Why We Are Fascinated By Dogs

An Inquiry Into Canine Consciousness, Intelligence, Temperament, and Extraordinary Abilities


Why We Are Fascinated By Dogs: An Inquiry Into Canine Consciousness, Intelligence, Temperament, and Extraordinary Abilities

This is a book written by one dog lover for all other dog lovers. It’s objective is to offer interest and pleasure to those who already “know” what is so about dogs, not to convince scientists or skeptics about anything.

Most people, when they interact with dogs, do so as if dogs have consciousness and deal with the world in much the same way that humans, at least small children, do. Many dog lovers, anthropomorphizing, believe that their dog thinks of her/himself as being human.

Perhaps there’s more utility in believing that dogs think of humans as being dogs. That is “cynomorphizing,” from the Greek root cyno, which means “dog.” From the dog’s perspective, humans are probably considered to be strange looking elongated dogs who walk upright rather than on four paws. Moreover, the dogs probably believe that humans are not very bright “dogs,” because they don’t engage in, or respond to, the full spectrum of canine behaviors.

Nevertheless, humans act enough like dogs that dogs believe they can get along with humans by assuming that humans will generally react and respond much like dogs. Without anthropomorphism on humans’ parts and without cynomorphism on dogs’ parts, it is unlikely that dogs would have ever been domesticated, and come to live with, work with, and serve as companions to humans.

The underlying theme of the book is that dogs are wonderful, loving, social beings who are conscious, intelligent, and capable of exhibiting extraordinary abilities – much like the best of human beings. It is full of fascinating anecdotes that serve to enhance our love and admiration for our canine companions. It also provides guidance on how to select the breed of dog that is most compatible with your personality.


David Ritchey






5.5 x 8.5




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About the Author

After being educated in economics at Yale University, David Ritchey served five years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including a year in Vietnam. Back in civilian life, he initially became a businessman as he had been trained but, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he dropped out, got a divorce, moved to a remote old stone farmhouse and took up fine art photography as his vocation, winning over 60 awards during the next fifteen years.

During that period, he became fascinated with the psychology and neurology of both creativity and metaphysics and returned to school to train as a psychotherapist. During his fifteen years of clinical practice specializing in hypnotherapy, he undertook a twelve-year project to research and write about such subjects and his first book, The H.I.S.S. of the A.S.P., was published in 2003. Writing proved to be every bit as rewarding as photography and became his primary vocation. Being an inveterate learner, he focused on non-fiction subjects, enjoying the research as much as the writing. His more than forty published works have won over 25 literary awards. His books can be found at and online book stores.

See Books by David Ritchey Here

His avocations have included scuba diving, sailing, skiing, tennis, golf, gardening, woodworking, dogs, magic, bridge, and Scrabble. He has two adult children, Harper and Mac, and one almost-adult grandchild, Brendan. He lives in historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and spends most of his time either writing or engaging in stimulating conversations over restaurant meals with close friends.