For the Love of Dog: Why Man Is Dog's Best Friend is an adorable collection of black-and-white photographs of all kinds of dogs doing all kinds of things, most with rapt expressions on their faces. The accompanying captions reflect the thoughts of humans. For example, ďshe doesnít care if I have morning breath,Ē ďher presence soothes my frayed nerves,Ē and ďhe shows me itís possible to hold your head high, even when your tailís dragging.Ē
Does anyone else find this title confusing? Isnít the book about why dog is (wo)manís best friend rather than the reverse?
We may be good to dogs Ė taking them in, feeding and loving them, providing health care and a pack to be part of
- but donít they do more for us than we do for them? They soothe our nerves, they lower our blood pressure, they make us laugh and exercise, they are always there when we need them, they are unconditionally glad to see us, no matter how we look. They hang tight with us when weíre sick. Do we actually give them this much? I donít think so.
We keep them fairly reined in, on leashes, exercising on our schedule. We feed them what we want to, not what they definitively want. They are often alone, and dogs would prefer not to be. Most never have a sex life. (Iím not saying these are all bad things, but you get my drift.)
If the book were about how good we were to dogs, what would the photos show? A human knitting a doggy sweater, brushing a dog, feeding her treats? Running with him, off lead; yes, thatís a possibility.
So, this is a sweet book with an unsuitable title. (And donít further get it confused with For the Love of a Dog by Elizabeth Rose, published in 2001.} But, once you get beyond the mismatched title, youíll love the photographs and their captions. The dog on the front cover, a shaggy blonde terrier whoís having a bad hair day, is especially appealing, and the book is a nice size to slip into a briefcase or a pocketbook to carry with you. The photos of dogs will make you smile, as do the dogs you live with. They are our best friends, no question about that.