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The wolf in the parlor by Jon Franklin
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The wolf in the parlor (2009)

by Jon Franklin

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This book frequently branched out into scientific topics having little or nothing to do with the evolution of either dog or man, but it's so well written that I enjoyed every bit of it. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
Really liked the beginning of this book; interesting ideas here. But he starts repeating himself and it goes on a few chapters too long. Still an interesting story. ( )
  MaryWJ | Dec 20, 2010 |
I learned an immense amount about dogs, wolves, and humans in this fascinating book. After his fiance adds a dog to their household, he finds himself perplexed by the nature of the creature. Thereupon he embarks on a journey to understand how canines and hominids have become so closely intertwined. That journey takes him through anthropology, archaeology, and various branches of biology.
Franklin has a true gift for repackaging complex technical information into something that's digestible by the layman. I salute him. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jun 12, 2010 |
I liked this, and would have liked it a lot more (it is scattered, but that doesn't bother me) had it not been for Franklin's rabidly (pun intended) pro-purebred stance. He tells his readers not to adopt a mutt, because you don't know what a mutt's personality will be like; this despite his assertion throughout the book that all dogs ultimately take on their owners' personalities.

Franklin loves his purebred poodles. His wife is a fanatic about bloodlines and breeders, and it seems that all their friends with dogs only have purebreds as well. That's fine, but to then say that everyone should have a purebred is ridiculous. The part that astounded me was Franklin's story of, as a reporter, seeing puppies euthanized in a shelter for lack of space - and how he still, only a few pages later, repeats his advice that prospective dog owners find a breeder rather than go to a shelter.

In this day and age that advice borders on the criminally irresponsible. My two sweet beautiful adopted mutts are certainly grateful I didn't follow it. The "eternal connection" isn't based on Westminster standards, Franklin.
  atheist_goat | May 11, 2010 |
An existential look at the origins of the dog-human connection. If you are looking for a dog behavior book, check out the works of Patricia McConnell or Stanley Coren for a more detailed analysis of that. This is more of a memoir of a man's search for the meaning of his relationship with his dog. It is definitely an engaging read, but the references to how much he thinks and "his mind spinning" get a little tired. ( )
  burningskulls | Jan 16, 2010 |
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Epigraph
When the Man waked up he said,

"What is Wild Dog doing here?"

And the Woman said,

His name is not Wild Dog any more,

but the First Friend,

because he will be our friend

for always and always and always."

--Rudyard Kipling
Dedication
To Lynn

The love of my life
First words
To live the considered life is to dwell in an enigma.
Quotations
My generation sometimes looks back on the '50s and the '60s as a time that was almost magical.   Those were our salad days, and we tend to forget that there were worms in the salad.   Scorpions, even.  Marijuana, for whatever reason, heralded an era of drug use run amok, and as for free love . . . well, it was a myth right up there with the free lunch.  In large part, we behaved as we did because those were frightening times, and drugs and sex become especially appealing when the world seems about to end.  (Chap. 4, p.72)
So it was that Paul MacLean was the first to define the human dilemma as growing directly from the fact that we had three brains in one -- a "triune brain," as he called it.  We weren't individuals, we were committees -- and like all committees, we were given to inner uncertainty, dispute, and even feuding.  We were the only creature in nature capable of ganging up on itself.  (Chap. 4, p.79)
We live in our inner worlds, yet our fates are often determined by outside reality.  (Chap. 6, p.108)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805090770, Hardcover)

A man and puppy exhumed from a 12,000-year-old grave sends a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer on a journey to the dogs

Of all the things hidden in plain sight, dogs are one of the most enigmatic. They are everywhere but how much do we really know about where they came from and what the implications are of their place in our world? Jon Franklin set out to find out and ended up spending a decade studying the origins and significance of the dog and its peculiar attachment to humans. As the intellectual pursuit of his subject began to take over Franklin's life, he married a dog lover and was quickly introduced to the ancient and powerful law of nature, to wit: Love me, love my dog. Soon Franklin was sharing hearth and home with a soulful and clever poodle named Charlie.

And so began one man's journey to the dogs, an odyssey that would take him from a 12,000-year-old grave to a conclusion so remarkable as to change our perception of ourselves. Building on evolutionary science, archaeology, behavioral science, and the firsthand experience of watching his own dog evolve from puppy to family member, Franklin posits that man and dog are more than just inseparable; they are part and parcel of the same creature. Along the way, The Wolf in the Parlor imparts a substantial yet painless education on subjects as far ranging as psychological evolution and neurochemistry. In this groundbreaking book, master storyteller Franklin shatters the lens through which we see the world and shows us an unexpected, enthralling picture of the human/canine relationship.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:21 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Building on evolutionary science, archaeology, behavioral science, and the firsthand experience of watching his own dog evolve from puppy to family member, Franklin posits that man and dog are more than just inseparable; they are part and parcel of the same creature.… (more)

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