The animal-human connection has thrived throughout history. THE ANIMAL’S COMPANION is a fascinating exploration of our universal human need for the companionship of animals–dogs, cats, horses, birds, iguanas, and more.
The earliest evidence of a human and a pet can be traced to as far as France 26,000 years ago, where a boy and his “canid” (dog) took a walk through a cave. Their foot and paw prints were preserved together on the muddy cave floor, and smoke from the torch the boy carried was left on the walls, allowing archaeologists to carbon-date their journey. And, so it is, from these pre-historic days all the way up to the present, that we humans have an innate and undeniable need to live in the close company of animals.
In THE ANIMAL’S COMPANION, acclaimed social anthropologist and author of Red: A History of the Redhead, Jacky Colliss Harvey turns her keen eye for cultural investigation and her prodigious story-telling skills to the history of animals as our companions in every-day life and in adversity, the development of breeding, our need to accessorize our pets, animals in children’s stories (from Black Beauty to Lassie), our desire to mourn our pets and send them to the afterlife, and when, how, and why all of these attitudes have developed over time. Along the way Colliss Harvey regales us with story after wonderful story of famous, endearing, and sometimes eccentric pet owners throughout history.