With the temperatures dropping outside, nothing feels better at the end of the day than curling up with a warm blanket and a good book. The only way to top this scenario, is if your favorite furry buddy is curled right up next to you. This week, we have a roundup of some of our very favorite books for dog lovers. Warning: You may want to make sure you have a box of tissues nearby when reading some of these books!
Old Yeller– This timeless classic is based on the unforgettable bond between a boy and his dog. Set in the Texas Hill Country of Kansas during the 1860’s, 14 year old Travis Coates must look after his family and their farm after his father leaves on a cattle drive. The last thing Travis needs is one more thing to care for, but when a stray dog shows up and refuses to leave, Travis begins to find comfort and a best friend in the big yellow dog. This book was such an inspiration, that Walt Disney turned the story into a major feature film. Just as Old Yeller inevitably makes his way into the Coates family’s hearts, this book will find its own special place in readers’ hearts.
White Fang– Written by author and adventurer, Jack London, White Fang is the story of a wild wolf dog and his journey to domestication. The story takes place in the Yukon Territory, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush and most of it is written from White Fang’s point of view. White Fang examines the violent world of wild animals and the equally violent world of humans.
Where the Red Fern Grows– Another tear-jerking story about a boy and his dogs. Taking place in the Ozarks, Billy wants nothing more than a pair of hunting dogs of his own. He works everyday and saves every penny he earns to buy two pups-Old Dan and Little Ann. Billy goes everywhere with his two dogs and soon they are the most recognizable hunting team in the valley. But when this trio faces tragedy, they learn that through despair there is hope.
The 101 Dalmatians– You guessed it! This is the book that inspired the classic animated Disney movie. Written by Dodie Smith and set in London, The 101 Dalmatians is a story about 15 Dalmatian puppies that are stolen by the villainous Cruella de Vil. When Scotland Yard can’t crack the case, the mystery goes to the dogs when Pongo and Misses as they em-“bark” on a mission to rescue their puppies and bring them safely home.
W. Bruce Cameron– We are putting the author here because it is near impossible to pick just one of his books! He is basically the master of writing from a dog’s perspective-so you can see our dilemma of choosing only one of his novels!
From the trilogy-A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s Journey, and A Dog’s Promise, that follows the many lives of Bailey the dog as he teaches his humans how to love. Another of Cameron’s heartwarming reads is A Dog’s Way Home. This novel follows Bella as she travels through the wilderness and encounters new friends as she tries to find her owner. Throughout her journey, she continuously dodges animal control due to breed bans. Cameron has even written a delightful Christmas novel about dogs and one man’s mission to do the best he can for an abandoned dog and her litter of puppies.
Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any of Cameron’s novels! If you have a little reader at home, Cameron has also produced a series of Puppy Tales that are adapted from his novels. This author and his books are great for all ages!
One Good Dog– Written by Susan Wilson (another author of multiple dog inspired books), One Good Dog is the story of a man named down on his luck who meets Chance, a dog born, bred, and raised in the dog fighting ring. Based on loss and rediscovery, this story is the definition of true friendship and discovering the most important things in life. If you read this book, be sure to check out its sequel Two Good Dogs as well as Wilson’s other dog-related novels!
Cujo– With Halloween right around the corner we had to include this Stephen King thriller! This story is about a beloved Saint Bernard who chases a rabbit into a cave which just happens to be the home to a bunch of sick bats. What happens next to Cujo and the people he loves, makes for one horrifying novel that only the twisted mind of Stephen King could produce.
Ceasar’s Way-Meet Caesar Millan, one of the most recognizable dog trainers there is! In his book, he shares his dog psychology and behavior wisdom, laying the groundwork for you to have stronger, more satisfying relationships with your canine companions.
The Genius of Dogs-written by a husband and wife team, this book reveals how your dog thinks and how we humans can have even deeper relationships with our best four-legged friends.
