Dog's Best Friend: Journey to the Roots of an Ancient Partnership

Excerpts & Samples

By Ursula Birr

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Ursula Birr

Ursula Birr
Ursula Birr is a journalist and editor and the author of numerous books about dogs.



Explores the nature of the oldest human-animal relationship in cultures around the world.

• Over 100 stunning color photographs of rare breeds of dogs in their native environments.

• Gives dog lovers a new appreciation of the important role dogs have always played in human lives.

No other animal has influenced human development in as long-lasting or important ways as the dog. "He is the sanctuary of the tired, model of faithfulness, mirror-image of attention, peak of understanding and memory,the motto and mascot of wise men," historian Christian Franz Pollini wrote of the dog almost 300 years ago. This statement still holds true today,for the dog has long been man's partner in work and in play, and the roots of their spiritual connection extend into the very foundation of our culture.

In exploring the origins of this oldest human-animal relationship theauthors traveled to Borneo, Patagonia, Greenland, Namibia, and Nepal, wherethey found races of dogs that are largely unknown, dogs of pure beautyand unique character such as the azawakhs, basenjis, kelpies, and sloug his, dogs that even today are an essential part of their human community. Dog'sBest Friend follows the close partnership between man and dog in indigenous cultures and reveals how without our canine friends the cultural historyof humankind would be vastly different. Whether as sled, shepherd, or hunting dogs, whether in the desert, jungle, or eternal ice, dogs have been thefaithful companions of humans for thousands of years, and this union has proved one of the most enduring and fruitful in history.

"The book is fascinating, informative and lovely to look at. Dog-lovers--and travelers--everywhere should learn a lot from Dog's Best Friend."
Bark, Winter 2000

" . . . well written, compelling, and vivid. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of this book is that it quickly dispels any notion that the animals being talked about are "pets." There are no such animals in this book. Partners, yes. Pets, no."
Russ Reina, Talking Leaves, Winter 2000