The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving: How Dogs Have Captured Our Hearts for Thousands of Years
By: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson / Narrated By: John Lee
Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
A bit of a memoir of a very special dog; a LOT of science and such all too
Even though I liked The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving, I liked it more when I viewed it mostly as a science book first, a memoir later.
Because, while Benji, a two-time failure from different service animal training programs, is an OH MY GOD, so sweeeeeeet, dog, the book is mostly about mankind’s relationship with our faithful pups throughout history. Masson posits that it wasn’t man who tamed wolves, but that the two species “tamed” each other, that we co-evolved.
He also goes to GREAT lengths to say that dogs are completely and unutterably unique, that ONLY dogs love us in such a manner. (Cats need not apply—as Masson states: Perhaps them gracing us with their presence is enough for both species in THAT particular relationship). I do think, however, that his dog, Benji, the dog he’s basing most of it on, is a truly one-of-a-kind guy. He sounds ADORABLE! The reason he flunked out of two training programs (being a seeing-eye dog was beyond him; ditto a seizure-detection dog!), is that he quite simply did not want to work. He wasn’t fond of walking, so no-go there on being trotted around in a harness, and he’d just much rather be free to run, roam, wriggle, and jump up to embrace those he deems to be his friends. I’ve had dogs, LOVED them! but I dunno, maybe it was just me, or perhaps it was the family dynamics, but they kinda had catlike traits, whereas our felines kinda had doglike traits.
I guess maybe that only means my husband and I are kinda OFF in our animal-rearing abilities.
Anyway! Expect lots of information on evolution of the species, history of the human-dog bond, and (what I liked:) PLENTY of anecdotes of what special dogs have meant to their owners.
I do love John Lee—he’s one of my favorite narrators, and he adds sooooo much sweeping drama with his elegant Shakespearean tones to this as an audiobook. Plus, it’s really hard to get bored when someone orates to ya, rather than just reads in your general direction.
All in all, pretty good, but I really wish that, tho’ Benji is well-featured, he’d been featured even mooooore. Because that is one tremendously loving and goofy dog—easy to see how Masson could be moved to write an entire book on how AWEsome dogs are.
Still, my cats did plenty of eye-rolling, but well, maybe that’s just cuz they’re cats…?
(C’mon, Masson! Time to write a book on how loving and funny THEY are!!!)