Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals

Reviewed by Debra Firmani – If you share your life with a companion animal, or ever have – or if you simply love animals – Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals will resonate with you. Thirty gifted and award-winning authors share stirring and memorable proof of what love can be through essays and poems about experiences or insights their companion animals or encounters with wild animals have given them.
Here are stories of protection, friendship, and unconditional love – both given and received – and stories of animals teaching humans how to embrace and enjoy life by truly living in the moment and understanding its precious, ephemeral nature. Whether serious, humorous, spiritual, or a melding of all three, these writings reveal our deep kinship with all animals in the Tree of Life. “What good are the branches if the trunk is damaged?” asks Rick Bass in his essay about grizzlies in need of protection. Indeed, as Alexander McCall Smith shows in his essay, humans and Earth’s other animals are “members of the same overall drama.”
Diane Rehm’s essay memorably captures the theme Love Can Be in her story of Maxie, a longhaired Chihuahua with whom she shared over 14 years. Though having a tendency to bite others, Maxie was a dear companion to Rehm, and she lovingly cared for him until his last breath. “Love can be – and always is – accepting and understanding the less-than-perfect behaviors of another creature, animal or otherwise,” writes Rehm.
Love Can Be is the Kirkpatrick Foundation’s newest book and was created to educate and inspire people to value animal wellbeing in their own lives and communities. Sales of the book will support animal charities. Thoughtfully curated and designed and eminently gift-worthy, the book includes photos of authors and their animals, as well as a spare, yet exquisitely expressive line drawing a portrait of each animal by J.J. Ritchey. Visit to purchase this special limited edition book.
“Love Can Be”, edited by Louisa McCune and Teresa Miller,  published by the Kirkpatrick Foundation, November 13, 2018.

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