Dogs Never Lie About Love : Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs

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9780609802014: Dogs Never Lie About Love : Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs

Dogs fill our hearts with love and our minds with wonder, but their emotional lives have remained unexplored since Darwin 125 years ago. Now in Dogs Never Lie About Love, controversial psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson brilliantly navigates the rich inner landscape of "our best friends."

As he guides readers through the surprising depth of canine emotional complexity, Jeffrey Masson draws from myth and literature, from scientific studies, and from the stories and observations of dog trainers and dog lovers around the world. But the stars of the book are the author's own three dogs whose delightful and mysterious behavior provides the way to exploring a wide range of subjects--from emotions like gratitude, compassion, loneliness, and disappointment to speculating what dogs dream of and how their powerful sense of smell shapes their perception of reality. As he sweeps aside old prejudices on animal behavior, Masson reaches into a rich universe of dog feeling to its essential core, their "master emotion": love.

Like the dogs he loves, Masson's writing will capture the reader with its playful, mysterious, and serious sides. Its surprising insights provide a new dimension of understanding for dog owners everywhere.

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Review:

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson was, oddly enough, pet-free when he decided to write about their key role in his life. Not to worry, though. In a trice he acquired a troika of pups (a purebred and two mongrels) and a couple of kittens. (The pussycats, alas, play only cameo roles.) In Dogs Never Lie About Love, Masson finds plenty of new things to say about canines--not that there hasn't been a plenitude of pupper reportage in the '90s. Or at least he easily articulates what some of us might already think: "Dogs feel more than I do (I am not prepared to speak for other people)," Masson asserts. "They feel more, and they feel more purely and more intensely." Often, however, he seems to be writing less about animals than humans: "In searching for why we are so inhibited compared with dogs, perhaps we can learn to be as direct, as honest, as straightforward, and especially as intense in our feelings as dogs are." But this book is not just a cozy mix of navel gazing (bestial and human) and long, leash-filled walks. Masson offers several proofs that dogs do take the high moral road--one police pooch, for instance, refused to acknowledge his handler's attack command. A good thing, too, since Masson himself would have been the victim! In more ways than one, Dogs Never Lie About Love is a Milk-Bone masterpiece.--Kerry Fried

From the Publisher:

"Masson provides us with another blockbuster about the emotional lives of animals [and] offers a thoroughly engaging discussion of what it means to think and feel as dogs do . . . he is a skilled philosopher and accomplished writer. Highly recommended."
-- Library Journal (starred review)

"Riding the wave generated by his best-selling When Elephants Weep (1995), Masson offers further clever musings on the emotional lives of animals, concentrating on that most fervent practitioner of interspecies devotion, Rover. [Masson] is a graceful, powerful, informed writer."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Here at last, a beautiful and sensitively written book on the exceedingly important subject of dogs' emotional lives. It is high time that somebody takes on the subject, and we owe a debt of gratitude to Jeffrey Masson for doing so fearlessly, thoroughly, and lovingly."
--Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs

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