The Pawsitive Post in Conversation by Companion Animal Psychology

Animal minds and our favourite fables with Dr. Jo Wimpenny

February 28, 2024 Zazie Todd & Kristi Benson Episode 15
The Pawsitive Post in Conversation by Companion Animal Psychology
Animal minds and our favourite fables with Dr. Jo Wimpenny
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Zazie and Kristi are joined by zoologist Dr. Jo Wimpenny to talk about her book, Aesop’s Animals: The Science Behind the Fables, which is out now in paperback.

In this episode of The Pawsitive Post in Conversation, Zazie and Kristi are joined by zoologist and writer Dr. Jo Wimpenny to talk about her book Aesop’s Animals: The Science Behind the Fables. We talk about the history of Aesop’s fables and the role they still play in society today, before moving on to wonder whether there is a grain of truth in them when it comes to animal behaviour.

We consider some of the most popular fables. Are crows really as clever as Aesop suggested? Why are wolves always the villain? Do dogs recognize their shadow? And what is the yellow snow test all about?

We also talk about the difference between what the fable says on the surface, and what happens when you really dig deep into the question—the ant and the grasshopper is the fable that comes to mind here.

In Wimpenny’s book, the animals are the characters in their own stories. We talk about writing about animals and the importance of discussing myths.

And, of course, we talk about the books we’re reading. This episode, we recommend:

Bitch: On the Female of the Species by Lucy Cooke.

Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman.

Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande.

Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book by Courtney Maum.

 

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About the co-hosts:

Kristi Benson is an honours graduate of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers and has her PCBC-A from the Pet Professional Accreditation Board. She lives in beautiful northern British Columbia, where she helps dog guardians through online teaching and consultations. Kristi is on staff at the Academy for Dog Trainers, helping to shape the next generation of canine professionals. Kristi’s dogs are rescue sled dogs, mostly retired and thoroughly enjoying a good snooze in front of the woodstove.

Kristi Benson's website Facebook


Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and one cat.

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The idea for the book, and how clever crows are
The dog and it's shadow
The wolf in sheep's clothing
The ant and the grasshopper
Writing about animals
Books