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Book Review: What It’s Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Nonfiction by Jacki Skole0 Comments

I am forever wondering what my dog, Galen, is thinking. Sometimes I go nose to nose with her, stare into her brown eyes, and ponder what’s happening in that little brain of hers. In those moments, I presume she thinks either, “Why have you thrust your face in mine?” or “How about you give me a cookie?” I’m embarrassed to say for how many years this ritual has persisted and how many times a day it’s repeated. But it is this longing to get into Galen’s head that attracted me to the pioneering work of neuroscientist Gregory Berns, much of …

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

In Animal Behavior, Book Reviews, Nonfiction by Jacki Skole

No matter how quietly I screw off the cap on a jar of peanut butter, within seconds of its opening, I will feel my dog’s dark brown eyes drilling into me. I’m here, those eyes say. And I’m waiting. Waiting, that is, for a spoonful of her favorite treat. If dogs can sniff out bombs and bedbugs, cancer and orca poop (more on that in a moment), I shouldn’t be surprised that Galen can sniff out peanut butter. And now, having just completed Alexandra Horowitz’s newest exploration of doghood, Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell, …

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Zoologies

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Nonfiction by JoeAnn Hart

Zoologies, On Animals and the Human Spirit (Milkweed Editions) By Alison Hawthorne Deming Every day, as I walk from house to barn, or go up the driveway to get the mail, I am closely monitored by the resident crows who glide from oak to oak, loudly discussing my movements amongst themselves. In a cacophony of caws and clacks, I understand the gist of their conversation: Look, look. There she is! Here she comes! Is she carrying food? Are her barking things with her? Look, look. She’s going back to her nest! She’s gone. Crows are intelligent animals with the leisure …

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Book Review: The Soul of All Living Creatures by Vint Virga

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Conservation, Nonfiction by Midge Raymond

Vint Virga’s The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human opens with a quote from Hippocrates: “The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.” Following next is an author’s note in which Virga explains why he uses the pronouns “he” and “she” when referring to animals, rather than the often-used “it,” which, as he writes, “draws a distinction between them and us and reinforces viewing them as objects rather than fellow human beings.” From these lovely beginnings, the book goes on to recount stories from Virga’s …