From the #1 bestselling author of Inside of a Dog—“an incredible journey into the olfactory world of man’s best friend” (O, The Oprah Magazine), Alexandra Horowitz’s follow-up to her New York Times bestseller explains how dogs experience the world through their most spectacular organ—the nose.
In her “fascinating book…Horowitz combines the expertise of a scientist with an easy, lively writing style” (The New York Times Book Review) as she imagines what it is like to be a dog. Guided by her own dogs, Finnegan and Upton, Horowitz sets off on a quest through the cutting-edge science behind the olfactory abilities of the dog. In addition to speaking to cognitive researchers and smell experts, Horowitz visits detection-dog trainers and training centers; she meets researchers working with dogs to detect cancerous cells and anticipate epileptic seizure or diabetic shock; and she even attempts to smell-train her own nose.
As we come to understand how rich, complex, and exciting the world around us is to the canine nose, Horowitz changes our perspective on dogs forever. Readers will finish this book feeling that they have broken free of their human constraints and understanding smell as never before; that they have, for however fleetingly, been a dog. And, as The Boston Globe says about Being a Dog, “becoming more doglike, not surprisingly, can make anyone’s life a little more vivid.”
Horowitz, a dog cognition researcher at Barnard College and author of Inside of a Dog, explores the way dogs experience the world in this rich and absorbing examination of noses and scents. By studying the process of "seeing" the world by the scents that flood a dog's nose, Horowitz hoped to increase her own sense of smell while increasing her understanding of dogs. By performing sensory experiments on herself, she explores the structural differences between canine and human noses and the ways in which dogs are better designed to detect scents. Sniffing, the key to capturing smells, is hilariously practiced by Horowitz as she walks her dogs, Finnegan and Upton. Horowitz's experiences with dog trainers, perfumers, and truffle hunters will leave readers sniffing to find the rich aromas in their colognes, wines, and backyards. Both dog lovers and pop science readers will want to stick their noses in this book, and they may find themselves using their noses, like Horowitz and dogs everywhere, to experience the world more vividly.