The Emotional Life of Pets and Their People
Dog Talk (And Kitties Too!) (07-05-2020) #682: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson speaks from Bondi Beach, New Zealand about his newest book that explores the emotional life of pets and their people in LOST COMPANIONS: REFLECTIONS ON THE DEATH OF PETS, engaging in lively conversational debates with Tracie about his controversial ideas that the death of a pet can be more painful than that of a child (which he admits may be an overstatement, given that his beloved wife is a pediatrician, and he has close relationships with three grown children) or that the love of a dog is a greater love than that between humans, which he also concedes to Tracie may not be exactly what he intended in the book.
They also discuss some of Jeff’s previous hugely successful books about animals including WHEN ELEPHANTS WEEP, DOGS NEVER LIE ABOUT LOVE. THE DOG WHO COULDN’T STOP LOVING, and THE NINE EMOTIONAL LIVES OF CATS. They also discuss Jeff’s extraordinary “previous careers,” as a Sanskrit scholar with a Ph.D from Harvard and as a classically trained Freudian analyst, who became director of the Sigmund Freud Archives working with Anna Freud. Masson discusses his discovery many years ago that Freud’s theories discounted the importance of the sexual abuse of patients as children. Masson wrote a number of books critical of Freud including THE ASSAULT ON TRUTH: FREUD’S SUPPRESSION OF THE SEDUCTION THEORY, which was so controversial at the time that he was thrown out of the International Psycho-Analytical Association, after which he devoted himself to writing about animals and their emotional complexity and became an ardent vegan.