To some animal lovers it would seem dirty pool to fault a true believer in the worth and dignity of all animals for lapses into a sentimental anthropomorphism and occasional bloopers in biological fact. But however much one empathizes with Sletholt's delight in the creatures he's observed--a miscellany of cats, dogs, skunks, wolves and alligators plus movie stars such as Clarence the Lion--his subjects tend to grate on the sensibilities like Harrison Cody's illustrations for Thornton Burgess. (The drawings for this book are not much better.) Take the raccoon who, to show, off its family, ""beckoned with one of his front paws. . . . Pride shone from the parent's eyes."" And there are bald misstatements, such as the assertion that dogs ""are the only animals, apart from man, with sexual urges that operate outside the seasons laid down by nature."" Well-intentioned hogwash.