October 3, 2016

Being a Dog

Being a Dog

by Alexandra Horowitz
publisher Scribner, Simon & Schuster
published October 2016
source  NetGalley

reflections:   I've always been fascinated by the dog's power of scent.  My favorite mystery book series 20 years ago was the Bloodhound series by Virginia Lanier.    I've enjoyed other books about dog scent ability:  What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren and Elle and Coach.

Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell is the newest on the list.  Have you ever wondered why a dog rolls around in the dirt?  Or wondered why sniffing pee is so important to a dog?

Alexandra Horowitz, a psychology professor specializing in canine cognition, tells us about her two dogs and experiments.  One experiment involved a motion detector camera on a post in the middle of a park to see how often dogs return there to pee and/or sniff. 

The title Being a Dog also examines how humans (specifically the author) can be more like a dog in smelling and sniffing things.  Because Horowitz is a professor, some of her paragraphs are a bit too textbook-like.  The topic of scents, however, is still intriguing.

Suggestion:  read the  interview with Alexandra Horowitz as an scentful appetizer, then rush to buy Being a Dog.