Since my blog is named after my absolute favorite doggo, though I still like to think of her as a pupper, I figured I should post my little collection of dog-related books at some point (though you can see a couple of them in our cover picture). I won’t post them all since I doubt most people are looking for dog training books but rather stories to get lost in, but these are the ones that get a special spot on my shelf!
These two are my absolute favorites on the shelf. They are both non-fiction and convinced me that fostering dogs and being involved with rescue dogs in general is something I want to be doing for the rest of my life.
The Lost Dogs // by Jim Gorant
The bestselling story of survival and our powerful bond with man’s best friend, in the aftermath of the nation’s most notorious animal cruelty case. Featuring a new Afterword with updates on the Vick dogs.
Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick’s brutal dog-fighting operation. But what became of the fifty-one dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant reveals, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in “restitution” to the dogs.
As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but most were lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, many of whom now live in loving homes and work in therapy programs. The Lost Dogs exposes the terrible practice of dog fighting and shows us that even after being subjected to heartbreaking abuse, above all, a dog still wants to be man’s best friend.
Wallace // by Jim Gorant
The author of the New York Times bestseller The Lost Dogs shares the heartwarming tale of one plucky, unwanted pit bull who achieved international celebrity.
Today, Wallace is a champion. But in the summer of 2005, he was living in a shelter, a refugee from a suspicious pit bull–breeding operation. Andrew “Roo” Yori, a scientist and shelter volunteer, could tell immediately that Wallace was something special. While on his honeymoon, Roo learned that Wallace was about to be put down. Frantic—and even though they already had two dogs—Roo and his wife fought to keep Wallace alive until they could return home to adopt him.
Once Wallace made it home, Roo knew the dog needed a mission, and serendipity led them to the world of competitive Frisbee dogs. It seemed like a terrible idea. Pit bulls are everything that most Frisbee dogs aren’t: large and heavy with thick muscles that can make them look less than graceful. But after overcoming everything from injuries to prejudice against the breed, the unlikely pair became World Champions.
Movingly told by bestselling author Jim Gorant, Wallace will capture the hearts of animal lovers everywhere—and help rescue this popular breed’s unfairly tarnished reputation.
Susan Wilson writes fictional stories that make you feel like your heart may be torn out and shattered at any minute but then someone really nice and gentle will pick up all the pieces and put them back together gently. They are relatively quick reads for me but are very much for comfort when I need a break from my serious non-fiction reads.
A Man Of His Own // by Susan Wilson
Rick Stanton was a promising professional baseball player with dreams of playing in the major leagues and starting a family with his young wife, Francesca, when World War II changed everything. Rick returns from the war with his body broken and his dreams shattered. But it was not just body and spirit he sacrificed for the war. He and Francesca volunteered their beloved dog, Pax, for the Army’s K-9 Corp, not knowing if they’d ever see him again.
Keller Nicholson is the soldier who fought the war with Pax by his side, and the two have the kind of profound bond that can only be forged in war. Pax is the closest Keller has to a sense of family, and he can’t bear the thought of returning him to the Stantons. But Rick and Francesca refuse to give him up. Instead, an arrangement is made: Keller will work as Rick’s live-in aide. And thus an unlikely family is formed, with steadfast Pax at the center. As they try to build a new life out of the ashes, Keller and Francesca struggle to ignore their growing attraction to each other, and Rick, believing that he can no longer give Francesca what she needs and wants, quietly plans a way out.
All three of them need healing. All three of them are lost. And in Susan Wilson’s A Man of His Own, Pax, with his unconditional love and unwavering loyalty, may be the only one who can guide them home.
One Good Dog // by Susan Wilson
Acclaimed author Susan Wilson brings us a touching yet unblinkingly authentic tale of loss and rediscovery, of true friendship and learning what’s truly important in life.
One note. Three words. And Adam March’s well-ordered life and well-laid plans are shattered.
The very definition of a hard-nosed businessman, Adam March has no room in his life for anything but the cold drive to succeed. Not for his social-climbing wife or for his rebellious teenage daughter. Then, in an instant, he loses everything. Due to an untimely collision of arrogance, stress, circumstance, and a momentary loss of self-control, Adam finds himself alone, unemployed, and reduced to bussing tables in a homeless shelter, serving men he’d always gone out of his way to avoid.
