<B>The Philosoher's Dog</B> If your brow is high enough and your quest for a deeper understanding of the intricate bond between animal and human life is strong enough, <B>The Philosopher's Dog: Friendships with Animals</B>by Raimond Gaita offers provocative insight. "The person who has rid himself of the need of others, who longs and grieves for no one, is not someone who is positioned to see things most clearly," Gaita suggests, and he extends this need to include the love of animals. A professor of philosophy, Gaita uses what he calls a mix of "storytelling and philosophical reflections on the stories" to analyze mankind's connection to animals. If you are as comfortable with quotes from Socrates and Kierkegaard as you are with tales of Jack the cockatoo and Gypsy the German Shepard, Gaita's book offers both intellectual challenges and anecdotal treasures.

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