Saturday, 14 February 2015

Book Review: Inside of a Dog

Hey everyone! Today I am bringing you the book review of 'Inside of a Dog' by Alexandra Horowitz. Let me just start with saying that this is going to be a long book review, as you probably can see, but the main point I want you all to take out of this, if you don't actually want to read my rambling thoughts, is that this is a must read for all dog owners. It is a Non-Fiction which means it at times is a hard book to get 'into' but please stick it out, because it is worth it in the end. I definitely took a long time to read it, I remember purchasing it back in August when I was in America!
I am not going to give much away in this post, because I do need you to read it yourselves, but I will give you a quick rundown of some of the highlights.
A dog's umwelt is a main discussion point of the book. My take on it is that in basic words the umwelt is the way a dog sees the world, which may or may not depending on which circumstances may be different from our own. This is one thing I have never really thought much into, which now looking back makes a huge impact on the way I treat my animals. I am not going to lie, anthropomorphism is my middle name. Now, I think a little bit more into how they are seeing and thinking, before putting my own thoughts over top.
"It either fits in the mouth or it's too big for the mouth" I think I just found a perfect quote for Diego. This is exactly how he treats everything. While I was reading, he went and stole a cardboard tube which he proceeded to destroy, straight after that going for a Kong toy, upon getting bored of that he had his Nerf ball in his mouth. I think this all took the space of 15 minutes. This is how he acts atleast half the time, the other half he is sleeping. He has to trial everything in his mouth, and if he can't get it in their or lift it, well it is no use to him.
A cool thing I learnt from the book is that dogs can catch our yawns. I have never realised this, or thought it would be possible. So of course I tried it out, and straight away Diego was yawning away. The only other animal known to catch yawns is the Chimpanzee, although not necessarily limited to them as other animals have probably not been tested. This shows the relationship between person and dog and is amazing to see that we can all connect on that level with another species.
I have to say that my favourite part of the whole book, and the part that inspired a change in my mind was the last chapter. This chapter was the less scientific than the rest of the book, and therefore was a much more engaging read. So much of it stood out for me and even if you don't generally go for the more 'science' books, pick this book up to read just that last chapter, trust me you will thank me. I even forced my boyfriend to read this, and I haven't seen him pick up a book the whole time we have been together, but I knew that he would gain insight from reading it as much as me. As always, I don't want to give too much away because my writing skills would not compete with the authors, and she deserves all the credit, but to put it simply, this chapter is about gathering everything you read in the book, and putting it into layman's terms, making it more understandable and closer to home.
At the start of the book when Alexandra wrote how upon reading this book, the way we view our own dogs is going to completely change, I did doubt her. However, now that I have completed the book, she was right. In a good way though. I now look at the world differently, I imagine what Diego is experiencing and how it could be completely different to what I am. It has made me hold back from getting frustrated or confused and instead giving me the chance to realise why he is acting like he is. I definitely think that this book has helped improve me as a dog owner and from here I will be able to get a deeper connection with the dogs in my life. Go out and get this book as soon as possible, and get reading! Highly recommend.

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