Ask any dog owner about their dog, and you’re sure to get a response that rivals that of a proud honor roll student’s parent. Dogs are special animals and touch the hearts of many. No wonder why there have been many fantastic books written about them. Not only about specific breeds, or the benefits of rescuing dogs, but about their gentle nature; their deep souls; the lessons we learn from them; and the companionship that is unparalleled. Here are my favorite top four reads for any dog lover.
The Art of Dancing in the Rain – Garth Stein
If you’ve ever wondered what your dog is really thinking, The Art of Dancing in the Rain is for you. Told from the Enzo the dog’s perspective, The Art of Dancing in the Rain crafts a story about love and loyalty between a dog and his owner. Enzo is an old soul who takes you through his owner Denny’s career as a race car driver, the budding love and resulting marriage between Danny and Eve, and the changing relationship between him and Denny as he shifts from Denny’s first baby, to the family dog when Danny and Eve have a baby. Enzo’s love for Denny is true and illustrated by his yearning to return as a human after he crosses the Rainbow Bridge. The story is sweet, funny and a true testament to a dog being man’s best friend.
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog – John Grogan
Oh, Labrador Retriever puppies – cute, energetic, silly and fun. Did I mention energetic? Marley is all of this and more and the memoir begins as his owners bring him home as their first baby as their first foray into parenthood. The book weaves through Marley’s life and the struggles of a Lab – why wouldn’t you eat a shiny necklace, pay attention in obedience school or see how much fun it would be to run through a screen door? As his family grows and children are born, Marley experiences the typical growing pains changing his station in life becoming the family dog. It’s a true to life experience for many, and comes full circle as Marley continually stands by his owners’ side throughout his life. It’s a touching book about how your first dog leaves an indelible footprint on your heart. Marley spawned a kids’ version as well as a series of books for early readers, so it’s a story that touches the entire family. (Warning: You should keep tissues handy, and might possibly find yourself adopting a Lab.)
A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans – Bruce Cameron
Another first-dog narrative, A Dog’s Purpose suggests that dogs’ true purpose might be rebirth in various way. Toby is a sweet pup whose life ends too early by euthanasia when his adoption isn’t completed properly. He comes back as a puppy in a puppy mill, and several other incarnations as other dogs who show loyalty, love and honor all while getting to experience different breeds and stations in life. It is a book that will touch your heart as you see his courage in different situations and give you a fresh perspective on different dogs and various ways to bring them into your own life. A Dog’s Purpose was turned into a movie last year, so if you love the book, you can also watch the story come to life.
Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery – Spencer Quinn
By now you can see I like books narrated by dogs. Dog On It is the first in a cute series about a dog detective duo. One small detail, only one of the duo is human. Bernie is a private investigator whose sidekick is Chet, a dog who failed K-9 school (thanks a lot cats). If you enjoy mysteries with twists and turns, told by a dog who has to be resourceful to communicate what he sees and feels, this is a great read for you. The book is clever and fun, and the first in a series, so you can go back for more and it’s great for middle school aged kids as well as adults.
What books would you add to this list?