Winter Speaker Series

2021-2022 Zoom Speaker Series

Are Dogs Really Our Best Friends
& Love Muffins?

March 9, 2022 - 7:00pm

Marc Bekoff, Ecologist, Evolutionary Biologist & Ethologist

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Marc Bekoff & Minnie. Photo: Tom Gordon

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) sixth presentation of their 25th annual Winter Speaker Series, Are Dogs Really our Best Friends & Love Muffins? features Marc Bekoff, Ecologist, Evolutionary Biologist and Ethologist. FOMB’s Winter Speaker Series presentations are again being held via Zoom and are accessible via hyperlink at the top of the FOMB web page: This event takes place Wednesday, March 9th, at 7 pm.

The behavior of domestic dogs is all too often misrepresented mainly in mainstream media-- newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio, and on occasion by so-called "experts." Myths, often cute but incorrect, are presented as facts when, in fact, the science doesn't support them. I'll talk about a number of these myths and easily dispel them, and also about the perils of mislabeling and normalizing the behavior of domestic dogs. There is no 'universal dog' and a little-known fact is that around 75% of the billion or so dogs on Earth are free-ranging or feral. Using "homed" dogs and dogs studied in laboratories to explain dog behavior is misleading, as are the claims that dogs are our best friends and unconditional lovers. This is where a discussion of our recent book, A Dog's World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World Without Humans, enters the scene. It's a win-win for dogs and humans when we are fluent in dog or dog literate. This will be a fun and informative time for all. 

Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published 31 books, won many awards for his research on animal behavior, animal emotions (cognitive ethology), compassionate conservation, and animal protection, has worked closely with Jane Goodall, and is a former Guggenheim Fellow. He also works closely with inmates at the Boulder County Jail. Marc's latest books are The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age (with Jessica
Pierce), Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do, and Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible (with Jessica Pierce) and he also publishes regularly for Psychology Today. Marc and Jessica have a new book called A Dog's World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World Without Humans that will be published by Princeton University Press in fall 2021. In 1986 Marc won the Master's age- graded Tour de France. His homepage is

FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the series continues via Zoom. The FOMB April 13th presentation: American Shad features Nate Gray, Fisheries Biologist, ME Department of Marine Resources This event takes place 7:00 pm with the Zoom access link available at a week or so prior to the presentation.

Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public. Visit to see speaker biographiesfull event schedulesvideo recordings of past presentationsbecome a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

For more information contact FOMB at 207-666-3372 or


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler