Citizen Canine

Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs


By David Grimm

Formats and Prices




$15.99 CAD



  1. ebook $11.99 $15.99 CAD
  2. Trade Paperback $16.99 $21.50 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 8, 2014. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Dogs are getting lawyers. Cats are getting kidney transplants. Could they one day be fellow citizens?

Cats and dogs were once wild animals. Today, they are family members and surrogate children. A little over a century ago, pets didn’t warrant the meager legal status of property. Now, they have more rights and protections than any other animal in the country. Some say they’re even on the verge of becoming legal persons.

How did we get here — and what happens next?

In this fascinating exploration of the changing status of dogs and cats in society, pet lover and award-winning journalist David Grimm explores the rich and surprising history of our favorite companion animals. He treks the long and often torturous path from their wild origins to their dark days in the middle ages to their current standing as the most valued animals on Earth. As he travels across the country — riding along with Los Angeles detectives as they investigate animal cruelty cases, touring the devastation of New Orleans in search of the orphaned pets of Hurricane Katrina, and coming face-to-face with wolves and feral cats — Grimm reveals the changing social attitudes that have turned pets into family members, and the remarkable laws and court cases that have elevated them to quasi citizens.

The journey to citizenship isn’t a smooth one, however. As Grimm finds, there’s plenty of opposition to the rising status of cats and dogs. From scientists and farmers worried that our affection for pets could spill over to livestock and lab rats to philosophers who say the only way to save society is to wipe cats and dogs from the face of the earth, the battle lines are being drawn. We are entering a new age of pets — one that is fundamentally transforming our relationship with these animals and reshaping the very fabric of society.

For pet lovers or anyone interested in how we decide who gets to be a “person” in today’s world, Citizen Canine is a must read. It is a pet book like no other.





The Pet Republic

I never imagined that writing a book about cats and dogs would land me in jail. Yet here I am on a Friday afternoon in mid-September, surrounded by inmates in the middle of Cell Block B. At the moment, I’m more cold than afraid. The guards have cranked up the air conditioner, and I stand shivering, my arms crossed tightly against my chest. The space is two stories high, with a drab gray floor, chalky cinder block walls, and round convex mirrors hinged on every corner. The only color comes from thirty dark orange doors that line both floors, each sporting a large white number and two narrow slits for windows. A couple of minutes ago these doors swung open, and inmates poured out from their closet-sized cells. Now they’re all around me. One—heavily tattooed, with a bald head, tan skin, and a long, ragged goatee—heads my way. He has something in his hand.

I’m here by choice. A month ago, I phoned Marc Bekoff, the world’s foremost authority on animal emotions, to ask about his work on pets. During our conversation, he mentioned that he volunteers at the Boulder County Jail, just a few miles from his Colorado home. He teaches a class on animal behavior as part of Roots & Shoots, a community outreach program founded by his friend, renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. Sometimes, he told me, he chats with the inmates about dogs and cats. My interest was piqued. I asked if I could fly out and sit in on a class. He shot a couple of e-mails to the jail, and I was cleared for takeoff.

I met Bekoff in person earlier this morning. A wiry sixty-six-year-old with reddish-gray hair tied back in a long ponytail, he lives in a cabin in the woods about a ten-minute drive from downtown Boulder. After a short hike around his property, we hopped into his car and drove to the jail. On the way, he told me he started teaching the class eleven years ago. The inmates who take it are “in transition,” meaning they’re either coming from a maximum-security prison or are about to enter one. “I’ve had everyone from a virtuoso pianist to a guy who killed his step-parents,” he told me. One inmate used to act as Bekoff’s bodyguard while he was inside. “I only needed him once,” he said cryptically.

After about fifteen minutes we pulled into a large asphalt parking lot surrounded by grass and trees. A small lake was just a few hundred yards away; the Rocky Mountains dominated the horizon. The view was wasted on the adobe-colored structure hunkered in the middle of the lot, a boxy behemoth of tall, windowless walls. We parked the car and headed in.

