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The Nature of Dogs

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Overview

In The Nature of Dogs, Mary Ludington seeks to capture the true nature of dogs — their beauty, character, and spirit. Any dog owner will tell you that there is a profound and mysterious connection between humans and their dogs. Our regard for these creatures undeniably runs deeper than mere gratitude for companionship: we respect the unknowable aspect of their natures and understand that at least a part of their true spirit resides outside the human sphere. Though they hunger for our affection, our pets are often...

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Overview

In The Nature of Dogs, Mary Ludington seeks to capture the true nature of dogs — their beauty, character, and spirit. Any dog owner will tell you that there is a profound and mysterious connection between humans and their dogs. Our regard for these creatures undeniably runs deeper than mere gratitude for companionship: we respect the unknowable aspect of their natures and understand that at least a part of their true spirit resides outside the human sphere. Though they hunger for our affection, our pets are often most themselves in their natural habitat.

Mary Ludington's spectacular and sensitive photographs reflect this understanding, capturing the particular personalities of sixty different breeds, from the handsome and feisty Irish Terrier to the exuberant and hardy Labrador Retriever; from the sleek, high-stepping Italian Greyhound to the snub-nosed, princely Pug. Ludington has her subjects roam outdoors, observing quietly and letting the dogs dictate her shots. The striking collection of more than one hundred twenty-five photographs that results from this natural approach offers us a glimpse of the dogs in their element — whether caught midstride or in an hour of well-earned repose.

Of course, as Patricia Hampl notes in her foreword, though we may find ourselves drawn to a certain breed's characteristics, our love for dogs inevitably becomes deeply specific; a dog is an individual, not a bloodline. "There is only one dog," she writes, "mine...or of course, yours." This intense relationship between pet and owner is reflected in the set of original, personal essays that accompanies Ludington's photographs. The contributing writers include:

  • JAMES HILLMAN, renowned psychologist and prolific author
  • MARY GAITSKILL, National Book Award finalist
  • TEMPLE GRANDIN, PhD in animal science and spokeswoman for the welfare of animals
  • KEVIN KLING, playwright, humorist, and regular contributor to All Things Considered
  • WINONA LADUKE, Native American environmental activist and two-time vice-presidential candidate
  • PETER TRACHTENBERG, poet, essayist, and short-story writer

Their personal perspectives combine to create a narrative that addresses the nature of the species we call "man's best friend" in a volume you will treasure for years to come.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Nature of Dogs is an exquisite journey — in powerful photographs and beautiful words — into the diverse world of dogs. These remarkable images and evocative essays capture the true soul of dogs. I was deeply moved by this book." — Jon Katz, author of Dog Days; Dispatches from Bedlam Farm

"Mary Ludington's affectionate and respectful portraits return us to our richest and most cherished memories, to times when we were so completely accepted by these mysterious and forgiving creatures, or times when they worked alongside us until they had nothing left. The range of their personalities is vast, their virtues legendary, their humor a refuge. But it is that curious way they have of glancing at us, quivering on the edge of language, which lingers long after they've wandered off, that opens for us, again, the mystery of our animal being." - Barry Lopez

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416542872
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 10/16/2007
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 927,189
  • Product dimensions: 11.50 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Ludington specializes in animal photography through her commissioned portraiture and personal work. She has received numerous awards for her photography and her work is frequently published in the AKC Gazette. Her photographs are exhibited nationally and collected throughout the world. Ludington participates in conformation, field trial, and earth dog sports, and devotes time to dog and horse rescue efforts. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner, Kevin Kling, and their two dachshunds, a basset hound, and a Dales pony.

Visit www.maryludington.com for more information.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    I'm in dog heaven. Mary Ludington's portraits of dogs are so captivating, I find myself musing over each page - savoring them. The Irish Setters hunting in the tall grass, the French Bulldog's come-and-get-me attitude, I love love love them all. And if that's not enough, the essays that intermingle with the dogs bring a new and unusual insight into our lives with dogs, and make this more than a visually beautiful book, it is full of wisdom, full of joy. It's the ultimate gift for the dog lover in your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    Incredibly beautiful

    I fell in love with this book! The photographs are incredible and the essays are too. I am going to give this to all of my dog-loving friends for Christmas.

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