BOOKWORM: Book reveals bond with pets

“Animal Camp” by Kathy Stevens, c. 2010, Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95, 256 pages.

  • Monday, September 13, 2010 6:58pm
  • Life

Ahhh, there’s nothing like the great outdoors.

But what’s better than relaxing at the campsite, just you, the family and nature? Imagine taking your 700-pound pets with you and you’ve got the basic idea behind “Animal Camp” by Kathy Stevens.

Anyone in a long-term relationship knows that distance – even a little of it – is hard to endure when it comes to your beloved. Even so, when Stevens’ partner, David, invited her to move in with him at his cabin just a few miles away from her home at New York’s Catskills Animal Sanctuary, she balked.

Through CAS, Stevens, her staff, and a hundred volunteers care for unwanted, abused and rescued farm animals and there were three critters that needed extra TLC: Hope, the “semi-feral” horse whose recovery was still fragile, but whose eyes gave her a name and indicated the ability for patience; Tucker the Guernsey steer who was a refugee from a petting zoo, destined for slaughter until CAS stepped in; and Franklin the pig – runt of the litter, brunt of barnyard bullying, friendless in the field.

In his meadow by the forest, David converted pasture and barns for Hope, Tucker, and Franklin. Each animal had its own space, as well as a communal one and access to Stevens’ office. And so, Stevens and her beloved dog, Murphy, along with Hope, Tucker, and Franklin went to Animal Camp, a grand experiment that surprised and pleased Stevens in the end.

Though I liked the title story, I had divergent thoughts about the latter three-quarters of this book. Stevens’ joy comes beaming through the pages here, giving animal lovers a peek at an enviable life that also includes pain, frustration, triumph, and abundant love. I liked that a lot.

If you’ve ever cherished a pet, large or small, you’re going to enjoy this soaring memoir of animal love. For you, “Animal Camp” will make you one very happy camper.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old.

More in Life

Free mammogram screenings for those in need | CHI Franciscan

The two screening days are Nov. 14 and 15.

Fact and fiction about flu shots | MultiCare

The shot doesn’t cause the flu, and getting the flu can harm your body beyond just getting sick.

Post 1949 efforts help vets, entire community

You, too, can help the VFW aid other vets and raise money for students scholarships.

Holiday bazaar hosted by local Danes

No matter your heritage, join Enumclaw’s Danish Sisterhood Saturday, Nov. 10 for their annual Christmas bazaar and bake sale, or become a member of the Sisterhood itself.

You’ll want to read ‘Dracul’ with the lights on

It was just a little scratch. You wouldn’t have even noticed it,… Continue reading

Being forever grateful | SoHaPP

By Carol J. Decker Unexpected trials and challenges come to everyone; they’re… Continue reading

This book will help you talk about death with loved ones

There’s plenty of food for all. You can see that, and it… Continue reading

Testosterone replacement therapy: Do you need it? | MultiCare

At the moment, we don’t have all the answers.

Most Read