J. Allen Boone
The purpose of this section of our blog is to feature books on animal related topics that we think are particularly special. We want to make our Animal Kinship Group of friends aware of them too.
One of my all time favourite books is Kinship With All Life by J. Allen Boone. I was born to love animals so it was only a matter of time before this short yet powerful masterpiece found its way into my hands and my heart. This book, which is not really a book, has been with me for longer than I can remember. It will always occupy a special place in my home, already having survived several household moves and bookshelf relocations. Left in quiet solitude for long stretches of time throughout the passing years, Kinship With All Life would beckon me and once again, I would find myself returning to the magic of its pages.
Many times this happened after some type of change in my life involved letting go of people, places and things that would no longer be part of my life moving forward. This inevitably followed periods of time where I looked within to discover parts of myself I needed to get to know in order to grow and develop. Each time I read Kinship With All Life, I realised it was much more than a story about a man learning about life through his relationship with a German Shepherd dog, Strongheart. It was a transmission of wisdom that mirrored my own experiences with animals in my life.
Kinship With All Life is not a book you should read once and forget. Each time you read it, new revelations appear. Perhaps this is because we are never the same person who read the book last time. As we change, our perceptions change. This is what happened to Boone. His journey, beginning with Strongheart, ends up including other animal kin. Boone invites us to share the expansion of his world through the magic of his words. This book speaks the universal language of love, awakening our minds and hearts to the deep and abiding connection of kinship we share and experience through relationship: with friends and family, other people, animals, nature and ultimately, with All Life.
Looking back, it seems my Australian Shepherd dog, Kirra, entered my life as my soul companion. She accompanied me through the most challenging period of my life to date. Kirra was my Strongheart. Her presence in my life changed the direction of my life. She led me to the work I do now at Animal Kinship. She inspired the title of my book, Canine Spirit, because that is what she embodied in every sense of the word. Strongheart embodied it too, as something J. Allen Boone came to understand and express so well.
“His Zest for living … his vitality… A tremendous ability to extract fun, happiness and satisfaction out of each moment. He never permitted his life to become uninteresting, either for himself or for those around him. He was simply expressing his splendid character, the radiation in endless, living combinations of his truly great inner qualities. I was actually being privileged to watch not a dog expressing great qualities, but rather, great qualities expressing a dog. He was radiating them from deep within himself. He was not trying to achieve this effect, he was just letting it happen.” Kinship With All Life, J Allen