“Dogs Make Us Human: A Global Family Album”

Dogs Make Us Human jacket

By Art Wolfe and Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.  Bloomsbury. $30.

A pair of renowned talents, Masson and Wolfe (of Seattle) combine their writing and photographic talents, respectively, in this stirring photo essay that further validates the special symbiotic relationship of man and canis familiaris.

The two take our love affair with the dog far beyond our borders with a free-flowing text and incredible photos to match.

In the Introduction, Masson says, “It is not that we need dogs, or dogs need humans. Both species do fine on their own. But dogs enhance humans, as much as humans enhance dogs. We enrich their lives just as they enrich ours. It is perhaps the only example in all of nature of pure mutualism.

“ . . . I believe the single most endearing trait of dogs is that they do not make the kinds of us/them distinctions that humans routinely engage in.”

Wolfe, a native Seattleite, who began photographing people and their dogs in 1984, takes the most riveting and story-telling shots in this extensive album, to reflect the beauty of that special species for which we have a deep love affair. Each photo captures a special relationship of the moment, yet leaves you wondering about the life the subjects share outside of that point.

“To see love flowing between two species,” says Masson, “is perhaps the closest we will ever come to a spiritual experience that is universal.” And that love is reflected in Wolfe’s photos throughout this celebration of life.

This colorful mosaic connects powerfully to readers, capturing the heart and soul of a love affair like no two other species enjoy on Planet Earth.

Editor’s note: Art Wolfe will conduct a signing and reading of “Dogs Make Us Human” at the Tacoma Public Library, at 7 p.m. Nov. 3.