Houston, who has written widely in the field of New Age spirituality (Jump Time: Living in the Future Tense) and who once spiritually advised Hillary Clinton draws here on her relationship with dogs to advance a vision of mysticism. Citing the work of Evelyn Underhill, Houston sees the mystic path in eight stages: awakening, purification, illumination, voices and visions, contemplation and introversion, ecstasy and rapture, the dark night of the soul and union with what she calls the One Reality. She provides examples of how her experience of each stage was guided by a dog who lived with her. Chickie, a mix of Welsh Corgi and bearded collie, was Houston's first dog, and she credits Chickie with teaching her "to be alert to both the seen and unseen, the heard and unheard." She explains how the three Airedales she owned at various times all tried to overreach themselves-a quality that Houston believes guided their voices to her, as well as visions. During periods of depression, Houston's bond with her dogs helped her believe that she would recover and evolve. While some readers may prickle at Houston's effusive New Age talk, the author's fans, as well as dog lovers, will relate to and enjoy her descriptions of meditative and spiritual practices that are enhanced by a connection to animals. Color photos not seen by PW. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"The author's fans, as well as dog lovers, will relate to and enjoy her descriptions of meditative and spiritual practices that are enhanced by a connection to animals."