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The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human Hardcover – July 9, 2013
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Images from Author Dr. Vint Virga's Work
Early in his career as a veterinarian, Virga witnessed how his quiet presence and contact with a dog that seemed to be failing after being hit by a car likely saved the dog’s life. The incident led him to ponder over 30 years as a specialist in behavioral medicine the connections between humans and animals. Beyond diagnostic tests and medical treatments, Virga recounts cases of animals, from cats and dogs to wolves and whales, adapting to illness, change, and impending death in ways that inform and are informed by relationships with humans. He notes cave drawings illustrating the connections, not just as predator and prey, between humans and animals as evidence of our fascination with animals. Indeed, our early connection with wolves led to the evolution of a domestic companion. In separate chapters, using case histories and research, he focuses on sensitivity, expressivity, forgiveness, integrity, adaptability, mindfulness, and other basic traits animals and humans share and how we can better understand animal behavior. Animal lovers will appreciate this tribute to the connection between humans and animals. --Vanessa Bush
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Especially entertaining are the descriptions Dr. Virga provides of animals in a state of emoitional, maybe mental, distess and how he is successful in guiding them back to their normal selves. One of his patients would go into a rage attacking and destroying wooden objects but never direct this attack behavior toward its masters when they attempted to grab and hug it until it wore itself down. It recognized, even in the spirit of the rage, to direct its acivity toward an inanimate object that it did not love, like it did its master and mistress.
This is worth reading--more imortantly, considering in reflection as we all seek a clearer understanding of our and our best friend animal's moods and privatel worldly outlooks.
wonderful fellow creatures in this world. His knowledge, respect and
insightful awareness into these amazing beings not just in their
world, but when that world intersects ours. When it shows us
us, not just that there is a connection there, but that maybe they
have brought something to teach us in our human world.
When he addresses the connection we create with them and them
with us and better coming to understand them, I somehow was able
to have a broader understanding and wonder of the whole universe.
And I felt honored to recognize better my own connection with the
animals that have gifted my life.
Thank you Dr. Virga for sharing these insights with us.
His personal examples of animals that have been his own "clients" are particularly helpful and engaging. His sharing of his own uncertainties and his dedication to patience, listening and humility often lead him and the reader to the experience of gratitude, the seed of insight.
To Dr. Virga, I say, "I hope this is only the first of several books that you write to teach us what you are learning."