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Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live Hardcover – February 6, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Invoking the "mystical, magical, or metaphysical" aspects of our relationships with animals, veterinarian Schoen (Love, Miracles and Animal Healing) recounts his dawning awareness of amazing acts of courage and compassion by animals toward both their human companions and one another. Early in his career, his golden retriever, Megan, came to act as his "ecumenical guide" and veterinary assistant, responding to the distress of an injured lamb, kitten or cow--or panicked human onlookers--with loving licks. In an engaging work that is part memoir, part argument for a more holistic approach to veterinary medicine, this "left-brained" man of science tells how he gradually learned to observe and respond to an animal's emotional state, as well as to the physical needs he was trained to focus on. Since then, with Megan's help, he has learned to care for animals on both levels, and has incorporated alternative medicine into his practice. While a growing number of books espouse our interrelationship with animals and attempt to change our attitude of superiority, this account is distinguished by Schoen's fresh voice and seamless writing. "As we learn more about our connections to animals, we will consider them our heart," Schoen believes. "More than anything else on this earth, animals have the facility to make sure we remain connected to our deepest feelings.... Always remember: Do unto all animals as you would do unto yourself." Agent, Richard Pine. (Feb. 6)Forecast: Blurbs by Andrew Weil and Bernie Siegel make this book catnip for the legions of holistic healing enthusiasts. More potent still will be Schoen's appearances on pledge drives for PBS affiliates, as well as a 20-city radio satellite tour and eight-city author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Schoen, a pioneer in alternative therapies since 1981, is a founder and director of the Center for Integrative Animal Health. Here he follows Love, Miracles and Animal Healing, his first book for lay audiences, and expands readers' awareness of veterinary acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, and other complementary approaches. Kindred Spirits covers the benefits of the human-animal bond; seven ways to foster a spiritual bond with your animal; wellness approaches, such as diet therapy and preventing and treating cancer the natural way; finding veterinary support; and how to let go when there is nothing further that can be done. An extensive appendix of resources is included. As with human medicine, alternative therapies are becoming more popular in the veterinary field. This readable, engaging book, filled with many anecdotal stories, should be enjoyed by anyone who is concerned about providing quality healthcare and creating a bond with their pets.DEdell M. Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; 1st edition (February 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767904303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767904308
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Allen Schoen is a kind and compassionate veterinarian who from childhood has felt an intense bond with animals, and a mission to heal them. He is interested in service and sprituality, and is also a clear thinker. One of the best things about this book is that Schoen has a real, live, active veterinary practice, large and small animals, and shares it with the reader. Beneath his sweet and tender heart and soulful approach is sheer bedrock: the fact that he has (for example) gone out in the middle of a freezing cold night to drive miles to a barn, scrubbed, put on gloves, hunkered down in straw, and reached into a laboring animal in critical trouble - to aid in a birth. You are reading a man who walks the walk. His redoubtable philosophy is grounded in his career.
In vet school Schoen met with resistance to many of his convictions regarding the humane treatment of lab animals. As a practicing veterinarian, he bumped into similar resistance regarding humane treatment of livestock in particular. He shares generously - and without prejudice. Sometimes things don't always turn out in agreement with his beliefs, and he writes of them, too.
In this engaging book Dr. Schoen treats the reader to contemporary American versions of James Herriot-style adventures (heart-stopping rescues, birthing stories, and a tale about a dachshund-owning woman who ended up presenting what Schoen, in a great play on words, calls "Munchhausen by Dachsie") - with a generous helping of intelligent contributions on topics ranging from the increase of food allergies in animals; disorders of the immune system; how to "think like an animal"; cancer; aging and ailing, and the role of love, touching, meditation, and mindfulness in humans' best efforts to facilitate healing in their animals.
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By A Customer on February 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I already love animals but I never knew exactly why until I read Dr. Schoen's wonderful, warm, and wise words. Extraordinarily well written, this book helps you understand why animals and humans belong together, forever, in ways that defy modern science. Please buy this book for everyone you know. It could change someone's life. As well as yours.
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Format: Hardcover
I always thought I had read everything I needed to know about the emotional lives of animals. I've read everything I could lay my hands on. This is the first book to cross my path that marries the two-way emotional relationship that we share to holistic veterinary care. Many great books on animals' lives give great detail into the many ways animals help their human companions but I had never realised that I wasn't being shown how I could return the favor.
Dr Schoen's book is a doorway to understanding non-western medicine. I had felt that I was mentally open to medicines like Chinese herbal medicine, naturopathy & acupuncture but after reading this book I can now add Bach flower remedies, homeopathy, chiropratic and several other therapies. Not only am I now aware of how these therapies are used on animals but I now have faith in their efficacy.
This book is not a 'how to' on holistic healing for animals, although Dr Schoen does provide a list of helpful books on the subject as well as details on how to locate a veterinary doctor who may practice holistically.
This is, however, a book to touch your heart, offer hope & open your mind. I was moved to tears by both his stories & how his stories made me feel towards my own past & present animal companions. I take from this book many things that I will put into practice every day and I thank Dr Schoen for his beautiful book.
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Format: Hardcover
All the other rave reviews are true - you can see that this book has struck a tremendous chord in readers for its humor and perspective on the animal/human bond. I would like to point out that Dr. Schoen does have a very holistic approach to veterinary medicine, having succesfully utilized both traditional and alternative methods of treatment. While other volumes exist on homeopathy, acupuncture, and herbal treatment for animals, this book might be useful in terms of how the author came to use those treatments and his ideas on how they make work in the bodies of our animal companions.
Also of interest for the reader is the author's intense self-reflection on the human history of attitudes towards animals throughout time. I thought Dr. Schoen did an excellent job explaining the many paradigms that have existed throughout time (largely centering around human dominion over the animals, how many have believed they have no emotions in order to justify atrocities, etc.) and how we live with those schools of thought today in terms of our laws surrounding animals as well as the prominent methods of treatment of animals both in the home and on the farm. His having to exhaustively fight/acquiese to dominant theory during his veterinary training and early practice is an interesting sociological anectdote.
This book is not only a well-written, feel good volume of one man's journey in life treating and living with animals, but also exists as a thought provoking volume questioning our societal attitudes towards animals.
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Format: Hardcover
If you love animals, you will thoroughly enjoy this delightful book. Schoen goes beyond the call of duty with his love, respect and overwhelming compassion for the animal kingdom. From my studies in psychology, and on a personal level, I can attest to the wonderful warm and loving bond that exists between humans and animals. The bond is so great that many physicians are no longer referring to animals as "pets" but "companions." In many ways, the term implies a well-deserved status and respect in our society.
Not everyone is blessed with the benefits of a warm, nuturing family. For some, the love of a gentle, purring cat, or the devoted nature of a canine friend, is the only joy or ray of sunshine a person has in their life. Anyone who has had a life-long "companion", one who has shared their ups and downs, laughter and tears, survived marriages, divorces, and all kinds of life-encountered tragedies, knows only too well how strong and real the bond is. When old age and/or suffering takes its toll, and you find that out of kindness and love, it is time to take that wonderful companion for its last ride to the vet, you realize, without question and a tear in your eye, the remarkable bond of love that exists.
Schoen, himself, is a remarkable heartwarming and compassionate person; the kind of person we could all use in our lives. As a veterinarian, one can only admire and respect his outlook on life and his deep understanding of the bond that can truly exist between humans and animals. Animals have a way of bringing out your deepest feelings. If you love animals, share Shoen's experiences and enjoy reading this marvelous book.
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