Episode 142 - Ted Kerasote - Pukka's Promise: The Quest for Longer Lived Dogs
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- Ted Kerasote
This episode is a departure from the show's usual style as it is an in-depth interview with respected author Ted Kerasote about his latest book, Pukka's Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs. Ted has been a guest on the show before, talking about his wonderful book Merle's Door - hear that interview in Episode 64.
Merle was a young dog, living wild. Ted was a man who wanted a dog. They met and chose to stay together, and so began a heartwarming journey which saw man and dog share each other's world, teach each other, and love each other. The partnership was enduring and endearing, the book was a New York Times bestseller, (read a review of Merle's door here) and thousands of readers took Merle into their heart. However, Merle's death broke Ted's heart, and writing Merle's autobiography along with the ensuing book tour became part of the healing process.
When, after years without a dog, Ted began to think of getting another four-legged companion, he wanted to put off that painful final parting for as long as possible; he wanted to have a dog that lived for as long as possible. Thus began Ted's investigation of the factors that affect our dogs' lifespans - and his findings are both fascinating and worrying. Ted considers how dogs' longevity is affected by their breeding, the vaccinations they receive, their nutrition, the pollutants they encounter, whether they are spayed or neutered, and the freedom they are allowed. The result is a masterpiece that weaves together the latest peer reviewed studies, with expert opinion and the intimate story of a man and a dog.
In this, the first of two in-depth interviews, Ted Kerasote talks with humour and honesty about his experiences and research and has simple suggestions to help every dog owner extend their dog's life. Pukka himself is a delight - early on Ted wrote Pukka: The Pup After Merle a book full of charming photos which chronicled Pukka's first six months. In Pukka's Promise we have more detail of how Pukka adapted to life with Ted, how he fits into the neighbourhood "pack", and how he reacts to the abundant local wildlife.
After years along, Ted talks touchingly about his life being once more lit up by dog light; let's help all our dogs shine that light for as long as possible.