I Will See You In Heaven-This book is for anyone who has lost a beloved pet as Friar Jack reassures us, with simple teachings from scripture and St. Francis of Assisi, that we will see them again!
101 Dog Tricks– If your goal is to train your dog or teach him new tricks, this is the book for you! Full of basic training and fun tricks, this book is very interactive for you and your pup! All it takes is a few minutes of practice each day to perfect these step-by-step tricks and have your dog following your commands! This book will not only help you bond with your dog, but it will also help to keep him mentally and physically stimulated!
From Baghdad with Love-An inspiring and uplifting story about a man and a dog who form a bond under the harshest of conditions. Lt. Col. Jay Kopelman went to extraordinary lengths to bring back to America the puppy his combat-hardened Marines rescued in war-torn Fallujah—called the “most dangerous city on Earth.”
Amazing Gracie: A Dog’s Tale– This story comes from Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff, the founders of Three Dog Bakery. Gracie’s tale is a treat for every dog lover. Dan Dye brings Gracie home and her first determination is to prove to her step-sisters, Dottie the Dalmatian and Sarah the Black Lab, that she’s one of the girls. When Gracie’s delicate constitution starts turning into anorexia, Dan teaches himself how to cook, and in three days is baking her the cookies that will spur her appetite, launch Three Dog Bakery, and transform their lives forever.
Navy Seal Dogs-Navy SEAL Dogs explores the incomparable relationship between trainer and military dog. This is the true story of how Mike Ritland, the trainer of the world’s most highly skilled K9 warriors. Ritland started his own company to train and supply working and protection dogs for the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, and other clients. He also started the Warrior Dog Foundation to help retired Special Operations dogs live long and happy lives after their service.
The Lost Dogs– This bestselling book showcases the story of survival as well as the bond with man’s best friend. Animals lovers and sports fans alike were shocked and appalled when the news broke that NFL player Michael Vick was discovered running a dog-fighting operation at his home. Fifty-one dogs survived this horrific life and gruesome abuse and went on to become loving pets, therapy dogs, and even a few police dogs. This book is an amazing example of how dogs still long to be man’s best friend, even after enduring extreme abuse and neglect.
Marley and Me– Marley and Me is a story about a man and his dog, who just so happens to have been crowned “the world’s worst dog”. This memoir follows the life of Grogran and his wife as they adopt a dog and begin a family as well as new opportunities in their career. Now a major motion picture featuring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, this story is totally relatable to readers as they laugh (and cry) their way through this bestseller.
Travels with Charley– John Steinbeck wrote this timeless story while road tripping across the country with his poodle Charley. Throughout their journey, Steinbeck reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and the unexpected kindness of strangers.
A Big Little Life-This is the story of Trixie, a three year old retired service dog, and her life with author Dean Koontz and his wife. This is a story of a dog who inspired her people and never ceased to amaze them with her sense of love, wonder, and loyalty. Koontz wrote “in this wide world, she was a little thing. But in every way that mattered, she lived a big life.”
Coffee Table Books
Maybe reading isn’t really your thing. That’s ok! Because we still have a few books for you to check out. The good news is, these books are full of photos and art that focus solely on dogs. No reading required!
Underwater Dogs– What could be better than seeing multiple photos of dogs swimming and splashing. How about photos of said dogs taken from underwater?! While flipping through this book, viewers will laugh at some of the outrageous faces of these swimming pups captured by Seth Casteel.
Treat!– Similar to Underwater Dogs, photographer Christian Vieler created a book of action photos that get up close and personal with dogs getting one of their favorite things-treats!
Being Human-William Wegman’s book has been around for quite some time. More than likely you have seen them before. Being Human is a book that features a Weimaraner dressed in various different costumes. Be prepared to chuckle at some of these outrageous photos!
We hope our list helps you to find a book, or multiple books, that sparks your interest. The only thing we recommend is reading your book with your favorite furry friend, because honestly puppy snuggles help make any activity even greater!