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Dangerous Animals : A Memoir With Claws (Hardcover) (Kirstin McMillan)
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One of Hollywood’s top animal handlers recounts the story of her harrowing coming-of-age in the magnetic grip of her father, a menagerie of wild and dangerous animals, and the canine connection that would transform her life.
Kirstin McMillan’s childhood was a literal circus. By the time she was eight, she was working with her family under the glittering lights of the Ringling Brothers tent. But not all that glitters is gold. When her parents split and her father decided to settle the family down on his own animal training ranch, Kirstin, her brothers and the animals were treated in the same cold and domineering manner: Do your job and you'll be fine, but never forget who's in charge.
Captive beneath her father’s iron fist, Kirstin saw all animals, human or otherwise, as predatory—dangerous animals to be feared. By the time she was seventeen, she was a runaway, desperate for connection until she reclaimed herself through a chance relationship with Floppy, the homeless Basset hound. Even through violence, addiction, and death, it was the dog/human bond that restored her own humanity and helped her find the strength to break free. Today, Kirstin is a top Hollywood animal and celebrity dog trainer. Unlike her upbringing, Kirstin approaches animals with kindness and humor, a lesson she learned through one special, canine connection.
Dangerous Animals is a tale of cruelty and heartache, of terror and redemption, of the special connection between animals and humans, and love’s power to mend a broken life.