Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Daisy to the Rescue: True Stories of Daring Dogs, Paramedic Parrots, and Other Animal Heroes by Jeff Campbell

Who rescued who? This popular animal-shelter bumper sticker captures an enduring emotional truth: With their love and companionship, animals of all species save our lives every day. But sometimes, to our utter amazement and everlasting gratitude, animals literally save our lives, and this heartwarming book collects over 50 real-life stories of animals rescuing people, in which the actions of animals have meant the difference between life and death.
Today, scientists vigorously debate questions regarding the sentience, intelligence, and emotions of animals. In particular, they want to know whether animals share with humans the highest emotions of empathy, compassion, and altruism. This book also poses these questions for readers to consider, and using current research on animal minds and emotions, it examines these extreme life-saving situations for possible evidence. Where appropriate, skepticism and doubt surrounding particular stories is included, but gathered together, these anecdotes make a compelling case for the presence of altruism in animals.
Thus, this book provides dramatic, thrilling, and moving stories that convey a hopeful message about our world. But these stories also provide startling evidence of the mental and emotional capacities of animals, those being we share the world with.

While I like animals in general, I've never felt the desire to own a pet until I read this book.

In Daisy to the Rescue:  True Stories of Daring Dogs, Paramedic Parrots, and Other Animal Heroes, we get to learn the stories of some remarkable animals, both domesticated and wild, who have saved the lives of humans in one way or another.

Before the start of each story, there is a summary containing the animal's name (if it has one), its species, the date of the rescue, location, situation, who was saved, and what level of fame the animal achieved for its actions.

Some of the stories in the book sounded familiar. One, in particular, the story of Kabang the hero dog, is very familiar to me since I live in the Philippines. It happened far from the capital megacity of Metro Manila, though, so all of my knowledge comes from reading national broadsheets and articles on the internet. Kabang's heroics was a pretty big story here, so I can say at the very least that in terms of fame meter, yes, Kabang was accurately rated as a hall-of-famer.

What differentiates this book from other books about animal heroics is that it sees these stories with a scientific eye. There are quotes from scientists and it is often pointed out and discussed if the animal's act was done out of compassion or selfishness or they were doing it for some other reason entirely.

Overall, this was a really good book, and if you've always hated the thought of having pets, you might reconsider after this one. Take note, though, that if your e-reader slows down when it reads books with lots of pictures, you would be better off with a physical copy of the book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Zest Books for the e-ARC.


  1. The stories are interesting and relatively current.
  2. The stories are well-researched.
  3. It tries to shed light on the science behind the animals' actions. 


  1. If you'd rather read the stories instead of thinking about the science behind it, you may find some parts boring. 


  1. You consider yourself an animal lover.
  2. You want to own a pet but your parents are against it.
  3. You're thinking of getting a pet. 




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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