In Our Dogs, Ourselves Alexandra Horowitz examines what's called the 'dog-human bond': examining all aspects of the complexity of this unique interspecies pairing. From her position as a dog scientist, she uses the science of dogs and dog-human interaction to ground a consideration of the various ways that dogs, as a species, reflect us, and how they reflect (sometimes badly, sometimes well) on us. And she goes beyond the cognitive science to consider the culture, laws, and human dynamics that reveal and restrict this bond between two disparate species.
Horowitz shows that when each person makes the decision to breed, own, or adopt a dog, we enter into a relationship that will change us. It changes the course of our days: dogs need to be walked, fed, attended to. It can change the course of our lives: dogs weave their way into our lives with their constant silent presence by our sides. There are still many (often non-'scientific') questions that remain unanswered about dogs: about their minds, yes, but especially about living with dogs in our society, and how we can best treat them now and in the future. Our Dogs, Ourselvess addresses those questions. It is intended for the curious dog owner and science-lover alike, who wants to read good, intelligent thinking on dogs, not overly sentimental but not without heart.
Alexandra Horowitz is the author of the bestselling Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know. She teaches psychology, animal behaviour and canine cognition at Barnard College, Columbia University. She earned her PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of California. She lives in New York City with her husband, the writer Ammon Shea, her son, and two dogs.
"Alexandra Horowitz's masterful and witty biography of two intertwined species fully captures the profundity, joy, and absurdity of our bonds with our closest animal companions. Our Dogs, Ourselves is a treat for dog lovers, but also essential reading for anyone interested in our relationship with nature, and what that says about us."
– Ed Yong, bestselling author of I Contain Multitudes
"In Our Dogs, Ourselves, Alexandra Horowitz has achieved the rare and admirable feat of combining hard scientific information with a storyteller's gift of detail and depth, a gossip columnist's gift for eavesdropping, and a philosopher's work of making us face the difficult aspects of our love of dogs – all the time re-enforcing the rightness of our choice to love them."
– Mary Gordon
"If you love dogs, and even talk to them, you're going to rejoice at this entertaining and enlightening book."
"History, facts and data are woven along with entertaining personal anecdotes and asides, allowing Horowitz's findings to be delivered in an appealing, accessible way that readers, especially dog lovers, will savor and absorb."
– Shelf Awareness
"Though grounded in extensive academic research, Horowitz's book speaks to a broad audience through personal anecdotes and relatable prose."
– Library Journal
"For a wide-ranging exploration of the human-dog relationship, including its perils and pitfalls, pick up Our Dogs, Ourselves [...] [It] will make you see canine companions in new ways."
– Science News