I had never been inside a jail before. On first impression, it reminded me of a doctor’s office. Bekoff and I entered a modest lobby, where a receptionist handed me a clipboard heavy with paperwork. A vending machine buzzed nearby. A handful of people sat in chairs lining the perimeter of the room, seemingly waiting for their appointments. But the doctor’s office vibe quickly faded when the receptionist told me to remove everything from my pockets and handed me a badge with a large black E on it. (I would later learn it stood for “escorted visitor.”) Then, a burly guard everyone referred to as “the Commander” entered the room and led Bekoff and me into the heart of the jail. We walked a maze of narrow hallways, occasionally stopping to stare up at a security camera before a door would open. Finally, we arrived at the command center, a glass room with a couple of guards sitting in swivel chairs before a control panel of knobs and monitors. On the other side was the door to Cell Block B. Bekoff and I walked through it. The Commander closed the door behind us, remaining with the other guards. I’d never felt so vulnerable.

And now the cell doors have swung open, the inmates have streamed out, and one is heading straight for me. “Hey!” he shouts, advancing on me in blue scrubs and bright orange sneakers. “I want to show you something.” He thrusts an object in my face.

It’s a photo of his cats. “These are my little ones,” he beams. “My wife sends me pictures of them instead of the kids.” The inmate, whose name I would later learn is Richard, owns a couple of pit bulls as well, plus a turtle and three fish. He begins to tell me about them when another man approaches. This one, named George, is in his mid-sixties with short white hair and a Band-Aid slapped across his left temple. He shows me a picture of two collies standing on a stack of tires. “These are my grand dogs,” he says. “The one on the left is the fastest dog west of the Mississippi.” More inmates crowd around me. More pictures of pets. I feel like a judge at a proud-parent contest.

“Come on,” Bekoff smiles, tugging my arm. “Help me set up.” We grab some plastic chairs from the sides of the room and begin to place them in the center of the cell block. The inmates pitch in. Then Bekoff and I take a seat, and everyone else follows suit. Staring out at a motley crew of ages, temperaments, and tattoo patterns, this doesn’t feel like any class I’ve ever been in. But as we start chatting, I find the men surprisingly attentive, gregarious, and well-spoken.

Bekoff asks if any of the guys consider their pets members of the family. He’s met with an enthusiastic chorus of yeahs. “Our dogs get Christmas and birthday presents,” says George, who I learn used to be a lawyer. “Our cats run our house,” hollers Mark, a redhead with light crimson skin. “When one of our animals dies, it’s like a death in the family,” murmurs another inmate, Darren. “We cry like nobody’s business.” Many of the men see themselves in their animals. Russell, a muscular fellow with short black hair who has been in and out of prisons his entire life, says his dog was saved from an abusive home, just like he was. “Me, my wife, my German shepherd—we’re all rescues. We’ve all had the same life.” Matt, in his mid-forties with spiky white hair, says that in here he feels like a stray no one wants. “We’re outcasts.” Growing up, he says, his parents beat his pets. That’s not an attitude he’s inherited, at least when it comes to animals. “I’ll punch a guy in the mouth, but not a cat or a dog,” he says. “I’ll pet my kitten and not think twice about getting into a bar fight.”

We talk for an hour. The men tell me stories about their dogs experiencing separation anxiety while they’re behind bars, sniffing their old clothes and whimpering; about their cats curling up with them in bed when they get out; about how their pets eat better at home than they do in here. They seem acutely aware that, over the decades, their status in society has stagnated while the status of cats and dogs has skyrocketed. “Years ago, these guys would have said, ‘They’re treating me like a dog in here,’” Bekoff tells me later. “They don’t say that anymore.”

