Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz


Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz is a treasure almost on par with being a dog owner.  Truly, what a delight to read about research that explains the various behaviors of a dog without the typical anthropomorphizing we humans tend to do.  It won’t stop me from saying that Snowdoll is a flirt or saying that Romanov it pretending to be a bunny but now I have better insight into the “why” of their behavior, regardless of how I seem to superimpose my own perception on their reality.

Horowitz sprinkles the text with her own relationship with her dog Pumpernickel (aka Pump) and simple sketches reminiscent of James Thurber.  These “asides” are both charming and insightful, inviting the reader to intellectually understand where a dog is coming from while reminding the reader that we are, after all, only human and no matter how much we know about our dogs, they will charm us into thinking otherwise.

I adore this book. I want to buy a copy for all of my friends who either have dogs or want to get a dog.  I definitely plan on keeping it and reading it again someday.  I even learned a few things about Siberian Huskies that I didn’t know already.  Of course, I went into reading this book anticipating I would learn a lot.  And I did.  I even learned a few things about myself and how I relate to others–not just canines but humans too.  Highly recommended reading.

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