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Dogs Never Lie About Love : Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs Paperback – September 8, 1998


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Dogs Never Lie About Love : Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs + When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals + The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy - and Why They Matter
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; First Edition edition (September 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609802011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609802014
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson was, oddly enough, pet-free when he decided to write about their key role in his life. Not to worry, though. In a trice he acquired a troika of pups (a purebred and two mongrels) and a couple of kittens. (The pussycats, alas, play only cameo roles.) In Dogs Never Lie About Love, Masson finds plenty of new things to say about canines--not that there hasn't been a plenitude of pupper reportage in the '90s. Or at least he easily articulates what some of us might already think: "Dogs feel more than I do (I am not prepared to speak for other people)," Masson asserts. "They feel more, and they feel more purely and more intensely." Often, however, he seems to be writing less about animals than humans: "In searching for why we are so inhibited compared with dogs, perhaps we can learn to be as direct, as honest, as straightforward, and especially as intense in our feelings as dogs are." But this book is not just a cozy mix of navel gazing (bestial and human) and long, leash-filled walks. Masson offers several proofs that dogs do take the high moral road--one police pooch, for instance, refused to acknowledge his handler's attack command. A good thing, too, since Masson himself would have been the victim! In more ways than one, Dogs Never Lie About Love is a Milk-Bone masterpiece.--Kerry Fried

From Library Journal

Masson, a psychoanalyst and author, swings through a great deal of material and research in this work to discuss his beliefs regarding dog and wolf personalities. At the core of Masson's thesis is a belief about the nature of the dog's ability to love in an almost pure sense of the word and that dogs have uniquely keen feelings of pain, frustration, and happiness. His explanations are worthwhile; ultimately, many of his conclusions seem to be drawn primarily from observations of his personal pets, which, while valid, tends to weaken his credibility somewhat. Since the information doesn't seem terribly well organized and covers so much ground, listeners may have to replay the tapes several times to absorb the abundant ideas and the rich nuances in many of his messages. Still, Masson presents a genuinely useful look into the psychological make up of our "best friends." James Lurie is a fine narrator, and the technical aspects of the tape are satisfactory. Recommended for public and veterinary school libraries.?Carolyn Alexander, Brigadoon Lib., Salinas, Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The book is full of these stories.
Rosemary Thornton
It's certainly not a DANGEROUS book as some of the one star folks seem to think and, if you love your dog I doubt that you'll find it boring.
J. Tew
This book is a must read for all dog lovers and those who would like to be one.
Harry Meeth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Thornton VINE VOICE on April 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Daisy is our dog.
I grew up with a wild 65 pound beastie of a dog in the home of my childhood. When we adopted a 10 week old Sheltie (Daisy) I wanted a better experience. I wanted to learn how to really love dogs.
This book [and Daisy] helped me understand the depth and love and compassion within these gentle animals.
A prior reviewer said that Jeffrey Moussaieff simply created his dogs in his own image, but how can a pet live with us for a lifetime without picking up on our emotional vibes?
This book is filled with compelling anecdotes and stories about dogs and the unconditional love that is in their heart and soul.
One story from this book - (from memory) Many decades ago, a man decides he wants to get rid of his dog. He chooses to end the dog's life by drowning it. He rows out into a large river and pushes the dog out of the boat. The dog ducks under the boat and swins up on the other side and tries to crawl back into the boat. The man goes to the other side of the small boat and using the oar, pushes the dog back under the water. Dog again swims to the other side and tries to crawl back in. The man is losing his temper. He stands up and uses the oar to push the dog under and hold him under. In doing so, he loses his balance and falls into the water. The dog saves his life.
I shared this story with children I teach as an example of unconditional love.
I don't know that we humans have really mastered this unconditional love that bears no ill will, but just keeps pouring out love.
The book is full of these stories.
I highly recommend it.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
Compassionately and with easy to read style, this author investigates the emotional state of dogs.
From his three to wide survey of literature on the subject, Masson puts forward observation after observation which this reviewer agress with that something very powerful, real and special goes on inside the dogs we come to cherish.
The sensitivity, the loyalty, the heart to give and receive love, its all here in this good read of the topic.
Particularly intriguing is his contention with some major dog training ideas, such as Alpha leader, wolf derivation, etc. He makes good points without being too dogmatic. Also, his analyis of dominance and submission is fascinating.
There is much for the dog enthusiast to relate to and ponder in this. Great read for any dog person.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
An early Christian desert monk said, "A dog is better than I am. He loves and does not judge." Masson does a masterful and moving job of fleshing out that statement, while at the same time providing tantalizing glimpses into the differences between dogs and wolves, dogs and cats, and dogs and humans. What is most remarkable is that inter-species communication and even love are possible, and that humans do not have a monopoly on the latter. In fact, as the desert saint said, we may well be behind the dog in our capacity to love and forgive. As one who has owned dogs (and cats) for decades and who is the proud owner of a Saint Bernard now, I deeply appreciate the insight that Masson has given me into the emotional life, indeed the soul, of my companion.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are a dog lover, read this book. The book reflects on the fact that dogs truly "live in the moment". They don't worry about yesterday or tomorrow and are so grateful for the smallest things. Which, I believe is the secret to human happiness only we don't seem to GET it. Also, I had never really considered it before, but the inter-species bond we have with our dogs is unique to this planet. Sure, lots of people love their cats or horses, but do either of them go for rides in the car with their owners, go on vacation with the family or dance with joy when the owner comes home from work?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful! I've probably never read a better dog book! Don't believe those who say it is boring or exploiting. It truly tells about dogs' number one emotion; love. When I was through reading this book, and realizing how loyal and loving they are to kind people, I felt the need to treat our intelligent partners even better.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "tammiriam" on February 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
This was a wonderful book. I'm not a non-fiction reader by nature, but I absolutely loved every interesting, loving, thoughtful chapter. I found the many anecdotes so touching, and often found myself envying Masson's freedom to spend so much time with his dogs (and cats) every day. I enjoyed his writing so much that I plan on reading another of his books, "Why Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals."
If you love dogs (and/or truly love animals in general), and, like me, berate yourself for sometimes not appreciating our canine friends as much as you should, read this book. I believe people who gave it a bad review are letting their cynicism color their judgement. The fact remains that dogs love us in spite of our flawed human selves, and God bless them for it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Dalrymple VINE VOICE on March 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Touching, interesting and helpful, this book is is a treasure of information about dogs. I enjoyed the look inside the behavior of dogs and the humor Masson used to share these insights. I work at a pet rescue and also write columns for pet rescue newsletters. The factual information in this book allowed me to research the reasons for behaviors of dogs and I feel confident that the information in Masson's book is correct.
I also like the warm and fuzzy stories about pets and their owners Masson uses to support or introduce his subjects.
You can't go wrong with this book.
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