The Last Diving Horse in America: Rescuing Gamal and Other Animals—Lessons in Living and Loving

Cynthia A. Branigan. Pantheon, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-1-101-87195-9
In this moving love letter to rescued animals, Branigan (Adopting the Racing Greyhound), founder of Make Peace with Animals, shares her deep passion for giving unwanted creatures a second chance at life. A lifelong lover of animals, Branigan parlayed her passion into a job in her twenties assisting Cleveland Amory, the “founding father” of the modern animal protection movement and president of The Fund for Animals. It was on a rescue mission for Cleveland in 1980 that she met and adopted Gamal, a carrot cake–loving gelding, during an auction following the shuttering of Atlantic City’s Steel Pier, where a controversial diving horse act was the main attraction. Over the years, Branigan’s rescue attempts would extend to adopting a llama named Hot Britches, a malnourished mare and foal from Amish country, and Sparkplug, a feisty burro. Each enriched Branigan’s life with invaluable lessons, but, as she tenderly recounts, Gamal—who died in 1989 after a devastating accident—made a lasting impact on her life. “His quiet, non-judgmental way of listening... had a profound effect on me. While I may not have morphed into someone as brave or confident as he, I was light-years ahead of where I had been when first we met.” This heartfelt story will be catnip for animal lovers. Agent: Jeff Kleinman, Folio Literary Management. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/19/2021
Release date: 09/28/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-101-87196-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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