The Commander enters the room, and the men fall silent. Bekoff nods to me. We get up, thank the inmates for their time, and exit the cell block. On the drive back to his cabin, I tell Bekoff I had been surprised by how much the men cared for their pets. Given the low value many of them seemed to place on human life, I hadn’t expected them to hold animals in high regard. He says the opposite is true. A lot of these guys come from broken or abusive homes, he notes. “For many, their best friend growing up was a cat or a dog—someone who loved them no matter what.” Their pets were the only real family they had.

A Society Transformed

My journey to the Boulder County Jail didn’t begin the day I phoned Marc Bekoff. It started a few years earlier in an emergency hospital. My fiancée and I had driven there late one night with a dying patient in our car: Jasper, our five-month-old gray-and-white kitten, who was in the final stages of kidney failure. We had adopted him from a shelter just three months earlier, along with his nearly identical sister, Jezebel. Both of us had grown up with cats, but these were the first we had lived with since leaving home and the first we owned together. We treated the decision to get pets the way some couples might consider having their first child. College wasn’t the right time. And when we were living together in graduate school, we moved around so much and had so little money, it didn’t make sense then either. So we waited. And then waited some more.

It wasn’t until we moved to Baltimore, with me starting a career as a science writer and my fiancée beginning her medical residency, that we felt ready to adopt. Years of anticipation didn’t do wonders for our self-control. We walked into a humane society one Saturday morning and picked the first cats we saw. Spotting Jasper and Jezebel (then “Jack” and “Jill”) in a cage together—their fuzzy white bellies, their gray striped backs, their tiny heads with oversized ears staring back at us from behind the bars—we lost all sense of patience or reason. “We’ll take them,” I said to a slightly stunned shelter worker. They were a package deal: one cat for $85; both for $130. It was a steal. Or so we thought.

By the time my fiancée and I raced to the emergency hospital, Jasper was well on his way to costing us $3,000—and we were just getting started. This typically energetic kitten, who leaped between countertops, dove into empty soda cartons, and had even learned to fetch, had lately grown still as a stone. He sat crumpled into himself on our bed, staring into space, barely aware of our presence. We took him to the veterinarian, who drew blood, x-rayed him, and cultured his urine. The diagnosis: acute renal failure. She didn’t know what had caused it. Perhaps he had gotten into an ant trap or some of my medication. Perhaps he was just born with a bum pair of kidneys. What she did know was that he might have only a few days to live. The emergency hospital was our last hope.

The location didn’t inspire confidence. Situated in a dimly lit strip mall beyond the outer edge of the city, the PET+E.R. sat in a large parking lot next to a clothing warehouse and a big-screen-TV store. I felt like we were about to bargain shop, not save our kitten. But once inside, we may as well have been in a human trauma center. Assistants in light blue scrubs raced in and out of hallways. Doctor’s names blared through overhead speakers. People sat nervously in the waiting room. And that’s only what I could see. Behind metal double doors, the clinic opened up into a state-of-the-art intensive care unit, with surgical suites, an in-house lab, and a blood bank. On-site specialists were trained in everything from cardiology to neurology. One of the world’s best hospitals, Johns Hopkins, was just a few miles away, but this place seemed to be giving it a run for its money.

We took a seat in the waiting room, with Jasper worryingly silent in a carrier at our feet. Desperate. Exhausted. Distraught. We began to have some crazy thoughts. Our veterinarian had mentioned one option we hadn’t considered at the time: a $20,000 kidney transplant. We didn’t have the money, but we did have something few people do: a feline sibling. As a close blood relative, Jezebel could donate a kidney to save her brother—though we’d be using the word “donate” loosely. The two didn’t exactly get along. Given the choice, she’d surely refuse.

Fortunately, it never came to that. Jasper saw an internist that night, then a nephrologist the following day. He spent three days in the ICU, hooked up to a catheter and IV antibiotics while he underwent ultrasounds, urinalyses, and blood-chemistry profiles. Slowly he began to improve. The doctors never figured out why his kidneys failed. And they weren’t sure why he got better. He’d have permanent damage, but he was alive—and he was coming home.

