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Dogs formed an allegiance with humans in early prehistory and this was the beginning of a unique bond between dog and human that has endured some 14,000 years. Since then, there have been numerous momentous events through history at which the dog has been present: following or leading troops into battle, lurking in the shadows of official business, seated on the laps of emperors, and curled sleeping during spiritual and religious occasions. The Spirit of the Dog explores the long and varied history of the dog in human cultures across the world and celebrates the very special place that this enigmatic creature holds in people's hearts. Established author and animal specialist Tamsin Pickeral examines the development of the major dog breeds within their historic context-from the slender, powerful sight hounds to the hard-working Siberian Husky, the spirited Terrier breeds, and the personable mongrels. Grouped according to their key characteristics-including Elegance and Speed, Power and Strength, Devotion and Loyalty, Agility and Wisdom-the breeds are each studied in comprehensive detail. As a mammal species the dog is the most varied in shape, size, and color, and also the most versatile, whether working as a hunter, protector, or simply providing companionship as a domestic pet. The Spirit of the Dog celebrates this diversity, aided by the stunning photography of contemporary animal photographer Astrid Harrisson, whose striking, beautiful, and unusual images of our major dog breeds skillfully reflect the virtues of 'man's best friend.' With evocative text and exceptional photography, this is an essential volume for everyone who loves dogs.