Interview with Alexandra Horowitz

Reposted with permission from

Lindsay Wood and Alexandra Horowitz

I got lucky.

Lindsay Wood, the Director of Animal Training and Behavior at the Human Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) (Read Lindsay’s bio here. She’s amazing!), has been observing and assisting Nan Arthur, our instructor, in the Karen Pryor Academy class in which Sadie and I are enrolled. Final assessments are today Monday, September 26. Yikes!

A few weeks ago I signed up too late to attend a very special HSBV event: Lindsay interviewing her beloved mentor, Alexandra Horowitz of Inside of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know fame, in the style of James Lipton of Inside the Actors Studio, another favorite.

I was wait-listed. Not surprisingly the event filled to capacity in a matter of hours of it being announced.

I heard Alexandra speak for the first time last year at APDT in Atlanta. I didn’t want her to stop talking. She’s eloquent, evocative, charming, empathic, and very, very smart. (Alexandra’s currently a professor at Barnard College. Read about her and her work at the Canine Cognition Lab here.)

During lunch at the previous week-end KPA class that preceded the interview by a few days, Lindsay fretted about what questions to ask and how to ask them. While I understood her stage fright, I knew Lindsay had nothing to worry about. She’s one of the most poised women I’ve ever met.

I dissed myself for dilly-dallying instead of registering.

Then manna landed in my inbox. At the last minute, someone cancelled and I was next in line. I accepted the invitation and hit ‘reply.’

I arrived early to attend a reception in Alexandra’s honor where I enjoyed champagne and a dash of dishing about the dog world with Roxanne Hawn and Hilary Lane, two blogging buddies I hadn’t seen in ages.

Lindsay and Alexandra were delightful together–mutually admiring student and professor, sharing thoughts and reflections about the love of their lives—dogs. The interview was pitch-perfect.

The easy ebb and flow of their conversation carried me along. Then, over halfway through the interview, I had a V-8 moment. I could have been blogging about this!

I’ve been so out of blogging mode since the beginning of the KPA course in May, I forgot to take my laptop. I didn’t even have a pen. I had to borrow one in order to write a few notes in the margins of the program.

Let’s begin at the end. You might be familiar with James Lipton’s now famous ten questions with which he concludes every interview. Lindsay did the same with Alexandra. Unfortunately, I remember only two of the questions—Alexandra’s answer to the first one is Lindsay’s personal favorite. Alexandra’s reply to the second one is mine.

Read the rest at

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