Going to the Dogs | Science & Technology, Sept. 2019

Horowitz's latest is for readers interested in thinking deeply about dogs and our relationships with them; a worthy addition to any pet lover’s library; teen and adult fans of Bill Bryson’s travel books and stories of rescue animals will find Zheutlin's work delightful

Horowitz, Alexandra. Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond. Scribner. Sept. 2019. 320p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781501175008. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501175022. PETS
Do dogs feel shame? Or, are their expressions in popular "pet shaming" pictures and videos based in fear? New York Times best-selling author Horowitz (head, Dog Cognition Lab, Barnard Coll., Columbia Univ.; Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know) explores shared (mis)understandings about and adoration of our canine best friends in her latest work on the subject. Topics in each chapter are handled from various angles. "The Trouble with Breeds," for example, examines the history of breeding and dog shows; hereditary disorders and diseases associated with breeding (essentially, inbreeding); breed-specific legislation (BSL) and breed bans; and humans’ inability to identify or understand "breeds" in many of these situations. A robust resource list is provided for readers to explore topics further. Though grounded in extensive academic research, Horowitz’s book speaks to a broad audience through personal anecdotes and relatable prose.
VERDICT For readers interested in thinking deeply about dogs and our relationships with them. [See Prepub Alert, 2/24/19.]—Meagan Storey, Virginia Beach
 

Wynne, Clive D.L. Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You. Houghton Harcourt. Sept. 2019. 288p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781328543967. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781328543981. PETS
This entry in the growing category of books examining the human-dog relationship is solidly supported by current research coming out of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University. Canine behaviorist Wynne draws not only on studies conducted in his laboratory, but includes research from other scientists and institutions as evidenced in 13 pages of notes and references. Following a brief reminiscence about his exposure to pets as a child, the author dives into his thesis: What if dogs don’t have cognitive abilities that enable them to understand humans (the longstanding opinion), but instead have some ability that hasn’t been defined yet? Wynne believes that anthropomorphizing our animals is permissible and proper, and that ignoring our dogs’ need for love is as unethical as mistreating them in other ways. The bond of love between dog and owner is strikingly similar to that found between couples.
VERDICT After reading this book, readers may not perceive their relationship with their dog in the same way. Engagingly written and understandable by general audiences, this is a worthy addition to any pet lover’s library. [See Prepub Alert, 3/4/19.]—Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI
 

Zheutlin, Peter. The Dog Went over the Mountain: Travels with Albie; An American Journey. Pegasus. Sept. 2019. 336p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781643132013. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781643132709. PETS
Before his 65th birthday, Zheutlin (Rescue Road) and his nine-year-old rescue retriever mix Albie set out on a journey across America. Inspired by John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, he drove 9,000 miles in six weeks, beginning in New England. Zheutlin detoured from Steinbeck’s route in a few places—a drive along Natchez Trace parkway, a side trip to Woody Guthrie’s hometown in Oklahoma, and a stopover in Louisiana to visit the organization that united his family with Albie. The object was to "share a more lighthearted, heartfelt, and dog-friendly tour of America." He doesn’t dive as deeply into the social issues as Paul Theroux (Deep South) but also doesn’t avoid politics, race, and animal abuse when it came up. Covering a leisurely 200 miles a day, the author and Albie stay in mostly budget motels and with friends, and eat at pet-friendly cafés while visiting with restaurant owners, a California state senator, musicians, and tourists along the way. VERDICT An entertaining account of a man and his dog traveling along America’s highways—teen and adult fans of Bill Bryson’s travel books and stories of rescue animals will find this delightful.—Susan Belsky, Oshkosh P.L., WI

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