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Publisher's Summary

In the best-selling tradition of Inside of a Dog and Marley & Me, a smart, illuminating, and entertaining audiobook on why the dog-human relationship is unique - and possibly even "spiritual".

Dr. Andrew Root's search for the canine soul began the day his eight-year-old son led the family in a moving Christian ritual at the burial service for Kirby, their beloved black Lab. In the coming weeks, Root found himself wondering: What was this thing we'd experienced with this animal? Why did the loss hurt so poignantly? Why did his son's act seem so right in its sacramental feel?

In The Grace of Dogs, Root draws on biology, history, theology, cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds), and paleontology to trace how, in our mutual evolution, humans and dogs have so often helped each other to become more fully ourselves. Root explores questions like: Do dogs have souls? Is it accurate to say that dogs "love" us? What do psychology and physiology say about why we react to dogs in the way that we do?

The Grace of Dogs paints a vivid picture of how, beyond sentimentality, the dog-human connection can legitimately be described as "spiritual" - as existing not for the sake of gain but for the unselfish desire to be with and for the other, and to remind us that we are persons worthy of love and able to share love. In this book for any parent whose kids have asked if they'll see Fido in heaven or who has looked their beloved dog in the face and wondered what's going on in there, Dr. Root delivers an illuminating and heartfelt book that will change how we understand man's best friend.

An Audible for Dogs Pick: Make your dog's day. Cesar Millan shares how audiobooks can make dogs happier and calmer. Learn more.
©2017 Andrew Root (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Beautifully written, touching and profound, this book makes reasonable what we already sense - that our dogs love in a way that goes much deeper than we think, and that teaches us something about what it means to be human. The Grace of Dogs, written by one of my favorite contemporary theologians, is perfect for dog lovers and those who love them. It will open your eyes to what's really going on between us and our canine family members." (Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of Accidental Saints)
"Like all the best writing (and theology), The Grace of Dogs comes from deep in the author's personal experience. It will make you smile, shed a tear, and nod in recognition. You'll find yourself reflecting on the most wonderful things in life...from the sincerity of a child to the wag of a black lab's tail, from the grace of dogs to the grace of God." (Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration)

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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 07-10-17

Does a dog have a soul?

I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit on the cerebral side, and the author has read many books that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole . . . cerebral, philosophical, delving for pages and pages into theological ramifications . . . and he has taken his years of reading such books and distilled what he has taken away from his reading and thinking and added his own first-hand experiences and observations. And, has come up with this unique book.

This is no Marley and Me type of book, so if you are expecting another book in the vein of "the-story-of-a-special-dog" - that's not this book. Instead this a book that backs up - way back - and looks at dogs (and humans) in a way I've never thought about. It's different.

It's good.

Narrator is great too. Perfect.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great dog-god story

If you have ever known the unconditional love of a dog, read this book! I have read and quoted it more than once.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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love of our dogs , relationship and afterlife

tells of his family's love for their dog. The bound they made for both here. and the hope to see him later in the after life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enlightening and entertaining

Andrew’s insightful and unique observations of dogs provided me with so many enlightening moments. I love my dog and I’ve never been without the companionship of a dog in my life but I’ve never been able to adequately articulate why I feel like the bond between myself and my beloved dog is felt so deeply and so special. Andy does that superbly. Loved this book. If you love, and admire dogs this book will cause your appreciation for Fido to go even deeper.

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not what I expected

I was hoping for a story line about the life of thier dog, not a philosophical debate on dog's spiritual being or the lack of it.