Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell

Scribner. Oct. 2016. 336p. notes. ISBN 9781476795997. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781476796048. NAT HIST
OrangeReviewStarHorowitz (psychology, Barnard Coll.; On Looking: A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation) explores the sense of smell in both dogs and humans in her follow-up to Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. She explains how dogs "see" their environment through smell in the way that people depend upon their vision to take in their surroundings. Readers accompany Horowitz on a quest to learn how dogs train in order to track scents, and she recounts her adventures following dogs on their expeditions in wildlife conservation tracking and truffle mushroom hunting. The author also examines her own limitations and capabilities of smell, participating in research studies and interviewing experts. She investigates wine tasting, how perfumes are created, and the "smellscapes" of various cities. This engaging book will awaken in readers a new appreciation for the olfactory sense and the motivation to make better use of this often overlooked function.
VERDICT General readers, and dog lovers in particular, will be delighted by this book's insight into the canine aptitude for scent detection and how people who purposefully take advantage of their sense of smell gain an enhanced ability to perceive the world. [See author Q&A on p. 106.]
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