The Lost History of the Canine Race: Our 15,000-Year Love Affair With Dogs
3 journalers for this copy...
Looking at when you sent it, I was probably in techs for "La Cage" (Techs are insane, and commonly known as "Hell Week"), so I can understand my not getting it till after opening. But there is no excuse for forgetting and not journalling once the show was up. I grovel before you in abject apology.....
And were I to immediately journal books after reading, instead of staking them till I get a round tuit, I would then have realized a good month sooner. 'Cause this book did not wait it's turn on Mt Tbr, but instead jumped to the head of the Non-fiction line. ( I usually have an NF and a F going simultaneously).
I read this over the summer, and really enjoyed it. And learned a lot. I was totally blown away by the author's research into human-canine history. Which was often difficult digging.
For example, while we all know cats were(are?) considered the familiars of witches, evil incarnate, and oft burned with them, I, for one, had absolutely no idea the same was true of dog companions!
I found the evolution of breeds to be quite interesting, and as was intrigued (and sometimes appalled) by the sociological class distinctions. Altogether, a fascinating book :)
Later: Lots of fascinating information here, including some excellent points about the scarcity of information on early contact between dogs and humans due to careless or selective archaeology. Even allowing for that, it's clear that the domestication process of dogs began long before that of any other animals. (This book's a bit dated, and refers to genome-testing as still in progress; more recent research supports the premise, though.)
I enjoyed reading about various types of dogs in antiquity, especially in Egypt, which I usually associate with cats rather than dogs. Anubis is described here as a dog-headed god, while I'd always thought of him as jackal-headed; the distinction, between a domestic dog and a wild one, seems significant. But other illustrations clearly show domestic dogs used in hunting scenes, and they were clearly a valued part of Egyptian culture.
The path by which dogs began to be bred for appearance rather than functionality began farther back than I'd imagined, with the Pekingese being very possibly one of the oldest distinct breeds of dog.
Some of the working breeds haven't fared as well as the pet/companion breeds - those poor turnspit dogs! - but I enjoyed learning more about their history. And I was totally surprised to learn of "canoe dogs", small dogs living among certain Native American tribes.
The section on dogs in wartime was both heart-warming and tragic. (I recently read a graphic novel called Dogs of War which presented fictionalized stories of war-dogs in WWI, WWII, and Vietnam, based on real-life situations.)
This book even goes into the changing place of dogs in the world of consumerism, with new emphasis on advertising of pet foods, toys, and other accessories.
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