Dogs fill our lives with love, our hearts with devotion, and our minds with wonder, yet their complex emotional lives have remained unexplored since Darwin 125 years ago. Now Jeffrey Masson, the controversial psychoanalyst and best-selling author - the taboo-breaking book about the emotional lives of animals in the wild - turns at last to the species that first brought him to his love of animals as a child, exploring the rich inner landscape of "our best and truest friend."
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 Masson's own three dogs - Sasha, Sima, and Rani - 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, how they perceive of other species (including humans), and how their powerful sense of smell shapes their perception of reality. As he sweeps aside old prejudices on animal behavior, Masson navigates through the rich universe of dog feeling to its essential core, their "master emotion": love.
Like the dogs he loves, Masson's writing will captivate you with its playful, mysterious, and serious sides. Its surprising insights provide a new dimension of understanding for dog lovers everywhere and will forever change the way you look at - and think about - dogs.
“Here at last, a beautiful and sensitively written book on the exceedingly important subject of dogs' emotional lives.”
– Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Lives of Dogs
“Everyone who loves dogs and who knows the ultimate joy of being loved by a dog will want this book.”
– Doris Lessing