This magazine deserves of its honors in History and Literature: the prime qualities of the articles it features on every monthly issue result from its writers who appear to master the Art of Practical English (along with the writers of The Spectator) that should exemplify all others, especially here in the States, where big words and intricate sentence structures are modus operandi of fine writing. In addition to the beauty of writing, the magazine deals with many an interesting historical fact that strikes the chords of the present era, making us realize that as long as the human race exists, human nature remains unchanged. To top it all off, this magazine is a lovely read easily and perfectly downloaded on a Kindle Fire in its entirety and keeps you amusing company on the train and at a coffee shop.
P.S. Happy Friday proffered me a delicious respite at the office today. Then came one of those inconsequential e-mails sent by Amazon asking its Prime members about a review of goods or a book one had ordered. As a way of improving Craft of Writing and compensating for recent lack of writing activities under the pretext of my learning a new trade and exerting my herculean power on a long commute to and from home, I deemed it productive to write this bullet review of this great magazine that has become a darling of my regular routine reads. How much I wish I could write like the writers of this intelligently entertaining magazine! Hence, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s axiom always resonates within me: “Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and Grow…”
On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Calming signals are genetically inherited canine language used for communicating with each other to maintain healthy social hierarchy, since dogs, like their wolf ancestors, are pack animals dependent on sensory input, such as olfactory, auditory, and visual perceptions. Accordingly, dogs communicate with themselves through body motions, such as turning their heads to the other side (as a goodwill gesture in greeting between two dogs), lifting a front paw (showing peaceful intentions), yawning (as a way of reducing stress), bowing (releasing tension), etc. In this book, Ms. Turid Rugaas, an internationally acclaimed Norwegian canine behavioral counseling trainer, primarily focuses on the needs of understanding these signals from dogs as their way of communicating to and with their canids and humans alike. In the context of regarding the essence and importance of calming signals from dogs, this book offers a visual glimpse of what they are like with pictures of the dogs in each accordant motion, which I find helpful to perceive it.
However, the book does not provide the reader with more in-depth knowledge on the calming signals on the grounds of scientific terms; rather it is more of a pamphlet introducing the basic concepts of the calming signals. In fact, this book of less than 100 pages recounts the author’s personal experience with her beloved dog Vesla, who had been her faithful and effective assistant in helping other dogs’ behavioral problems solved, in her close observation of their calming signals expressed and exchanged. It is needless to say that such personal experience saturated with her firm conviction in positive training of dogs is deemed highly valuable and thus contributes significantly to the purpose of this book, which I wholeheartedly appreciate as a kindred spirit. But it is also equally tantalizing to whet my desire of discovering more about the origins of the calming signals, the comparison with those of wolves in terms of evolutionary aspects, and more examples thereof.
In summary, this book is a lovely quick read about dogs’ calming signals at a glance. In addition, the reader cannot help agreeing to the author’s view of dogs not as her subordinates to be trained with dominance but as her “children” who need love and patience because dogs as being of conflict-solving nature want to keep us in their company by trying to speak to us through calming signals. So if you just want to see what these calming signals are about in a nutshell, this is an informative and affectionate read.