In an effort to better understand the fixation, the fascination, the downright adoration that dogs and only dogs seem to prompt within us, humor writer Alfred Gingold offers Dog World and the Humans Who Live There. Gingold, who has covered the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for Slate.com and The New York Times, is the proud owner of a Norwich terrier named George, and in his new book, he chronicles his special relationship with this beloved pet. Taking the reader step-by-step through the adoption and training processes, Gingold recounts his history with the pint-sized George in a way that's instructive as well as artful. If the author seems unduly preoccupied with George, that's because he is, and therein lies the key to this tribute to man's best friend. But Gingold moves beyond his own personal canine encounters to examine the larger cultural significance of the dog, providing commentary on dog racing, dog shows and dog accessories and memorabilia. He also includes helpful information on feeding and breeds, and an appendix with suggestions for further reading. This is a delightful look at the dominance of the dog, at the singular way dogs hold sway over the human heart. Julie Hale's dog, Howdy, who was rescued from a shelter, is still working on the basics of sit and stay.

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