Chapter One: Sentinels and Symbols
How many times has the fate of a man, or even a nation, hung from the collar of a dog? Had it not been for dogs, the last imperial house of China might not have fallen; Columbus's first attempts at colonizing the Americas not have been so successful; some of Wagner's operas might never have been written; the American Revolution might not have been fought; the freeing of the American slaves might have been delayed for decades; the way that we educate deaf children might be different; and great and well-loved books like Ivanhoe
might never have been written.
Most people know and accept in a...