilant and touching by turns... Kerasote's strong love for Merle and enthusiasm for life in the wild will win over many readers."
"Reading Merle's Door involves more than just sailing through an engaging biography of a man sharing his life with a rare and free-spirited dog since it contains islands of useful and scientifically sound information about dog behavior as well. To be entertained and educated at the same time time is rare in dog books, which makes this one definitely worth reading."
"Merles Door is a window into the mind of a dog. You will experience his loyalty, fears, and joys and his true inner self. Everybody who loves dogs must read this book."
The heartwarming and amazing story of Chaser, a Border Collie who has learned the names of over 1,000 objects, and her octogenarian trainer, exploring the true potential of animal intelligence and the ways in which any dog lover could achieve similar results.
In 2010, Chaser became famous for learning the names of more than a thousand objects, going well beyond common nouns like toy, ball,
She proved able to use deductive reasoning to learn new words, much as human toddlers do. Her owner and trainer, retired psychologist John Pilley, has now gone further, teaching her to learn behaviors by imitation and to understand the syntax and semantics of sentences.
These accomplishments surpass those documented for any nonhuman animal, from dogs to dolphins to parrots to primates. Pilleys groundbreaking approach has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence.
Yet astonishingly, Chaser isnt unique. Pilleys training success is potentially within the reach of any dog lover. Readers will learn how they can incorporate learning into play and more effectively channel their own dogs natural drives.
Pilleys work with Chaser offers a new understanding of whats possible in the relationship between a dog and a human. His story, as heartwarming as it is amazing, will change the way we relate to our canine companions and open a new window into the way animals and humans learn.
A New York Times Bestseller
The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence.
Chaser has a way with words. She knows over a thousand of themandmdash;more than any other animal of any species except humans. In addition to common nouns like house, ball, and tree, she has memorized the names of more than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command. Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer, retired psychologist John Pilley, have moved on to further impressive feats, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation.
Johnandrsquo;s ingenuity and tenacity as a researcher are as impressive as Chaserandrsquo;s accomplishments. His groundbreaking approach has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence, one that requires us to reconsider what actually goes on in a dogandrsquo;s mind. Chaserandrsquo;s achievements reveal her use of deductive reasoning and complex problem-solving skills to address novel challenges.
Yet astonishingly, Chaser isnandrsquo;t unique. Johnandrsquo;s training methods can be adopted by any dog lover. Through the poignant story of how he trained Chaser, raised her as a member of the Pilley family, and proved her abilities to the scientific community, he reveals the positive impact of incorporating learning into play and more effectively channeling a dogandrsquo;s natural drives.
Johnandrsquo;s work with Chaser offers a fresh perspective on whatandrsquo;s possible in the relationship between a dog and a human. His story points us toward a new way of relating to our canine companions that takes into account our evolving understanding of the way animals and humans learn.
The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence.
Chaser has a way with words. Along with basic nouns like house and tree, she knows the names of more than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command. Now she and her owner, retired psychologist John Pilley, are tackling sentences with multiple grammatical elements and learning behaviors by imitation. Chaser is capable of deductive reasoning and complex problem-solving skills, but she isnt unique. Johns training methods can be adopted by any dog lover. While sharing the poignant story of raising Chaser, John shows how to incorporate learning into play and more effectively channel a dogs natural drives. His work with Chaser points us toward a new way of relating to our canine companions that takes into account our evolving understanding of the way animals and humans learn.
A New York Times Bestseller
andquot;The most scientifically important dog in over a century.andquot; andmdash;Brian Hare
Chaser has fascinated dog lovers and scientists alike. Her story reveals the potential for taking out dialogue with dogs well beyond andquot;fetch.andquot; When retired psychology professor John Pilley first got his new Border collie puppy, Chaser, he wanted to explore the boundaries of language learning and communication between humans and manand#39;s best friend. Exhibiting intelligence previously thought impossible in dogs, Chaser soon learned the names of more than a thousand toys and sentences with multiple elements of grammar. Chaserand#39;s accomplishments are revolutionizing the way we think about the intelligence of animals. John and Chaserand#39;s inspiring journey demonstrates the power of learning through play and opens our eyes to the boundless potential in the animals we love.
This national bestseller explores the relationship between humans and dogs. How would dogs live if they were free? Would they stay with their human friends?
Merle and Ted found each other in the Utah desertand#8212; Merle was living wild and Ted was looking for a pup to keep him company. As their bond grew, Ted taught Merle how to live around wildlife, and Merle taught Ted about the benefits of letting a dog make his own decisions.
Using the latest in wolf research and exploring issues of animal consciousness and leadership and the origins of the human-dog relationship, Ted Kerasote takes us on the journey he and Merle shared. As much a love story as a story of independence and partnership, Merleand#8217;s Door is tender, funny, and ultimately illuminating.
While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote met a doga Labrador mixwho was living on his own in the wild. They became attached to each other, and Kerasote decided to name the dog Merle and bring him home. There, he realized that Merles native intelligence would be diminished by living exclusively in the human world. He put a dog door in his house so Merle could live both outside and in.A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable dog and his relationship with the author, Merles Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine, bringing to bear the latest research into animal consciousness and behavior as well as insights into the origins and evolution of the human-dog partnership. Merle showed Kerasote how dogs might live if they were allowed to make more of their own decisions, and Kerasote suggests how these lessons can be applied universally.
About the Author
CATHERINE JOHNSON, Ph.D., is a writer specializing in neuropsychiatry and the brain. She cowrote Animals in Translation and served as a trustee of the National Alliance for Autism Research for seven years. She lives with her husband and three sons—two of whom have autism—in New York.
TEMPLE GRANDIN is one of the worlds most accomplished and well-known adults with autism. She is a professor at Colorado State University and the author of several best-selling books, which have sold more than a million copies. The HBO movie based on her life, starring Claire Danes, received seven Emmy Awards.
Table of Contents
chapter 1: From the Wildand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1
chapter 2: The First Dogand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 26
chapter 3: The Synaptic Kissand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 49
chapter 4: In the Genesand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 67
chapter 5: Building the Doorand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 97
chapter 6: Growing Into Himselfand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 113
chapter 7: Top Dogand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 145
chapter 8: The Gray Catand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 169
chapter 9: Estrogen Clouds 181
chapter 10: At Home in the Arms of the Country 194
chapter 11: The Problem of Meand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 210
chapter 12: The Mayor of Kellyand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 234
chapter 13: The Alpha Pairand#160; 249
chapter 14: White Muzzleand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 270
chapter 15: What Do Dogs Want?and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 284
chapter 16: A Looser Leash 304
chapter 17:t-family: 'Times New Roman'" The First Passingand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 313
chapter 18: Through the Doorand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 327
with many thanksand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 363