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Culture: Reviews
Summer Reading List
4 ClassicsThe Dog Who Wouldn’t Be By Farley Mowat A boy-and-his-dog-and-owl story that will charm the whole family. Man Meets Dog By Konrad Lorenz This slim, witty and intelligent volume by the Nobel Prize-winning scientist is a must-read. It was the first to delve into the canine mind and also launched the debate about the extent to which the behavior of dogs is affected by their wolf ancestors...
Culture: Reviews
Made for Each Other
Olmert Da Capo Press, 288 pp., 2009; $26
Your dog loves you. The regular kibble, the long walks in the park and the intense games of fetch certainly help, but at the end of the day, your dog is hardwired to love you. When early humans dared to invite wolves into their caves—or perhaps followed wolves into theirs? —an evolutionary metamorphosis was set in motion. And after thousands of generations of humans and dogs hunting, working and...
Culture: Reviews
Playtime for Your Dog
Cadmos, 128 pp., 2006; $32.95
Do your pups suffer from Winteritis? Four of my five dogs would rather not leave the house until spring if at all possible. (The fifth one is impervious to all extremes, weather or otherwise.) Their cabin fever requires creative ways to keep them active that don’t destroy the house in the process! Playtime for Your Dog, by Christina Sondermann, is my new winter dog bible. (And, since it also has...
Culture: Reviews
The Daily Coyote
Simon & Schuster, 304 pp., 2008; $23
While in high school, Shreve Stockton was voted “most likely to wake up in a strange place.” It is to our delight that this roamer discovered a place that could satisfy her wanderlust and inspire this engaging and unusual story, which is based on her blog of the same name. The book is written in an easy conversational style and illustrated with Stockton’s photographs; she has a good eye, and one...
Culture: Reviews
Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman
Delta Trade Paperback, 304 pp., 2009; $14
With no experience in dogsledding (and no obvious passion for dogs), British travel writer and professional amateur-adventurer Polly Evans spends 11 weeks in the Yukon and Alaska learning everything she can about “the howling, capering, tail-wagging world of sled dogs.” Evans scoops poops, cleans pens, ladles out horsemeat, massages cream into worn pads, fastens booties, clips harnesses and...
Culture: Reviews
Do-It-Yourself Agility Equipment (2nd ed.)
Clean Run, 164 pp., 2008; $29.95
Backyard agility can be a fun activity for you and your dog, but if you price heavy-duty aluminum equipment like dog-walks and A-frames, you’ll find that it’s not exactly budget friendly. Which is why Jim Hutchins’ second edition of Do-It-Yourself Agility Equipment: Constructing Agility Equipment for Training or Competition couldn’t be more timely; like the first, it offers clear, concise...
Culture: Reviews
Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals
University of Chicago Press, 208 pp., 2009; $26
As a child of the ’60s, I learned about humankind’s separation from and dominion over “the animals.” Toolmaking, morality and opposable thumbs were said to be elements of that separation. Well, we still have those thumbs. Our other human conceits are falling away, however, under carefully devised studies with outcomes that reveal the richness of “lower” species’ lives and social interactions....
Culture: Reviews
Heroic Measures
Knopf, 208 pp., 2009; $23
Author of The Tattoo Artist and Small Claims, Jill Ciment makes a deft sortie into dry realism with an unlikely hero: a 12-year-old Dachshund. This slim book concerns Alex and Ruth, a fairly normal, elderly, childless couple on New York’s Lower East Side who have just put their apartment on the market. Their shining light is Dorothy, their aging Dachshund, acquired as a puppy when Ruth retired...
Culture: Reviews
Dogs: History, Myth, Art
Harvard University Press, 208 pp., 2008; $35
When dog lovers stroll through the halls of any major museum, it’s easy to guess where their eyes will land: the foxes in a Japanese woodblock print, the magisterial canine face of the Egyptian god Anubis, the Terrier at the foot of a beggar in a European watercolor. Imagine, then, an exhibit that—instead of lingering on the vibrant colors of the Renaissance, the ancient textiles of Babylonia, or...
Culture: Reviews
Dog On It
Atria Books, 306 pp., 2009; $25
Look sharp, dog-loving mystery fans. There’s a new PI (private investigator to the uninitiated) team in town: Bernie Little and his sidekick Chet. Bernie’s personal life is in shambles—a bitter ex-wife, more bills than money, an aging car—and his background is hinted at rather than explained; he was once a policeman, it seems. Bernie plays the ukulele; loves Hawaiian shirt prints; misses his son...

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