Sitting there in the reception area, waiting for the hospital to discharge him, I wondered if we had taken things too far: the crying, the sleepless nights, the damage to our bank accounts—all for a cat we had only known for a few months. But as I looked around the room, I realized we were not alone. A heavyset man sat near the exit, fingering an empty dog collar. An elderly couple stood by the register, the woman cradling an orange tabby as the man dipped into his wallet for a second credit card. A wife sobbed to her husband on the phone. We weren’t the only worried parents in the room.

It wasn’t a thought I spent much time on that day. But a while later, with Jasper safe at home (and Jezebel still in possession of both her kidneys), I began to think back on that week. A couple of decades ago, we would have been laughed at for doing so much for an animal. I wasn’t sure that was still the case. Cats and dogs, once mere pets, had become family. Or so I thought. A journalist by trade and a scientist by training, I didn’t want to base such a sweeping conclusion on a highly emotional week at a pet emergency clinic. I needed a larger sample size.

The Washington National Cathedral may be the closest thing America has to a medieval castle. Gleaming white, with limestone towers, giant stained glass windows, and more than a hundred gargoyles springing from its stone walls, the gothic structure commands a forested hillside overlooking Washington, DC. It’s the highest point in the city, the sixth-largest church in the world, the site of Ronald Reagan’s state funeral and Martin Luther King Jr.’s final sermon. One day a year, however, it belongs to pets.

I drove down on a bright and breezy Sunday afternoon in early October. The cathedral was hosting its annual Blessing of the Animals ceremony, an event that actually encourages congregants to bring their pets to church. I was here to find out if Christianity, the world’s most popular religion, had begun to treat cats and dogs like family members. If it had, perhaps my experience in the PET+E.R. wasn’t such an anomaly.

I could hear the barking as I drove up. Hundreds of people and animals had gathered on a small brick plaza near the western steps of the church. Fluffy white bichons pulled on short pink leashes. Tiny tan Chihuahuas shivered in their owners’ arms. Saint Bernards drooled. Collies yapped. Cats . . . well, the cats mostly stared at the dogs. Cats in carriers. Cats on shoulders. One cat sat between a fish bowl and a birdcage. He stared at the dogs too.

The Blessing of the Animals is a celebration of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. St. Francis, it turns out, was an early tree hugger. The thirteenth-century Italian friar preached to the birds and called the moon his sister and the wind and air his brothers. He let a donkey have his hovel; he convinced locals to feed a ferocious wolf. For more than seven hundred years, churches around the world have honored his legacy by blessing congregants’ animals. Until recently, these creatures were typically farm animals, brought to church by owners who prayed God’s grace would shepherd their pigs, cows, and goats through the winter, allowing them to sire plenty of progeny in the spring. Human survival depended on it. Now we bring our pets.

The National Cathedral has held a Blessing of the Animals service since 1999. Turnout grows every year, and in the last decade, hundreds of churches (and some synagogues) have added the ceremony. The largest takes place at New York City’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Recent services there have hosted as many as 1,500 animals and 2,000 humans, most of whom wait in line for hours for a spot inside. During the proceedings, the church opens the central doors of its sanctuary, an event that typically happens only two other times during the year: at Christmas and Easter.

Back at the National Cathedral, I had begun to wander through the crowd. One animal in particular caught my eye: a Chesapeake Bay retriever with a faded chestnut coat and tired yellow eyes. A rickshaw-like contraption was harnessed to the lower half of her body; black straps secured her torso to an aluminum frame, and wheels replaced her back legs, which hung slightly off the ground. As I approached the dog’s owners, the massive cast-bronze doors behind the church steps creaked open, wide as ten men and twice as tall. Out processed a choir in long purple robes, then a handful of clergy in white robes. I almost didn’t notice that one of them was cradling a cat.

