BOOKS: Animals as Teachers and Healers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1997:

Animals as Teachers
and Healers
by Susan Chernak McElroy
Ballentine Books (201 E. 50th St., New York, NY
10022), 1996. 253 pages, hardcover. $18.95.

We have no evidence that there was a previous
edition of Animals as Teachers and Healers, yet author
Susan McElroy leaves the confusing impression that there
was one, piecing together many accounts from various
sources without warning that her book is a pastiche. I kept
turning back a page to be sure of the identity of her everchanging
narrator. Teachers will be tempted to scribble on
the cover, “WHERE is your outline? See me,” as the
topic meanders from animals as mentors of compassionate
behavior to the destruction of wolves by forest and park
rangers and the hypocrisy of various others who have
harmed animals while purportedly helping them.
McElroy’s own contribution centers on her experience
with cancer and the help she believes she posthumously
received from her dog, Keesha, who died of cancer several
years before McElroy’s own was diagnosed.

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