Publication Date: April 23, 2024
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From Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Elephant in the Room comes the first inside account of the Westminster Dog Show—America’s oldest and most beloved dog show—following one dog on his quest to become a champion.
Tommy Tomlinson was watching a dog show on television a few years ago when he had a sudden thought: Are those dogs happy? How about pet dogs—are they happy, too? Those questions sparked a quest to venture inside the dog-show world, in search of a deeper understanding of the bond between dogs and humans that has endured for thousands of years. Dogland shares his surprising, entertaining, and unforgettable adventures.
Tomlinson spends three years on the road and goes behind the scenes at dozens of dog shows across the country, where he is licked, sniffed, or rubbed up against by dogs of nearly every size, shape, and breed. Like a real-life version of Best in Show, Dogland follows one champion show dog—a Samoyed named Striker—and his devoted entourage of breeders, handlers, and owners as he competes in the Westminster Dog Show, the oldest and most famous dog show in America. Tomlinson brings the dog-show circuit to life as he witnesses teams scrambling from town to town in search of championship points and colorful ribbons. Along the way, he also speaks to scientists who have discovered new insights into how dogs and people formed their bond—and how that bond has changed over the centuries.
Engaging, charming, and informative, Dogland is an irresistibly appealing read for pop culture followers and animal lovers alike.
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