The service began. “Bless the Lord, all you creatures,” boomed the officiant, Reverend Gwendolyn Tobias, a middle-aged woman with short, sandy hair. “Let us praise and exalt our Creator forever,” the audience chimed back. The reverend read a passage from the Book of Job (“Ask the animals, and they will teach you”), the choir sang “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” and the reverend continued her dialogue with the crowd, giving thanks for the pets in attendance and calling on the cats and dogs to live lives of purpose and serve the Lord.

Aside from the regular references to animals, I assume a lot of services go like this. But I doubt they culminate in the blessing of the church cat. It turns out the pet I had seen in the arms of the clergy member was the National Cathedral’s new resident feline, an eighteen-month-old black tortoiseshell named Carmina, after the Carmina Burana cantata. Adopted from a local humane society, she has her run of the building. Though the benediction of pets is a relatively new phenomenon, Carmina’s role goes back centuries. Records from England’s famed Exeter Cathedral indicate that from 1305 to 1467, the parish paid its cat a penny a week to catch rodents; there is still a cat hole in the door of the north transept wall. Today, church cats don’t get paid. They apparently get blessed—though I suspect Carmina would have traded eternal salvation for a warm spot in the sun.

The cat cringed as another reverend, the cherub-faced Samuel Lloyd III, dipped a small branch from a boxwood bush into a silver bowl of holy water and shook it over her head. “May God bless you and keep you as you grow into all the creature you were made to be,” he said. A chorus of dogs barked in the audience. The reverend laughed. “There are a lot of jealous creatures out there, great and small.”

Carmina’s was just the first of many blessings. As the choir sang a closing hymn, the clergy fanned out into the crowd, sprinkling holy water on wagging pups and flinching felines. I caught Reverend Tobias as she finished spritzing an Old English sheepdog whose head came up to her waist. “I just blessed a cocker spaniel with hay fever,” she told me. “I didn’t know dogs got hay fever.” I asked her if the ceremony tacitly acknowledged that cats and dogs had become family members. She said there were certainly differences between the modern services and the ones geared toward farm animals. For one thing, the relationship between people and their pets is one of love, not survival. For another, many congregants seem to believe that their dogs and cats have souls. “Last year, several people asked us to pray for animals that had died,” she noted. She added that she would like to take the ceremony inside, so that pets could sit in pews with their owners. “We had a parish at home that did that, and they were all very well behaved.”

I thanked the reverend for her time and continued through the crowd. There I saw the handicapped retriever I had spotted earlier. The older couple who owned her told me that the dog, Dasher, had suffered an embolism earlier that year and was paralyzed from the waist down. This was the eleven-year-old’s fourth Blessing of the Animals and possibly her last. “We’re asking for God’s blessing for her continued life,” said the husband, a retired naval officer. “However long that may be.”

Next I ran into Hunter and Katie, law and journalism students, respectively, who had just moved to DC from Arkansas. “Darby brought us to church today,” said Katie, referring to their two-and-a-half-year-old wheaten terrier, a medium-size, well-postured canine with the shaggy white sideburns of a Civil War general. She said she and her husband were Catholic, and the ceremony was a way to welcome the dog as a spiritual member of their household. “We don’t have kids, so she’s our baby.” Hunter volunteered that the holy water was for washing away sin. “I don’t think we’re doing that with Darby,” he laughed, “though she did eat my textbook.” They had thought about bringing their cat as well—“She’s just as important,” Katie said—but the logistics were too hard.

