The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human–Canine Connection (Hardcover)
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This feel-good, comprehensive exploration of the profound bond between humans and dogs from Jen Golbeck, the “internet’s dog mom” behind the massive social media platform The Golden Ratio, and award-winning science writer Stacey Colino “will bring something magical and meaningful into your life” (Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times bestselling author).
Dogs have been considered people’s best friend for thousands of years, but never has the relationship between humans and their canine companions been as vitally important as it is today.
With all of the seismic shifts in today’s world, rates of anxiety and depression have been skyrocketing, and people have been turning to their dogs for solace and stability. Amidst these dire realities, something wonderful has taken shape. In the United States alone, dog adoptions doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As people have brought furry friends into their lives for the first time or seized this opportunity to deepen the connections they already have, they are looking to understand how owning a dog can change their lives.
Weaving together groundbreaking research and touching real-life stories, The Purest Bond is an “informative and fun” (Publishers Weekly) exploration of not just the social benefits of owning a dog but the science of how dogs improve our emotional and physical health, mental acuity, and our ability to focus and absorb information. Most importantly, they remind us of what’s right in the world—love, trust, affection, playtime, fresh air, and sunshine—even when so much feels wrong.
About the Author
Jen Golbeck is the “internet’s dog mom” and creator of the social media sensation @TheGoldenRatio4. A professor at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, she is a popular science communicator on issues related to her research on social media and dogs. Her TED Talks have been viewed by millions and she is a popular keynote speaker who has appeared on NPR, The 11th Hour, and more. Her writing has appeared in Slate, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, and Wired. She and her husband rescue golden retrievers who are senior or who have special medical needs and give them a safe and comfortable life.
Stacey Colino is an award-winning writer specializing in health and psychological issues. Her writing has appeared in US News & World Report, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Parade, National Geographic, and more. She is the coauthor of numerous books, including Count Down, Emotional Inflammation, and Disease Proof. Stacey is a lifelong dog lover and has owned three rescue dogs. Follow her on X @ColinoStacey.
“A loving examination of all the ways that dogs help people thrive—with wisdom about helping your dog thrive, too. Jen Golbeck is the perfect person to write this book.”
— Blair Braverman, musher and author of Dogs on the Trail
“We know in our hearts that dogs make us happier but most of us don't fully understand how they positively impact our mental health. The Purest Bond does an incredible job at blending together scientific research and heartwarming anecdotes that illuminate what makes our relationships with dogs so special. This book is a “must read” for anyone seeking to better appreciate our special bond with dogs.”
— Dr. Anthony Osuna, Clinical Psychologist and dad to Pavlov the Corgi and Maslow the Keeshond
“Dogs are among the best things on this planet. The Purest Bond by Dr. Jen Golbeck provides stories and heart to emotionally invest the reader, but also delivers the goods on the evidence front explaining why all dogs are good dogs.”
— Jason Zackowski, science presenter, chemistry teacher, dad to Bunsen and Beaker, the Science Dogs
“The Purest Bond is like taking a walk with your best friend. Jen and Stacey provide a pawtastic in-depth investigation addressing the significant bond created between humans and their dogs. Every avenue of pet life is addressed, from the creation of the emotional connection to loving stories and life enrichment to the final stage and loss of this powerful bond. This is a read you won’t want to put down, one that keeps your tail wagging till the end.”
— Krista S. Geller, PhD, behavior scientist and president of Actively Caring for People
“I love this book! Jen Golbeck and Stacey Colino joyfully guide us through the science and practical magic beneath our 40,000 year love affair between canines and humans. The Purest Bond will bring something magical and meaningful into your life.”
— Daniel J Siegel, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding codirector of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA, and New York Times bestselling author of IntraConnected
“[P]ositive, encouraging, and enthusiastic… An excellent addition to the field of canine cognition and emotional connection that is inclusive and easily digested.”
— Library Journal
“[A] fetching examination of the benefits of owning a dog… Informative and fun, this is a treat.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A charming, lucid exploration of how dogs can heal our bodies, minds, and hearts.”
— Kirkus Reviews