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The Six Best Books for Dog Lovers

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Love dogs so much that you wish you could read stories about them?

Love dogs so much that you wish you could read stories about them?

Man's Best Friend

There’s a reason dogs are considered man’s best friend: any dog lover can tell you that dogs make our lives richer. They love us unconditionally and are fiercely loyal. Dogs have found their way into our hearts and have had a significant impact on their masters, so it’s no surprise that they have a rich history in literature.

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved books and dogs. Books are fascinating, but if you throw in a story about a dog, well, now that’s taking a good thing and making it absolutely amazing.

I recently read some dog books which tell heartwarming stories of loyalty and companionship. These are page-turners that will inspire you to hold your furry friends a little closer. These books are absolute must-reads for dog lovers, pet parents, and all kids of animal advocates. Read on for this amazing reading list!

The true hero is flawed. The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles - preferably of his own making - in order to triumph.

— Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

1. "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein

If you have yet to read The Art of Racing in the Rain, then do yourself a favor and do so. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you marvel at the beautiful relationship between a man and his dog. This beautiful and sweeping novel is told from the unique perspective of an aging dog Enzo, a retriever-terrier mix.

Enzo is the pet dog of up-and-coming race car driver Denny Swift. When Denny’s wife gets terminally sick, their daughter is forcibly snatched by her grandparents. The once happy family is now on the verge of collapse. Told from Enzo’s perspective on the eve of his death, the novel movingly captures the heartbreak and rewards of what it means to be family.

The novel reflects on life, from the saddest moments to the most triumphant, and is almost impossible to put down. It tells the story of Denny’s family, with twists and turns that keep the pages turning. This is an easy, quick read and will surely touch your heart. It has also been adapted into a movie you might have heard about.

This story about a race car driver and his faithful dog is the perfect book for all animal lovers who know that compassion isn’t only for humans. It's a perfect read for a rainy afternoon, the kind of novel that you'll remember long after you've finished.

Have you read "Marley and Me"?

Have you read "Marley and Me"?

2. "Marley and Me" by John Grogan

One of the most popular dog books in recent years, Marley and Me has also inspired a hit movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. A total tearjerker, it is a true story about a man and his dog (which he calls the “world’s worst dog”).

Grogan’s memoir about his mischievous dog is like a breath of fresh air. Marley’s reign of terror leaves few things in Grogan’s home unscathed, but you’ll still love Marley, even when he’s destroying furniture. Marley’s mischiefs will make you laugh out loud.

Marley captures the hearts of readers through his bumbling and often destructive zest for life. His owners often find themselves in awkward and embarrassing situations because of Marley, but can’t stay mad because of his innocence and selfless love. Marley’s unabashed joy and determination to go through life at full speed will bring a smile to your face.

Marley proves that even the most mischievous of dogs can be the very best boys and teach us how to live. This is a sad book, but it’s also a very funny book that is sure to make you laugh and cry. A must-read!

3. "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech

This one is a quick read. It is a children’s book which is charming, funny and a bit sad too. It is written from the perspective of a young boy who resists poetry assignments from his teacher. Jack finds himself in the unenviable position of having to write poetry when he neither likes it nor thinks it’s something that boys do.

Love That Dog is composed of multiple short chapters - each chapter is listed as a diary entry. As the novel develops and Jack's confidence grows, so does his literary style. He progresses from short and defiant sentences to more sophisticated poetry.

Through a series of free-verse poems, we’re slowly introduced to a budding writer’s pivotal relationship with the dog he loves. This heart-warming, unusually structured story, which includes the poems that the teacher reads to the class, resonates long after the final page.

Any man with money to make the purchase may become a dog’s owner. But no man—spend he ever so much coin and food and tact in the effort—may become a dog’s Master without the consent of the dog. Do you get the difference? And he whom a dog once unreservedly accepts as Master is forever that dog’s God.

— Albert Payson Terhune, Lad: A Dog

4. "Lad: A Dog" by Albert Payson Terhune

This classic is a book for dog lovers, written by a dog lover. It recounts the heroic and adventurous life of a thoroughbred collie that was particularly devoted to his owners. This is a must-read for all ages.

Lad is a brave and heroic dog, both in body and soul. He repeatedly saves many lives including those of his Mistress, a baby, and even several sheep! He is a thoroughbred and a beauty to look at. He also possesses an unusual human yet dog-like brain. No wonder he keeps winning one dog show after the other!

You will fall in love with Lad. You will weep through his trials. You will care, suffer and dream along with Lad. This book will wrench your heartstrings in every way possible. The book is beautifully written and is full of adventures, some exciting, some fearful.

5. "Flush" by Virginia Woolf

Yes, the acclaimed author Virginia Woolf did write a novel about a dog! But it wasn’t just any dog—it was Flush, the cocker spaniel owned by famous poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Although Flush has adventures of his own with bullying dogs, horrid maids, and robbers, he also provides the reader with a glimpse into Browning’s life. Using research and her own imagination, Woolf tells the story of the couple’s marriage from the perspective of their beloved pet. A lovely book, beautifully written and well recommended to all dog lovers.

Did you catch this film?

Did you catch this film?

6. "A Dog’s Purpose" by W. Bruce Cameron

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. By living and reliving the many lives of the story’s protagonist, Bailey, we are treated to a delightful investigation of man’s bond with dogs and the many roles they play in our lives. The book has also been adapted into a movie.

This book confirms what you know in your heart to be true, that love never dies, and that our animal friends are always with us. This utterly charming novel has everything you want in a dog novel: emotions, humor, insight, sadness, and beauty. Be ready to laugh and get ready to cry when you pick up this book.

Marley & Me Movie Trailer - YouTube

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Shaloo Walia


Shaloo Walia (author) from India on October 18, 2021:

Dog books are mostly tear least for me. It's so hard to read about dog's illness, sufferings or demise.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on October 18, 2021:

i watched Marley and me after reading the book and I literally cried when he was put to sleep.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on October 18, 2021:

I am sure you will love these books. I keep on seeing pics of your furry friends on facebook. They are beautiful.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on October 18, 2021:

Thank you.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on October 18, 2021:

Thank you.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 06, 2021:

The first books I ever read were “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” by Jack London, so I have always loved dogs and books, songs, and movies about them. Many are tear jerkers. I remember one called “Big Red” and “Grey Friars Bobby.” This is good list, Shaloo. I will be sure to read.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 06, 2021:

These books all sound wonderful. The Garth Stein book is one I will definitely read. I have seen the movie 'Marley and Me", and it is good. I am bookmarking your article for future reference. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful books.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 06, 2021:

Now that's an article I can relate to. Any book about dogs is an instant favorite of mine. Thank you for this list. I will refer to it this winter.

Lady Dazy from UK on October 06, 2021:

A lovely selection of books, dog lovers will enjoy them.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 06, 2021:

Nice compilation, well done.