The crowd was beginning to disperse. As I made my way out, I stopped for one last chat on the church steps. There, dragging his floppy ears against the pavement as he waddled behind his owners, was a ten-year-old basset hound named Flash. “He’s my first dog,” boasted Rick, a husky federal employee in his early forties. He said he’d grown up without pets; yet he and the hound had become inseparable. Owning Flash, he said, helped him and his wife, Jenny, feel like part of their community for the first time. “When you have kids or dogs, you tend to meet people.” The couple has fully embraced canine culture. They fund-raise for a local basset hound rescue, and last year they marched in a St. Patrick’s Day parade with sixty other dogs and their owners. “We’re even thinking about getting him a Sherlock Holmes costume for Halloween,” Rick said. “We view him as a member of the family,” he smiled. “I guess we’re sick that way.”

As I drove home from the National Cathedral, I wondered how sick Rick and Jenny really were. Certainly no sicker than those of us at the PET+E.R., who had gone through so much for our dogs and cats, or the hundreds of other folks who had gathered on the cathedral steps, bringing their pets to church as they might their children. If there’s something wrong with Rick and Jenny, there’s something wrong with all of us.

Pets have become an integral part of our lives. Cats and dogs are everywhere. Nearly 150 million of them live with us in the United States, one for every two people. About 37 percent of homes have a dog; 30 percent have a cat. More than half of all dwellings contain either animal, five times more than have birds, horses, and fish combined. Dog and cat ownership has quadrupled since the mid-1960s, double the growth rate of the human population. More homes have cats and dogs than have kids.

As these animals have filled our homes, we’ve grown closer to them than ever before. Eighty-three percent of owners refer to themselves as their pet’s “mom” or “dad,” up from 55 percent just twenty years ago. More than 90 percent consider their dog or cat a family member. Seventy percent celebrate their pet’s birthday. Half would be “very likely” to risk their life to save their pet, and another third would be “somewhat likely” to do so. And perhaps my favorite stat: if trapped on a desert island, half of all owners would rather live out their days with a cat or dog than with a human companion.

All of this talk isn’t cheap. We shelled out a staggering $55 billion on our companion animals in 2013, two and half times what we spent in 2000. From 2007 to 2012 alone—a period that marks the Great Recession—pet spending jumped 28 percent. We may have tightened our belts in other areas, but we kept pulling the credit card out for our dogs and cats. In those five years, PetSmart’s shares rose more than 150 percent, outperforming Walmart, Target, and Macy’s. The pet industry is now the seventh-largest retail industry in the United States. We spend more on our animals than the entire economic outputs of over half the world’s countries.

As we spend, society changes. It’s not just the church services and the pet emergency clinics. Walk the streets of any major city, and you’ll see a world transformed by cats and dogs. That’s certainly the case in Baltimore. After my visit to the National Cathedral, I decided to conduct one final experiment: I wanted to see how many signs of our modern pet republic I could spot on a one-mile stroll from my house to downtown.

It didn’t take long for me to hit my first stop, and it was a doozy. Just a few blocks from my neighborhood, I encountered that paragon of modern pet culture, the pet-supply superstore. This one, called PetValu, is significantly smaller than its big-box counterparts, but it’s still crammed with hundreds of products. Multicolored bags of food line the shelves; toys and treats hang from hooks, curtaining entire walls; pet beds are piled high on the floor, stacked smallest to largest to create cushiony brown pyramids. There’s a dog wash station with rubber smocks and three deep sinks, a cat adoption area housing felines from a local shelter in black wire cages, and a large flat-screen TV on the far wall, looping an infomercial extolling the virtues of a grain-free diet. It’s like a mall, grocery store, and salon rolled into one.

The toy section alone is staggering. Gone are the days of pale rubber dog bones. There are stuffed squirrels and dragons, soft rubber Frisbees, and bright red chew cones. Plastic puzzles hide treats to boost your dog’s IQ. The K9 Kannon Ball Launcher fires tennis balls into the air so you don’t have to. For felines there are furry mice that feel and sound like the real thing, cigars filled with catnip, and a plastic obelisk that shoots random patterns of laser light onto the floor, guaranteed to keep your kitty busy for . . . well, at least a few minutes.

