In Tulip, rescued from her first home, [JR] Ackerly hardly had his ideal love object. He also suspected he was not her ideal of loved one. The saga that followed was not about unconditional love, but about seeking to inhabit an inter-subjective world that is about meeting the other in all the fleshly detail of a mortal relationship. Barbara Smuts, the behavioral bianthropologist who writes courageously about intersubjectivity and friendship with and among animals, would approve. No behavioral biologist, but attuned to the sexology of his culture, [JR] Ackerly comically and movingly sets out to find and adequate sexual partner for Tulip in her periodic heats.
(...) Tulip mattered and that changed them both. He also mattered to her, in ways that could only be read with the tripping proper to any semiotic practice, linguistic or not.
The misrecognitions were as important as the fleeting moments of getting things right. [JR] Ackerley's story was full of the fleshy, meaning making details of wordly, face-to-face love. Receiving unconditional love from another is a rarely excusable neurotic fantasy; striving to fulfill the messy conditions of being in love is quite another matter. The permanent search for knowledge of the intimate other, and the inevitable comic and tragic mistakes in that quest, commands my respect, whether the other is animal or human, or indeed inanimate, Ackerly's relationship with Tulip earned the name of love.
in THE COMPANION SPECIES MANIFESTO by Donna Haraway (courtesy of JMVM)