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Reviewed by Patricia Reding for Readers' Favorite
Rarely does a book come along that so positively mesmerizes me that I read it from start to finish in a single sitting. Yet that is exactly what I did with Embracing the Wild in Your Dog by Bryan Bailey. Bailey opens the story with a reminder that with man’s domestication of the wolf to today’s “dog,” he changed the environment of the creature. Even so, dogs have retained the same base instincts that nature originally provided the wolf. Buttressing his approach to his theory of dog owning and training, Bailey tells of his childhood mentor, a U.S. Army Green Beret. A tough man, he was challenged by his mentor to solve problems on his own, to rise to overcome the stresses that life was sure to put in his path, and to learn from the nature that surrounded him. With heartfelt stories of his mentor woven throughout, Bailey instills upon his readers the same life lessons if they will but hear.
With a daughter involved in the dog training world, I’ve been introduced to a wide variety of training theories, concepts, tools, and approaches. But Bailey reassured me that some of my deepest instincts about our own family pet are completely valid and that I ought to pay careful attention to them. In this way, Embracing the Wild in Your Dog provides pertinent information to all dog owners. In telling his story, it is almost as though Bailey inhabits the body of the creature he teaches us about. He guides readers to an understanding of a dog’s most basic needs, and he explains how our domesticated “wolves” behave in a manner intended to meet those needs.
Bailey used what I would call a “creative non-fiction” approach to the work. That is to say, although his main intent is to provide information, he does it in a way that paints a picture of the world he wants his readers to see. That picture becomes a living, breathing canvas of color, sound, and even feelings. Bailey’s work is truly worthy of the attention of others and, in my estimation, of an award or two! If you are a dog owner, this one is definitely worth your while, so wait no longer to get your copy!