Half the store is dedicated to a seemingly infinite selection of pet food. With images of bucolic farms and brand names like Natural Balance, Harvest Moon, and Earthborn, shoppers could be forgiven for thinking they just wandered into a high-end supermarket. It isn’t just the packaging; it’s the ingredients: venison, rabbit, duck, and bison. And the way they’re prepared: soupy, crunchy, chunky, and pâté. There’s even a tube of lamb and brown rice you cut like salami. The choices are bound to overwhelm even the most experienced owner. What should I feed my pet tonight? Free-range chicken or grass-fed beef? Gluten-free or hormone-free? Organic or holistic? It’s a carnivore’s dilemma.


  • “David Grimm brings a uniquely balanced perspective to a subject that is often overwrought with emotions: the modern relationship between pets and their people. Whether you are a devoted pet lover or a skeptical spouse, "Citizen Canine" is as entertaining as it is eye-opening.”—Ken Foster, bestselling author of The Dogs Who Found Me and I'm a Good Dog

    “No one who loves cats and dogs should miss this book. Grimm tackles the tough questions of our times: Should cats and dogs, and other animals be regarded as persons? Would they be happier leading feral lives? Grab this book and read it now for some surprising and inspiring answers.”—Virginia Morell, author of Animal Wise, a Kirkus Reviews "Best Book of 2013"

    “Grimm traces the evolution of today's pets, from once being considered feral beasts and valueless subjects to family members and quasicitizens. The author's research includes fascinating travels across the country interviewing detectives investigating animal cruelty cases, soldiers training military working dogs, and animal law attorneys, and he also visits a wolf sanctuary…Engrossing, enjoyable, and well-researched.”—Library Journal, starred
  • “Grimm, deputy news editor at Science, investigates the ever-changing roles played by cats and dogs throughout history and travels the U.S. speaking to those on the cutting edge of animal science and welfare. [His] most valuable contribution…is his reasoned and well-researched discussion of the pet “personhood” movement, particularly its legal implications for veterinarians, scientific research, and agriculture.”—Publishers Weekly

    "Our most common pets—cats and dogs—have made a long journey from wild animals to treasured family members. How did this transition happen? Science magazine editor and journalist Grimm explores the biological changes in cats and dogs as well as human laws and social attitudes in his broad survey of what our companion animals mean to us…Well researched and also very personable, this book will make readers think as they look into the eyes of those furry beings that share their lives.”—Booklist

    “An arresting and valuable overview, it's packed with inspiration and imagination for our future relationship with our four-legged friends.”—Seattle Kennel Club

    Citizen Canine is an easy, enjoyable, must-read for all who want to know more about these fascinating beings.”—The Bark

  • “An engaging account of how dogs and cats came to be our best friends."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

    "A fascinating account of how our conceptions of dogs and cats are changing - and what the outcome may mean for their futures. I was gripped throughout."—John Bradshaw, New York Times bestselling author of Dog Sense and Cat Sense

    “Well-researched, wide ranging, and well-written. A must read for those who share their lives with dogs and cats. You'll come to realize that our interactions with these animals are central to defining who we are.”—Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed

    “CITIZEN CANINE is a fascinating journey through time and space, documenting our relationship with our closest domestic friends. Meticulously researched and brilliantly written, Grimm's work is relevant, not just to every dog and cat lover, but anyone interested in how we came to be the humans we are today.”
    Dr. Brian Hare, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University, and author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Genius of Dogs

On Sale
Apr 8, 2014
Page Count
352 pages

David Grimm

About the Author

David Grimm is a deputy news editor at Science, the world’s largest journal of scientific research and science news. He is the recipient of the 2010 Animal Reporting Award from the National Press Club, and has been featured in The Best American Science and Nature Writing. His work has appeared in Science, U.S. News and World Report, the Bark, and the Financial Times. He teaches journalism at Johns Hopkins University and has a Ph.D. in genetics from Yale.

Learn more about this author