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Quest for man's best friend

  • Story Highlights
  • In this month's Quest, Richard explores the bond between dogs and their owners
  • Quest meets Hollywood's pampered pooches and dogs awaiting adoption
  • Singer Joss Stone tells Quest why dogs are her perfect companions
  • Quest joins Richard Gere on the set of his new dog-themed movie, "Hachiko"
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By Producer Matt Percival
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(CNN) -- This month on Quest, a modern insight into our enduring bond with man's best friend... the humble dog.

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Singer Joss Stone tells Quest why dogs are a girl's best friend.

When humans blossomed from the evolutionary tree, it seems there was a cold wet nose and a wagging tail waiting for us. So it remains to this day, that we need dogs and they need us. Americans alone now spend $41 billion a year on their pets, more than the gross domestic product of all but 64 countries in the world.

Quest begins his journey in Los Angeles where pampered pooches are the ultimate accessory. It's the city that caters for a dog's every whim, from spa treatments to doggy bakeries.

Some mutts are not so lucky -- Quest joins actress Allison Janney at the New Leash On Life dog rescue center, where the doe-eyed inmates wait for adoption.

It is here where Quest encounters Belle, a shy, docile pit bull/boxer mix with a troubled past. They say every dog has its day and on a sunny afternoon in West Hollywood, Belle has hers, as Quest takes her for a grooming and spot of shopping.

Ultimately, the show is about companionship. Back in Devon, in the UK, singing sensation Joss Stone eulogizes about the fluffy members of her band -- she says that her dogs are the perfect companions because they have no idea she is a celebrity.

We also join actor Richard Gere on the set of his new movie "Hachiko" -- the traditional Japanese story of canine loyalty. On set, we meet the dog trainers and look at the work of American Humane, authors of the phrase: "No animals were harmed during the making of this movie."

Just like proud parents, every owner likes to think their dog is special. At the Westminster Dog Show in New York, competition gets bitchy and only the best trained hounds need apply.

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Back in Hollywood, Quest helps pick out the doggy stars of the future with Animal Actors agent Gloria Winship. Working dogs have left an important paw print on our society -- in Panama City, central America, we see how the specially trained dogs of the Red Cross bring comfort to sick children and prepare for rescue missions during natural disasters.

Join the experts and the eccentrics for some canine capers, on this month's Quest for Man's Best Friend. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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