Something Amy L. Peterson and I have in common is a BS in biology and so I found it refreshing to see such a natural way of storytelling, more so than other books I have read by non-biology majors. The adventures of this book will tingle your senses if you are a biology major or if you come from some kind of science background.
That's also a given for everyone else. You'll find this book to be refreshingly creative and clever, but also very clean and grounded. When I have a pet someday I will remember to re-read this book. I will also remember the interesting tips: when you marry someone who had pets growing up, chances are, you have pets in the future; she who takes on one pet successfully often ends up taking on more; fleas jump more than rabbits; some animals are on their best behavior when being inspected by a potential owner; big guys can get all mushy about small critters; and some animals don't live as long as they should. These are just a few of Peterson's tips, all of which I found to be thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening.
This is a very special book about pets, really, very special. I think you'll have to read it to know what I mean. Ultimately, it will make you want to have a pet. All the adventures of all the different animals that Peterson covers in this book makes you yearn for just as one with as much adventure and as much fun.
I have a fish aquarium right now, and I used to have a rabbit when I was little. I was thoroughly attached to my white rabbit when I was small, and I love my fish just as much now as I did the rabbit then. If you are an animal person, you'll find this book enjoyable, humorous, and definitely one of those book you'll come back to just to have a smile or to find some interesting fact about animals or just to live through one of the adventures in the book.
Q&A with Amy L. Peterson
Q: What inspired you to write the book?
Peterson: I originally set out just to document the dozens of pets we'd raised over the course of about 19 years, but as I wrote it, it occurred to me that what my husband, Mark, and I experienced might not only amuse other people, it might help people make better decisions about pets. For example, I never would have imagined the two guinea pigs we got for my stepdaughter's 13th birthday would live 11 and 12 years. By sharing that little bit of information, other parents may think twice about doing the same thing, because they, too, will end up caring for the elderly guinea pigs while the daughter they got the pet for goes happily off to college. I also hope the stories, tips and factoids in my books will somehow make better lives for the very pets that people take home.
Q: What do you hope readers can get from the book?
Peterson: I hope readers will realize two things: 1) that while some pets are better than others, getting a pet is a commitment no matter what; and 2) that every pet has a story and I think our job as pet owners is to make that story as good as possible. Now, my cat, Purrkins, will tell you I still have work to do in figuring out how to make his life better, but I think the 20 teeny, tiny cans of cat food I bought recently is evidence that I am trying.
Q: Did you have a specific audience in mind?
Peterson: Pet owners and also people contemplating getting a pet.
Q: What's your favorite part in the book and why?
Peterson: Based on comments from other people, it's that lovely scene where Mark is chatting to the botfly when he's removing it from the rabbit... while I'm doing all I can to not pass out.
Q: What do you want the readers to give you feedback on from reading the book?
Peterson: I love the fact that readers are giving feedback on my book! Feedback in the way of comments on Amazon.com helps encourage other people to buy my book. Comments and "likes" about my two YouTube videos (also at my website www.amylpeterson.com/videos) also help sell more books. (The videos are 2-3 minutes long and set to music. There's one about Bumpkin the domestic duck, and another featuring all sorts of different pets in my book, including a rescued wild mouse.) Feedback on my pet blog postings also helps generate more interest, as does readers just telling their friends. And I love emails from people telling me about their pets. The reason such support is helpful is that some proceeds from my book will benefit animal rescue organizations. And what's better than helping another pet in need?
Excerpt from the First Page:
If my husband wasn't as cute as a yellow duckling, tenacious as a pit bull, and energetic as a kitten high on catnip, I wouldn't have a dozen animals in my house right now. But Mark exhibits all of that, plus employs the killer phrase, "I've always wanted one of those." He also knows how to blink his puppy-dog eyes, just so.
Back in 1994 when i was in the process of falling for Mark, I was attracted to his brains and his wit, but a bit distracted by the challenge of becoming a stepmother to his four children, ages three, five, 13, and 15. (As summarized in From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds by Amy L. Peterson) I was overwhelmed with the notion that I didn't know what I was doing and inundated by a panicky feeling that four kids were quickly taking control of my life. I had no idea that Mark was plotting to add animals to my sudden state of "duh."
Mark wisely began his quest for creatures by unabashedly using his children to get the things he wanted. He made use of this device for the first time on the way to our Lansing-....
Length: 228 pages
Publisher: Amy L. Peterson
First Published: 2013