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Putting a Paw on the Handedness Issues

March 01, 1992

In reading Bettyanne Kevles' review of Stanley Coren's book "The Left-Hander Syndrome," I was interested in her mention ". . . he errs when he asserts that humans alone show handedness--a study published last fall describes distinct handedness in lemurs . . ." ("Handedness Theory Takes a Left Turn," Feb. 18).

In the last 14 years, I have owned two dogs, both spayed females. The first dog was right-handed, the second is left-handed.

How do I know? I taught both dogs to shake hands by holding out my hand in front of them, exactly in the center of their chests. From the first, the first dog automatically and always put out her right paw to place in my hand; the second automatically and always put out her left paw. The first dog always reached out to touch me to get my attention with her right paw; the second dog still lifts up her left paw when she wants attention.

MELODY SUPPES

Palos Verdes

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