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For the Love of Pugs
Written by Robert Hutchinson Format: Hardcover Pages: 112 pages , 90 photographs Dimensions: 9" x 12.25" ISBN: 1-56313-905-7
Starting At: $29.99

Detailed Description

For the Love of Pugs is a rogues' gallery of Pugs captured in the act of going about their usual business of being incorrigibly, devastatingly charming. Each of the eighty-six full-page color portraits by eleven of the country's best pet photographers stimulates anew our curiosity about the identity and origin of the breed. To these intriguing questions, author Robert Hutchinson marshals the most thoughtful, deeply researched, and daring answers ever to appear in the Pug literature. This book offers you the key to a whole new dimension of Pug appreciation.

The first chapter, "Little Big Dog," reviews the stellar cast of Pug owners (from Queen Victoria to Andy Warhol) and the Pug's own stellar roles (from Toby the Dog in Punch-and-Judy shows to Frank the Intergalactic Pug in Men in Black). "Mug Shot" measures the Pug's peculiar head against the skull shapes of natural canids and argues that such extreme flatness of face could only have evolved by artificial selection. A case is made for the priority of flat-faced Asiatic breeds and for the Pug as the agent of the global dissemination of this cranial feature in the dog world. "Even Dwarves Start Small" plugs the Pug into the crazy gerrymanders of canine dwarfing mutations. With scientific sizzle, Hutchinson demonstrates that the conformation of the Pug depends on the simultaneous operation of three dwarfing mutations; compares dwarfing in Pugs and other dwarf breeds; and contrasts the genetics of dwarfing in dogs and human beings.

"China Doll" traces the intimate connection between the Manchu Dynasty (1644-1917) and the privileged presence of flat-faced lap dogs in the Imperial City. The latter are shown to have been conferred by successive Dalai Lamas on the Manchu emperors as incarnations of a Tibetan spirit lion-dog who was central to the divine pretensions of the imperial cult. Suggestive analogies are remarked between the somatypes of these dogs and those of the Manchu bannermen and courtiers.

"Orange Herring" crushingly debunks the received wisdom that the Pug is the Dog Who Saved Protestantism in Holland in 1572. Hutchinson proves that no records of Pugs can be dredged from Dutch or English art and literature prior to the eighteenth century. "French Connection" reveals that the earliest extant record of the Pug in Europe comes from the court of the King of France in 1713. The probable Pug pipeline to Europe is identified as the influential Jesuit missionary-mandarins who shuttled between the courts of Louis XIV and K'ang-hsi, the second Manchu emperor. The Pug was soon adopted as a secret emblem of religious tolerance by eighteenth-century freethinkers.

The final chapter, "One Swallow," examines the strange case of Pisanello's Pug-like dog, drawn in Venice around 1415.


Author's Credentials:
ROBERT HUTCHINSON is the author of many critically acclaimed books on the natural and social history of dog breeds. He was a research scientist at the American Museum of Natural History and studied paleontology at Columbia University.

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