How Fido got that way

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, this is not. In Mark Derr’s latest book, How the Dog Became the Dog: From Wolves to Our Best Friends, the metamorphosis of the legendary wolf into man’s best friend is debated, supported and researched at length. Derr traces the biological, geological, genetic and sociocultural behavior of wolves and dogs alongside human evolution. He examines human/dog relationships dating back some 24,000 years (when the first dogs were found in human burials) and 20th-century events—like the dogs that accompanied Robert Peary and Matthew Henson to the North Pole and Ronald Amundsen to the South Pole, and the fate of Laika, the Russian dog who circled Earth and died in Sputnik II. Derr’s research spans the globe and considers mythology and literature alongside more scientific evidence as he explores the stories of Romulus and Remus and of Odysseus and his dog, Argus.