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  • Summer dog reads

    With temperatures hitting record highs, now is the time to relax and kick back with a good summer read. So why not a good dog book? There are many books to choose from, in fact the challenge is often where to start looking, so I’ve gone with a few recommended by TheBark.com.

    Non-fiction:

    • Inside of a Dog”, by Alexandra Horowitz, is a fascinating journey into the dog’s rich sensory world, providing valuable insights into what it’s like to be a dog. If you think you know your dog, think again. Horowitz peels away layers of preconceived notions and gets to the core of canine-ness to reveal that Canis familiaris is anything but familiar.
    • Man Meets Dog”, by Nobel Prize–winning scientist Konrad Lorenz, was first published 50 years ago. A classic, it launched the debate about the extent to which dogs’ modern behavior is influenced by their wolf ancestors. A slim, witty volume that showcases Lorenz’s interdisciplinary approach to understanding dogs, it was the first to delve into the canine mind.
    • Dog’s Best Friend”, by Mark Derr, examines all aspects of what makes our friendship with dogs tick. Passionate about his subject and intent on sharing his zeal, Derr’s wit and flare come through in this quirky, informative and fitting tribute to our love affair with canines big and small.
    • The Other End of the Leash” by Patricia McConnell PhD, reveals a revolutionary new perspective on our relationship with dogs, sharing insights on how they might interpret our behavior as well as essential advice on how to interact with them in ways that bring out their best.

    Fiction: 

    • Dog Walks Man”, by John Zeaman, tells of the adventures of an art critic who scours his New Jersey neighborhood to find ideal areas to walk with his Standard Poodles. From mundane, around-the-block trudges to expeditions into the urban jungle of the Meadowlands, the author seeks life’s wildness, and the dogs are perfect partners in discovering it. 
    • Timbuktu”, by Paul Auster, is a brief but extraordinary story of a dog’s life. Mr. Bones, “a mutt of no particular worth or distinction,” narrates this unforgettable and poignant tale as the sidekick and confidant of Willy G. Christmas, a brilliant and troubled homeless man from Brooklyn. 
    • The Friend”, by Sigrid Nunez, is a poignant story of loss and grief as well as a meditation on the relationship between a woman and the Great Dane she inherits. A masterful celebration of our relationship with dogs, it is also a uniquely told story about that relationship’s redemptive and healing powers.
    • Let’s Take the Long Way Home”, by Gail Caldwell, is a memorable memoir of her friendship with the late Caroline Knapp (Pack of Two) and is intensely moving, without a hint of sentimentality. Dogs brought these writers together, and as their “pack of four” explored the New England woods, they created a profound and lasting attachment that transcended grief and transformed lives.

    Set yourself a challenge to read up more about dogs during the “dog days of summer” and you may surprise yourself with how much new information you learn. Enjoy!