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.