BOOK REVIEW:Inside Animal Hearts and Minds: Bears That Count, Goats That Surf, and Other True Stories of Animal Intelligence and Emotion by Belinda Recio

36249732._SX318_Title: Inside Animal Hearts and Minds: Bear That Count, Goats that Surf, and Other True Stories of Animal Intelligence and Emotion

Author: Belinda Recio

Book Length (Audiobook): 4 hours and 41 minutes

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Nonfiction, Animals, Science

Read Start Date: March 6, 2022

Read Finish Date: March 7, 2022

Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: As Charles Darwin suggested more than a century ago, the differences between animals and humans are “of degree and not of kind.” Not long ago, ethologists denied that animals had emotions or true intelligence. Now, we know that rats laugh when tickled, magpies mourn as they cover the departed with greenery, female whales travel thousands of miles for annual reunions with their gal pals, seals navigate by the stars, bears hum when happy, and crows slide down snowy rooftops for fun.

In engaging text, photographs, and infographics, Inside Animal Hearts and Minds showcases fascinating and heart-warming examples of animal emotion and cognition that will foster wonder and empathy. Learn about an orangutan who does “macramé,” monkeys that understand the concept of money, and rats that choose friendship over food. Even language, math, and logic are no longer exclusive to humans. Prairie dogs have their own complex vocabularies to describe human intruders, parrots name their chicks, sea lions appear capable of deductive thinking akin to a ten-year-old child’s, and bears, lemurs, parrots, and other animals demonstrate numerical cognition.

In a world where a growing body of scientific research is closing the gap between the human and non-human, Inside Animal Hearts and Minds invites us to change the way we view animals, the world, and our place in it.

My Review: I received this audiobook from Netgalley as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The summary from Goodreads does a really good job of setting forth the subject matter of this book, so I won’t repeat it.

I really liked this book because it is fun, interesting, and light. With the world embroiled in the war in Ukraine, this book was exactly what I needed to forget, at least for a little while, that the world can be a cruel place.

This book is uplifting and fascinating. It is a great insight into our animal cousins, who are more intelligent and emotional than we often give them credit for. If you are an animal lover, then this book is definitely for you. If you aren’t an animal lover (yet), then this book is essential for you–hopefully it can change your mind!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday Stills April 28, 2019: A Dog’s Life

The theme of this week’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge, is called “A Dog’s Life”. I grew up with dogs, but don’t have any of my own currently (I have a cat). Therefore, I will introduce you to a very spoiled dog, who rules my parent’s house.

A dogs life 3

This is Krieger, my brother’s 100+ pound doberman. After my brother died, Krieger moved in with my parents, and my parent’s 8 pound poodle. He was already familiar with the house and my parents and Bella (the poodle) because my brother would drop Krieger off at my parent’s house while he was at work.

Krieger, taking the example from Bella, believes that he is a lap dog too, and tries to climb into people’s laps. He also takes up half the couch, but doesn’t mind sharing (see photo to the left).

He enjoys being played with 24 hours, 7 days a week. He especially likes when my father holds the chew bone for him (for hours). He likes to scratch at the treat cabinet whenever he wants a treat (which is all the time), and he likes to step outside the house and come back in immediately, because he knows he “deserves” a treat whenever he comes back in from being outside.

He barks at everything, including the many squirrels that frequent the trees in the front yard, because THOSE ARE HIS TREES AND HOW DARE THOSE SQUIRRELS USE THEM!

His only regret in life is that the poodle was master of the house before him, so he is only a beta and not the alpha. This is only a problem sometimes, when he would really like to finish his breakfast, but the poodle wants to eat some of it first.

A Dogs Life 1

The picture to the right is a picture of Krieger laying in the guest bed I use at my parent’s house. You see it correct: his butt is near the pillows. Of course he was laying in the middle of the bed, and even though he generously shared the bed with me (I had less of it than he did), I was sadly (for him) forced to make him leave after only a few minutes.

Normally, I would not be so cruel to the dog (becaues of course he is my ruler), but Krieger frequently has stomach issues, and that night it was in full force. After about the fifth expulsion in the general direction of my face, I just could not take it anymore.

After some general groaning and grunting, he agreed to leave, and promptly went into his own (dog) bed in my parent’s room. I wished them good luck.

Animals in my family are treated as members of the family. I often joke with my boyfriend that the cat is our “Overlord”. They tell us when we can go to bed (10:00 p.m. in the case of Krieger), and when we can wake up (6:30 a.m. in the case of my cat). Feeding time in the evening is 6:00 p.m. for my cat, (4:00 p.m. for the dogs) and when this is not fulfilled, then lots of complaining ensues. But that’s okay, because they are dogs and cats and they deserve it.

Do you have a dog or cat with similar experiences?