Who said it's out of the realm of possibility that animals feel, hope, make choices, or that they do not think and do not care? No one here, that I can see.
Experience has convinced me that animals feel, hope, make choices, think and care. Experience has also convinced me that Jon Katz is full of baloney. These two opinions are fully consistent -- in fact, the second almost follows from the first.
Agree completely with this.
Katz disgusted me from the very first reading, and I never finished the first book he wrote. I wanted to go find all the copies of all his books and burn them, and I wanted to slap him silly.
I do get into it when someone praises or even says they are reading his books. I go at it gently, not showing the fury I feel toward him and the harm he has done. Sometimes the person listens to me and actually views him in a different way. I find that the people who like him do so out of ignorance, and some can actually be "shown the light". In the same way that I think each dog I manage to help counts for something, each person I can influence in a good way counts. Maybe that person will pass the information on.
I love the way my dogs know me. They can tell when I stand up or walk into the room that I am about to take them for a walk, and they get excited. To me, I have done nothing different from the way I always stand up or walk into the room. But they see subtle changes in my face, my walk, my smell, who knows...and they know what I am going to do. And there are many other things.
I can tell the dogs something and they know what I mean. Recently someone who had never met my dogs before commented to me that she had just told them something and they responded as if they knew what she said. They are just so good at reading people that it seems they understand English.
I can tell when one needs to go out before he or she goes to the door. I know if Kit is roo rooing at me because she wants to play tug, and when it means she has to go out. And many other things.
Nothing magical about any of it and it's neither supernatural nor psychic. Just close observation by both sides, coupled with a genuine desire to know and understand each other. And that, to me, is far more lovely and beautiful than if it were anything else.