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A Biting History of Pedigree Dogs
and How the Quest for Status Has Harmed
Man's Best Friend
Foreword by Dr. Marc Bekoff (The Emotional Lives of Animals)
Beacon Press
ISBN-10: 080703343
XISBN-13: 978-0807033432


A provocative look at the “cult of pedigree” and an entertaining social history of purebred dogs. So-called “purebreds” are the mainstay of the dog industry, and social critic Michael Brandow argues that these aren’t markers of time-honored traditions but rather commercial inventions of the nineteenth century that were marketed as status symbols to a growing middle class. Combining social history and consumer studies with sharp commentary, this book reveals the sordid history of the dog industry and shows how our brand-name pets pay the price with devastatingly poor health.



New York's poop scoop law
Dogs, the dirt, and due process
Purdue University Press
New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond
ISBN-10: 1557534926
ISBN-13: 978-1557534927

Praised by The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" as "a fine Empire State procedural," this classic on canine culture traces the strange custom of "scooping" to a small piece of legislation that hit the sidewalks of New York in the 1970s. Cited by publications ranging from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal to The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs and the New York Historical Society's Encyclopedia of New York City, this essential work includes delightful stories of anti-poop efforts in cities around the world. 

New English Review Press

June 27, 2023

"Michael Brandow gives us a personal survey of Jim Snow America, where all social ills are blamed on whiteness and black citizens are showered with preferences and excuses. This is the 'lived experience' of an older middle-class white American negotiating the racial battlefield, told with unsparing frankness and considerable wit."

—John Derbyshire, author of We Are Doomed

What’s the Problem Now? Black Grievances and White Guilt

is an old white guy’s witty and insightful account of his struggle to survive in New York City without becoming a racist. Unlike so many others in these uptight times of stifling seriousness and cartoonish certainty, he hasn’t forgotten how to laugh at his race, or at another race. Anecdotes from a lifetime of “culture clashes” with black people are set against playful, non-dogmatic reflections on hot-button issues like black identity, white self-loathing, and racial conflict. This old white guy may not be a racist, but he admits our current infatuation with blackness has made him numb with “racial boredom.” A tragicomedy for people of all shades. 





of a

new york city

dog walker

"Extremely interesting and insightful." - Psychology Today


“In this hard-to-classify and hard-not-to-like book, we accompany Michael on his daily 15 hours of walking around the lower part of Manhattan with clients’ dogs as his, and our, trusty co-pilots. We stop for a few sniffs, get distracted by a chunk of something left along the curb, pick up more dogs, greet old friends, spot a few celebrities, give opinion-laced directions to tourists looking for ‘the village,’ hobnob (almost) with the likes of Lou Reed, who turns out not to be quite the guy we had hoped for, but whose Rat Terrier, Lolabelle is a sweetie. How can it miss?” - The Bark



Pounding the pavements of downtown Manhattan for twenty years and always on the move, a gnarly, scruffy-faced dog walker took time at the end of each day to keep a journal. Emptying his pockets of notes hastily scrawled on scraps of paper, matchbook covers, napkins, Chinese menus, leaves—whatever he could grab to record fleeting impressions while in transit—slowly he transcribed every detail, compiling this delightful tale about the dogs of average New Yorkers, the rich and famous, or just plain rich. Woven with endearing accounts of the antics of his canine wards, this meandering stroll is as much about their humans. A voyeuristic look into the private lives of clients, an urban navigation manual, a playful social critique—all is exposed from this unique sidewalk perspective. A walk-and-tell story. The Nanny Diaries of a New York dog walker.



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