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Humane Society of Boulder Valley Event: Q&A with Alexandra Horowitz

Many thanks to my friends at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley for inviting me to their Q&A with Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog. Exhausted and weary from real life, I chose NOT to take notes. So, here are just a few tidbits.

Over the years in my work, I’ve had the chance to access Horowitz as a dog cognition expert voice in various articles. Sadly, all of the great stuff she shared with me about picking a dog’s name got axed in editing … with the idea that it would make a great stand-alone piece.

But, I’ve never just heard her speak as if to friends. Lindsay Wood, who is the director of animal training and behavior at the humane society, was one of Horowitz’s students and they are indeed pals going back years.

best dog blog, 2010, champion of my heart, lindsay wood, alexandra horowitz

Lindsay Wood and Alexandra Horowitz

All in all most of Horowitz’s answers did not surprise me since I’ve read her book, most of her research, and even some of her dissertation. So, here are just a few things I did NOT know:

  • She is “from” the area around Golden, Colorado, (my hometown).
  • She is wickedly funny (in addition to being super smart).
  • She doesn’t know whether or not dogs feel guilt, which is a complex thing assuming they share some code of conduct with us. Her study of the topic only dealt with dogs showing “guilty looks.”

Wood concluded the night by asking those final questions from Inside the Actor’s Studio.

I think the question about what profession would you like to attempt, other than your own, resulted in an interesting answer. Horowitz replied that she’d like to be a professional runner, not the “hack” runner she is.

I also found it endearing (and a bit maddening … smirk) that Horowitz pointed out that she wrote a book, not a New York Times Best-Selling Book. Because the book came out in 2009 about the same time Horowitz’s son was born, she explained that the book really has taken on a life of its own.

If you’d like to learn more about what goes on inside the Dog Cognition Lab, LIKE them on Facebook and check out Dog Spies, a blog written by Julie Hecht, the dog lab’s manager.

Pals Hilary from Fang Shui Canines and Deborah from Boulder Dog were there too. Perhaps they’ll have additional insights to share.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Kirsten - September 15, 2011

I learned of Alexandra Horowitz when I was a grad student at Columbia…a professor mentioned her work on dog play behavior as evidence of whether dogs have a “Theory of Mind.” Its about time I got her book–thanks for the reminder!

Yvonne DiVita - September 15, 2011

I am so jealous! I wish I could have been there. I love her work. (how can we get her to come to BlogPaws???)

    Roxanne Hawn - September 16, 2011

    She would make a great keynote at BlogPaws, Yvonne. She has always been VERY responsive to me via email, when I need an interview or quote. So, you might just start there. She does have a 2-year-old, so it might be easier for her to attend next time you’re going to be closer to the east coast … but Utah in 2012 is so close to Colorado. ;o)

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