Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs by Suzanne Clothier

I've been busy reading for a change and a have a slew of reviews in the queue! Thanks for sticking around while I've been slacking on the blog.

Bones Would Rain from the Sky by  Suzanne Clothier
Narrated by Pam Ward
Audio Released: February 2017
Amazon ♦ Goodreads

In Bones Would Rain from the Sky, Suzanne Clothier takes a radical new direction in understanding our life with dogs . . . and our mutual love. Drawing on a lifetime of experience with dogs, this nationally renowned dog trainer brings us astonishing new lessons about our animals-and ourselves. Gently, with intelligence, humor, and unfailing patience, Suzanne Clothier guides us to truly comprehend another creature's mind and heart. You will discover how our dogs see the world from their uniquely canine perspective, how we can meet their deep need for leadership without using force or coercion, and how the "laws" of canine culture often put our dogs at odds with us and our very human world. Clothier's unparalleled insights into aggression in dogs can help prevent a tragedy, including the unnecessary destruction of a pet. As in no other "dog book" or training manual, in Bones Would Rain from the Sky an extraordinary woman shows us how to find a deep connection with another being and to receive an incomparable gift: a profound, lifelong relationship with the dog you love.

My Thoughts
I received a copy of this audiobook from Tantor Media. Thanks Tantor!

I’ll be real here. I requested this audiobook because of the cover. I had a vague idea that this was a book of dog stories and had seen the title around for years (yikes, I just realized this is likely because the hardcover is sitting in my tbr pile!) but I had to have it because that cover called out to me.

Come on now, don’t tell me you aren’t tempted by that lovely cover because I won’t believe you.

Dog trainer and author Suzanne Cloutier loves animals.
“To travel in the company of animals is to walk with angels.”
If you feel the same, you’ll benefit in some way from reading this book.

So what’s it about? Well, the author is an experienced dog trainer and here she shares stories and lessons that she has learned over the years while working with dogs. This isn’t a book about how to train your dog to sit or heel or down-stay. This is a book on how best to deepen your relationship with your dog and how to learn to look at life through their eyes. I found that advice and those vignettes the most important take-away from this book. It’s easy to get stressed and irritated when your dog misbehaves and ignores your commands/demands/frantic pleas but taking a moment to calm yourself and see things from their perspective (and the author shows several examples which were so incredibly helpful) may help improve both their behavior and yours. I am totally guilty of being impatient and anxious and giving my poor dogs mixed signals and then I’m left wondering why they’re not doing what I think they should be doing. It also made me more aware of being present, instead of being all up in my own head (hey, I’m a Pisces) and then wondering why my dog has nearly taken my fingers off to get to the chicken in my hand. This book opened me up to my behavior and has made me stop and pause on several occasions.

The author comes across as human, sprinkling in some humor and admits to some of the terrible mistakes she’s made. She owns them and she’s learned from them and she is not perfect. She goes into in-depth discussions about aggression and the mislabeling of aggression that often results in tragedy and how to read warning signs before things escalate. I learned more about aggression and reading signals from this book than I did from any of the training manuals I’ve read in the past.

It’s not a read in one sitting kind of book, unless you’re really into this kind of thing, because some of this information needs to be digested and given a little time to sink in. At least that was the case with me. The ending made me weepy, as she recalls some of the stories of illness and death which is inevitable when you love any living creature but it’s not of the dragged out “Marley & Me” variety. There are beautiful insights about animal and human behavior inside the pages and it basically comes to down to treating those you love with kindness, empathy and sharing all of your love in order to strengthen your relationship. That’s advice the world needs to hear. This book will be a yearly reread for me, for sure.

The version I read was narrated by Pam Ward who has a strong, clear, accessible voice that fills with emotion when the words call for it. If you dig audio, Buddy, Bailey and I highly recommend reading this version! It gets all the exclamation marks 😍.


  1. Ok, so I'm going to have to order a copy of this book (I'm weird in that I like my dog books to be in physical form - ok, so maybe not weird just picky). It does sound like there is a lot to be gathered from this one and I'm so glad you found it beneficial and enjoyable. I've picked up "Lessons from Tara" and started reading it here and there and am enjoying it as well. I think you've read that one haven't you. I had to laugh at the author's description of the dogs in bed at night - and I thought my house was bed. What an awesome pic of Buddy and Bailey.

    1. It has some very valuable info and I can see why you'd want a paper copy of it. Lessons from Tara was such a beautiful book. I'm so glad you're enjoying it. The Dogtripping book is very amusing too. My dream is to retire and become like that couple. 20 something rescued dogs in the bed? I might have to buy a bigger bed but it'll be worth it!

    2. I've already bought Dogtripping as well. I think I managed to snag them both from Book Outlet. We finally upgraded to a King size when we bought a new one last year and I don't know how we ever did it with just a full size.

    3. Ha, we have a queen but the dogs aren't allowed on it after Bailey ate the couch. We used to have a lab (he passed from cancer) who used to hog the bed, the covers and try to nudge me out. Now only Patrick's allowed and he's nearly as big as a small dog and he is a cover hog too.

  2. This would be a good edition to my books about dogs. I find it fascinating to learn all I can to understand them so I don't fail their needs.

    1. This one has some very interesting insights. I really did learn a lot.

  3. This sounds amazing! I need this and will have to check my library for it. I would totally pick this one up for the cover. Buddy and Bailey can't be wrong!

    1. I hope you can find a copy, Carole. Buddy and Bailey are almost always correct ;)

  4. Ugh. I wish my husband would let us adopt puppies. I'm drawn to them like I'm drawn to little babies. This is a very interesting book. Helpful for those wanting to form deeper connections with their dogs. I wonder if my husband could benefit from reading this. Might change his mind. :D

    1. Awww, keep working on him or just bring one home like I did with my first kitten ;) They really will change your life, mostly for the good! A dog can tie you down a bit more than a cat but for me it's worth it.


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