A charming meditation on the relationship between humans and dogs, drawing upon history, science, art, and personal experience to illuminate a magical bond that has endured millennia—from the New York Times bestselling author of Just My Type.
“Ludo is now an elderly gentleman, and we would do almost anything to ensure his continued happiness. We schedule our days around his needs—his mealtimes, his walks, the delivery of his life-saving medication (he has epilepsy, poor love). We spend a bizarrely large amount of our disposable income on him, and he never sends a card of thanks. When he’s not with us for a few days, the house feels extraordinarily empty. I feel so fortunate to know him.”
Ludo is a dog—Simon Garfield’s beloved black Labrador retriever, one of millions of canines who have become integral parts of our lives. But how did the dog become top dog? How did these faithful animals come to assist us not only in hunting, but in bomb disposal and cancer detection—and ultimately become our closest companions? Dog’s Best Friend examines how this bond developed over the centuries, and how it has transformed countless lives, both human and canine.
Garfield begins with the earliest visual representations—dogs depicted in ancient rock art—and ends at the laboratory that first sequenced the canine genome. Along the way, we meet the legendary Corgis of Buckingham Palace, the dogs of the Soviet space program, the world’s first labradoodle, and a border collie that can identify more than a thousand different plush toys. Garfield reveals the secrets of the world’s best dog trainers, takes us inside the wild world of dog breeding and dog shows, and unearths the deep psychological roots of the human-dog link. And Ludo pops his snout in from time to time as well.
A celebration of this deep interspecies connection, delivered with Simon Garfield’s inimitable wit, Dog’s Best Friend offers delights and insights for anyone who has ever loved a dog.