Seven dog-themed books to snuggle up with
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Is there anything better than relaxing with a good book after a long and luxurious walk with your pup? Whether you prefer a hard copy or an audiobook, we think anything featuring a dog is, well, doggone fantastic. Here are our seven favorites for some inspiration:
Call of the Wild / White Fang – Jack London
Ok, so our first suggestion is actually a two-for-one. Both classics and both written by legendary author Jack London, these books are the epitome of a dog’s experience amongst its brethren and in the nitty-gritty elements of the wilds of North America.
Call of the Wild was released first, making its debut in 1903. The narrative is based on a dog named Buck who, through a whirlwind of happenstance, winds up as a sled dog in Alaska forced to channel his inner instinct for survival.
In White Fang, published in 1906, London flips the perspective of the puppy protagonist, narrating the story from the point of view of a wild dog discovering his domestic nature.
Pets At the White House, 50 Years Of Presidents And Their Pets – Jennifer B. Pickens
While not exclusive to dogs, they make a prominent appearance in this 2012 non-fiction book about the pets of the White House. Rich in both narrative and photography, this ode to the animals of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue provides insight into how animals have played into the lives of our nation’s leaders. Don’t worry, this one is full of furry friends and free of political opinions.
A Dog’s Purpose – W. Bruce Cameron
This 2010 New York Times bestseller offers four different stories wrapped into one novel. The narrative focuses on one dog, who is reincarnated multiple times, leading multiple lives. All tied together with a motif of purpose, this beautifully written story is sure to capture your attention and heart. Check out the 2016 film as a bonus treat (after you’ve read the book, of course!)
The Friend – Sigrid Nunez
A 2018 National Book Award finalist, this book tells the story of a woman mourning the death of her best friend. The twist? She is left with his Great Dane, who is also suffering from the sudden disappearance of his master. The tale (tail?) navigates the growing bond between the two as they heal from their loss, resulting in an indisputably beautiful relationship focused on growth and healing.
My Dog Tulip – J.R. Ackerley
A love story like no other, this book, released November 2011, is a non-fiction narrative of the author’s experience with his German Shepherd. For someone who didn’t identify as a dog lover, Ackerley found himself overwhelmed by the beauty of the friendship, ultimately calling her his “ideal friend.” This story details the span of their sixteen-year relationship, focusing on the rollercoaster that is dog ownership in a flowing and zen-like narrative.
Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance – Janice Gary
While prominently featured in both the title, cover, and narrative of this book, this heavier hitter released in August 2013 focuses its story on the healing that occurs between dog and owner more than the dog (Barney) himself. For somewhat similar reasons, both characters are broken and trying their best to heal and operate functionally in their respective worlds. As the story progresses, the narrative turns to redemption as both turn inward to look for healing, while relying heavily on each other. Look to this book for an inspirational story of growth as the characters work to become better versions of their former selves.
The Lost History of the Canine Race – Mary Elizabeth Thurston
This non-fiction book is for those looking to sink their teeth into the treat that is the history of dogs in our human culture. Published in 1996, the author guides us on a historical tour from thousands of years ago and across continents. This book demonstrates the beautiful relationship that is dog and man, including exactly how it came to be.