Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Our Animal Friends Can Teach Us About Life

BlueBridge: United Tribes Media. 2015. 186p. ISBN 9781629190068. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9781629190099. PETS
The author of more than 50 books (The Gift of Years), speaker, Benedictine nun, and executive director of a contemporary spirituality center, Chittister has a wide complement of credentials from which to address social topics and concerns that include human rights, women's issues, and church renewal. When she speaks, people tend to listen. This collection of stories about the benefits of having strong connections with the animal world is told in rambling conversational style. Readers are introduced to an Irish setter named Danny, Duffy the golden retriever, and Lady, a caique parrot, all of which were the author's pets. Her experiences with these animals led her to reflect on what she could learn from them. For example, she points out that many religious individuals suffer from a dour lack of joy, especially when it comes to suffering. From Danny's rollicking antics, Chittister imparts the lesson to become conscious of the goodness of life and to enjoy just being alive. She cautions against the stagnation that comes when people "forget how to color outside the unyielding lines" of life.
VERDICT This thoughtful title should find a wide and enthusiastic audience with general readers, including young adults; highly recommended.
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