February 8, 2013 - 15:30 — SarahVessalo

It's this time of year - the dead of winter, post-Holidays, when the cold has settled into a poor Midwesterner's very bones - that I start to get sick of my own thoughts.  I'll come home to my dim, cool apartment, sigh, peel off my salty boots, and let my mind go off on a zillion tangents.  When the heck will I find time to file my taxes?  Will we even get a refund this year?  Why did I take on such a steep car payment?  When can I wash my car?  Why haven't I washed this rug yet?  When will my sister call me back about planning her bridal shower?  How will I afford that?  Why did she have to get married a mere two years after I did?  I still haven't figured out where to put these boxes...

You get the point.

Then, already in a type-A tizzy, I round the corner and meet the placid brown eyes of my basset hound, who greets me with a contented yawn and lazy wag of the tail.  "Hey," she seems to say in greeting, "what's all the worry about?"

Needless to say, she isn't concerning her doggy self with taxes and dirty rugs.  Ah, to be a basset hound.

Fortunately for those of us with such bizarre fantasies, there has been plenty published on just this subject.  Here are a few books that allow us to escape into the minds of our mellower furry friends:

  1. The Dog Who Dog Who Couldn't Stop LovingCouldn't Stop Loving by J. Moussaieff Masson
    A groundbreaking, inspiring, and deeply personal exploration of the unique relationship between dogs and humans, from the bestselling author of Dogs Never Lie About Love.
  2. For the LoveFor the Love of a Dog of a Dog by Patricia B. McConnell
    An animal behaviorist and author of The Other End of the Leash draws on case studies, as well as the latest in scientific research, to discuss the truth about a dog's emotional life, its implications for the human-canine bond, and its impact on dog training.
  3. The Hidden Hidden Life of DogsLife of Dogs by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
    Offering insight into the lives and habits of dogs, wolves, and dingoes, a collection of case stories illustrate basic philosophies for canine happiness and their human-like emotions and relationships.
  4. How Dogs How Dogs ThinkThink by Stanley Coren
    An upbeat, provocative exploration of canine thought and feeling draws on current scientific research to offer readers insight into how to solve problems through a better understanding of dog behavior, addressing such topics as the canine ability to understand human language and a dog's capacity for ESP.
  5. Through a Through a Dog's EyesDog's Eyes by Jennifer Arnold
    The author, a trainer of service dogs, presents insights into the capabilities, intelligence, and sensitivity of dogs, and discusses the relationship between dogs and humans; and helps humans in understanding dogs by understanding how they see the world.
  6. The Genius Genius of Dogsof Dogs by Brian Hare
    Brian Hare, dog researcher, evolutionary anthropologist, and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, and Vanessa Woods offer revolutionary new insights into dog intelligence and the interior lives of our smartest pets.