Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Review: How Dogs Love Us by Gregory Berns

How Dogs Love Us
I (Rob) also just finished reading a fascinating book called "How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain" by Gregory Berns. 
    In addition to being dog owners, dog rescuers and dog lovers, I'm working on my third book called "Pets in the Afterlife" and how they communicate so this book is really important to me.
    This is what the book is about: Proving dogs have emotions just like people do, using MRIs by scanning their brains during tests!  The author takes you on the adventure from proposal to training the dogs to the results- and of COURSE dogs have emotions!
  As a scientist myself and someone who works with Dog rescues (and has 3 dogs) we know that dogs show emotion, dream and have personalities. This scientist found a way to PROVE it scientifically to those who don't understand dogs (or those who have the ridiculous archaic beliefs that dogs "don't have souls/minds/think"). Our dogs are just like young children. They can think, reason, feel. This book is about this scientist's inspiration to understand his own dogs, how he trained them to stay perfectly still in an MRI (which people struggle with) and the amazing results.
   Okay. Now that I got that out, here's the BOOK SUMMARY:

the author's dog Callie in the MRI
The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that’s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly “man’s best friend.” But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?
After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question—use an MRI machine to scan the dog’s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner.
With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Berns’s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom.
How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next