Canine Relations: Love Me, Love My Dog

Americans are taking the notion of dogs' being man's best friend quite literally. In Jon Katz's fine book The New Work of Dogs (Villard), the author explores how in our increasingly fragmented and disconnected society, dogs are often treated as family members and human surrogates. A growing number of people, according to Katz, say they get more support from their dogs than their spouses or parents. The author zooms in on 12 dog-human relationships in Montclair, N.J., a prosperous community with a large canine population. In Montclair, pet-human bonds take on a variety of forms: a twice-divorced wife puts her dachshund...

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