In the Spirit of the Dog,
noted author and animal expert Tamsin Pickeral and award-winning photographer Astrid Harrisson join talents to celebrate the beauty and diversity of "man's best friend." This dramatically narrated and stunningly illustrated book describes vital roles dogs have played throughout history. It also traces the development of the most significant breeds, and recounts intriguing stories about breeds from the past that are now nearly forgotten. Harrisson's sumptuous photographs are complemented with a distinctive variety of specially chosen artworks that focus on dogs and their history. Here in detail is the fascinating story of dogs as they have thrived through the ages, and as they have established their special relationship with humankind. "In the world which we know, among the different and primitive geniuses that preside over the evolution of the several species, there exists not one, excepting that of the dog, that ever gave a thought to the presence of man."
Dogs' allegiance to human beings dates back to early prehistory, perhaps going as far into the remote past as 14,000 years ago. Since then, the unique bond between humans and dogs has endured the test of time, and has often been exemplified by historic events, such as dogs accompanying troops into battle; dogs being present on the sidelines while momentous matters of state are decided; and dogs seated on the laps of emperors, or curled and asleep during events marking grand spiritual occasions and religious rituals. Spirit of the Dog,
explores our canine companions' long and varied history, describing the many roles played by dogs in human cultures around the world. This book also celebrates the special place that dogs have always held in the hearts of men and women. Author and animal specialist Tamsin Pickeral looks deeply into the history and development of major dog breeds, noting their many differences--for instance, describing the slender, powerful sight hounds, the hard-working Siberian Huskies, the spirited Terrier breeds, and the numerous and usually personable varieties of mongrels, among many others. Her absorbing discussions group dogs according to their key characteristics, for instance, Elegance and Speed; Power and Strength; Devotion and Loyalty; Agility and Wisdom. She then goes on to examine each breed in comprehensive detail.
Among all species of mammals, the dog is the most varied in shape, size, and color, and is also the most versatile, whether working as a hunter, herder, protector, or simply providing companionship as a domestic pet. The Spirit of the Dog
celebrates this diversity, both through Tamsin Pickeral's inspired commentary, and in noted animal photographer Astrid Harrisson's stunning visual images, which capture the spirit, energy, playfulness, and sense of loyalty that characterize "man's best friend."
(back flap) Tamsin Pickeral
is an art historian and animal expert who grew up in the English countryside, the daughter of a veterinary surgeon. She was surrounded by a varied mix of animals, including dogs, ferrets, horses, and even rescued squirrels. She has been a devoted dog owner all her life, and her studies have focused on the evolution of animals and their relationships with humans.
Tamsin has lived in Europe and North America, and has many years' experience as a veterinary nurse. A widely published international author, she has written several books on animal themes, including The Majesty of the Horse,
also published in North America by Barron's. Astrid Harrisson
is an award-winning photographer, as well as an experienced graphic designer and creative director. She began photographing animals while working on a ranch in the hills of northwest Argentina. Astrid has traveled widely since then, photographing animals in the foothills of the Andes, as well as in the United States, Cuba, Switzerland, Mozambique, and Iceland. She has also collaborated with Tamsin Pickeral on the acclaimed The Majesty of the Horse.