Kathy Rudy's LOVING ANIMALS in the New Yorker

By Adam Gopnik
The New Yorker

ABSTRACT: PERSONAL HISTORY about dog ownership and the evolution of dogs. Last year, the writer’s ten-year-old daughter persuaded her parents that they should buy a dog—a Havanese puppy they named Butterscotch. Though both the writer and his wife shared a distaste for dogs, Butterscotch was a good dog. Owning a dog caused the writer to consider the long relationship between man and dog. Darwinism begins with dogs. In the opening pages of “On the Origin of Species,” Darwin describes the way breeders can turn big dogs into small ones, through selective breeding, and he insists that all dogs descend from wolves. Ever since, what we think Darwinism says has been structured in part by what we think it says about dogs. ...

Half the pleasure of having a dog is storytelling about the dog. Discusses other recent books on dogs, including Alexandra Horowitz’s “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know” and “Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy” by Kathy Rudy. We can’t enter a dog’s mind. And so the dog sits right at the edge of our circle, looking out toward all the others. She is ours, but she is other, too. A dog belongs to the world of wolves she comes from and to the circle of people she has joined.

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