November 23, 2013

What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren

What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren is a beautifully written book about the extraordinary talents of working dogs and those who are lucky enough to interact with them. If you are an animal lover, this is definitely a book you’ll want to read!

Book Description
Cat Warren is a university professor and former journalist with an admittedly odd hobby: She and her German shepherd have spent the last seven years searching for the dead. Solo is a cadaver dog. What started as a way to harness Solo’s unruly energy and enthusiasm soon became a calling that introduced Warren to the hidden and fascinating universe of working dogs, their handlers, and their trainers.

Solo has a fine nose and knows how to use it, but he’s only one of many thousands of working dogs all over the United States and beyond. In What the Dog Knows, Warren uses her ongoing work with Solo as a way to explore a captivating field that includes cadaver dogs, drug- and bomb-detecting K9s, tracking and apprehension dogs—even dogs who can locate unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers and help find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. Working dogs’ abilities may seem magical or mysterious, but Warren shows the multifaceted science, the rigorous training, and the skilled handling that underlie the amazing abilities of dogs who work with their noses.

Warren interviews cognitive psychologists, historians, medical examiners, epidemiologists, and forensic anthropologists, as well as the breeders, trainers, and handlers who work with and rely on these remarkable and adaptable animals daily. Along the way, she discovers story after story that proves the impressive capabilities—as well as the very real limits—of working dogs and their human partners. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, Warren explains why our partnership with dogs is woven into the fabric of society and why we keep finding new uses for their wonderful noses.
” – What the Dog Knows

My Thoughts
What the Dog Knows is definitely a great book for dog lovers to read. It is however, also a fantastic book for anyone who loves and appreciates animals. This is a well written and researched volume about the amazing qualities of “working dogs” that help aid us humans with many things, but in particular the cadaver dogs who help us to find the bodies of injured or dead people.

The author starts out with the account of her own dog, who was not the best behaved dog to start out with. She was able to help direct her dog’s talent into a useful purpose and became a skilled working dog on the Cadaver Recovery Team.

These dogs are more than just a four legged animal that are cute. They talented, help us in ways we can’t even imagine, and truly become a part of the family that they live with. They deserve our respect, and Cat Warren definitely shows us this in her work of love with this book. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of What the Dog Knows, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

No comments: