So... I found this book to be merely OK. I don't know if I just didn't read closely enough, if I just missed something, or what, but I didn't get it.
I know it's another 'fix-up' novel, published as a series of short stories in the publication which became Analog. These stories have a theme running through them - the decline (or what have you) of the human race and the rise of the canine race. It's told as a series of stories/fables/legends with brief anthropological (or whatever the canine equivalent is) "field notes" between, except for the epilog, which the author explains himself (it was not originally part of the stories).
These stories are old, and not just old, but dated. The science is incredibly dated (evolution by surgery?), and a lot of the story feels dated, too. I know many of the stories were written long ago, so the future is now, and while the future is not just not what Simak wrote, it just wasn't feasible or plausible in any way, shape or form so that it leaves sci fi and hit fantasy for me.
I know it's supposed to be one of Simak's best, but I just didn't care for it. I hope discussion over the book will help me appreciate it more and maybe I can/will update my review.