Tag Archives: dogs

Ep. 49 – Dog Cognition Expert Alexandra Horowitz on the Quiddity of Puppies

Most books on puppies are dog-improvement manuals, guiding readers ‘How to Raise the Perfect Dog’ or how to achieve ‘Perfect Puppy in 7 Days.’ Alexandra Horowitz’s profound and totally delightful new book is not that type of book. It’s an unprecedented look at the complex, chaotic, fascinating, and often hilarious journeys of puppies becoming themselves. “Instead of following an instruction manual for a puppy, I wanted to follow the puppy,” she writes. The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget famously watched his own kids grow into adults as both a parent and a scientist. His observations of his kids inspired and served as the basis for many of his theories about how young human minds develop. Horowitz, a world-renowned expert in dog cognition, set out to do the same for her spectacularly eye-browed, exquisitely sensitive, and rambunctious new family member, Quiddity. In ‘The Year of the Puppy,’ Horowitz follows Quid from her birthday through the puppy equivalents of infancy, childhood, and adolescence. We spoke with Horowitz about the science of early dog development, how Quid is enjoying her big literary debut, and what we have to learn from trying to understand how puppies encounter and make meaning of the world.

Ep. 20 – Gabriela Cowperthwaite on the legacy of “Blackfish”

Film director and producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite did not set out to make a film that would force a national moral reckoning over how we keep whales in captivity, slash the profits of Sea World, and make her the unexpected enemy number one of a multi-billion dollar industry. But that’s what happened. Her acclaimed film Blackfish tells the thrilling and heartbreaking story of Tilikum, an orca whale who killed three people while in captivity. Shot on a budget of just $76,000 and released in 2010, Blackfish has been viewed by more than 60 million people and has become one of the most impactful documentary films of all time. In the six years since its release, Sea World has ended its orca breeding program and pledged to phase out orca shows all together by the end of 2019. We speak with Gabriela about the making of Blackfish, the hazards of keeping cetaceans captive, and how her film catapulted her to the frontier of marine animal activism.