A while ago I received this book in the mail from Nora Hartmann for review. While I had read a little about it prior and was truly excited about getting to read it, I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for the ride that this book took me on.
This book on its own is several things. It’s a story – the story about Ulli’s path to find peach and happiness in living with her dogs.
It’s a guide – a guide to how we as humans can achieve the same friendship with our companion dogs by partaking in our four-legged friends’ natural behavior.
It’s a massive shout-out – a shout-out to dogs and people who have found their way and with stories on their own that will make sure that the readers do not feel alone with our struggles.
Lastly, it’s a reminder – a reminder that dogs are truly “just” dogs, and that we as humans have to remember to embrace their nature and work with it instead of against it, all to make life easier for all.
When you read this book, (and I say “when” because you most likely need to read this book – you just don’t know it yet), your first thought will be “is this a training book?” – that was my first thought for sure. The first part of the book describes Ulli’s journey through the woods, her frustration about her terrier simply being a terrier, and her meeting of her mentor, Helmut the falconer, and how he taught her to turn struggles into strength with simple body language and attention to her dogs and the environment. In short, Ulli’s road to work out the hows and the whys of the process and turn them into teachable information.
The second part describes the actual process of training. The hows and the whys of the work. This part is a fairly simple, straightforward description of the process, broken down into a few small sections. This part of the book could be longer, more detailed, and so on, but if it had been so, most ordinary readers would probably get lost along the way, and that would be a shame.
The third part of the book is a series of statements and stories by former students under Ulli. Now, this is the part of the book that will make you feel like you don’t need to give up, that you are not alone and that there is a way out of the hole – for you too! It’s a great section and I will recommend readers to revisit it every time they feel like they’re running their heads against the wall.
The fourth part of the book is something I would call a reminder. A reminder to us humans about what dogs are and why they actually do as they do. It lists a series of common misconceptions and struggles in the dog world and tackles the “pack leader/dominance” theme in a down-to-earth, very straightforward way that is easy to make sense of – for the average dog owner! And this is just awesome (if you ask me, of course).
Lastly is the epilogue, a tidbit of the story about what happened to Helmut and what happens now. It’s a great closing to the initial story and a really nice way to finish off a book.
In general, the book is sprinkled with Easy to spot headlines and tips and a lot of wonderful, wonderful pictures of dogs doing what they do best: they dog!
The book is approx $25 off Amazon, and I would deff pay the price. To be honest, I can’t wait to go hunt with my terrier.