One instant of opportunity. Enough for one dog to find his freedom.
Chance was born in an inner-city cellar, a mix of pit bull and God-knows-what. Bred to fight, and damn good at it, he lived in a dank, dark, and vicious world. Not that he wished for something better; that world was all he knew. But when the moment presented itself, Chance made the most of it in a new life on the street, for a little while.
Two lives. Two second chances.
Thrown together, Adam and Chance fill the holes in each other’s lives. Adam gives Chance his first real home, a haven he never could have imagined, while Chance gives Adam a new start. And a new heart.
That’s One Good Dog.
The Dog Who Saved Me // by Susan Wilson
Rescue comes in unexpected ways for one man and his dog in this moving and redemptive novel, The Dog Who Saved Me, by New York Times bestselling author Susan Wilson.
Cooper Harrison, a member of the Boston K-9 unit, never thought he would return to Harmony Farms. But when tragedy strikes and he loses his job, Cooper has no choice but to return to his hometown. It is a place where Cooper’s father was known as the town drunk; his brother, Jimmy, had a reputation as a delinquent and a bully; and Cooper himself stood little chance of becoming more than “one of those” Harrisons. But now that he’s found new work as an animal-control officer, Cooper has another chance at making things right in Harmony Farms. Can a stray dog—a wounded and gun-shy yellow Lab gone feral—teach Cooper what it means to forgive and let go of the past. . .and help him to heal?
Some more comfort reads that are probably a little more known!
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. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?
Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.
But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
Bailey’s Story / W. Bruce Cameron
Every dog has work to do. Every dog has a purpose.
When Bailey meets eight-year-old Ethan, he quickly figures out his purpose: to play with the boy, to explore the Farm during summers with the boy, and to tidy the boy’s dishes by licking them clean (only when Mom isn’t watching). But Bailey soon learns that life isn’t always so simple–that sometimes bad things happen–and that there can be no greater purpose than to protect the boy he loves.
Bailey’s Story is a moving tale about a dog and his boy for young animal lovers by W. Bruce Cameron, bestselling author of the acclaimed novel A Dog’s Purpose. Adorable black-and-white illustrations by Richard Cowdrey bring Bailey and his world to life. A discussion and activity guide at the end of the book will help promote family and classroom discussions about Bailey’s Story and the insights it provides about humankind’s best friends.
The Dogs of Christmas // by W. Bruce Cameron
While nursing a broken heart, Josh Michaels is outraged when a neighbor abandons his very pregnant dog, Lucy, at Josh’s Colorado home. But Josh can’t resist Lucy’s soulful brown eyes, and though he’s never had a dog before, he’s determined to do the best he can for Lucy—and her soon-to-arrive, bound-to-be-adorable puppies.
Soon in over his head, Josh calls the local animal shelter for help, and meets Kerri, a beautiful woman with a quick wit and a fierce love for animals. As Kerri teaches Josh how to care for Lucy’s tiny puppies and gets them ready to be adopted through the shelter’s “Dogs of Christmas” program, Josh surprises himself by falling for her.
But he’s fallen even harder for his new furry family, which has brought incredible joy into Josh’s life. He barely has time to sit down, between chasing after adventurous Sophie and brave Oliver, but when he does, his lap is quickly filled by the affectionate Lola. And Rufus and Cody’s strong bond makes Josh wonder about his own relationships with his family.
With Christmas and the adoption date looming, Josh finds himself wondering if he can separate himself from his beloved puppies. At odds with Kerri, Josh isn’t willing to lose her, but doesn’t know how to set things right. Can a surprise litter of Christmas puppies really change one man’s life?
W. Bruce Cameron’s The Dogs of Christmas is a charming and heartwarming holiday tale that explores the power of love, trust, and a basket full of puppies.
This is it for today. I do have more but these are my favorites right now. I’m a big fan of non-fiction and dogs, especially underdog stories about dogs, which is why those first two appealed to me so much. But I also like to relax with a more fluffy story where I don’t have to be wide-eyes and bushy-tailed to read the entire thing or I would miss something important.
Do you have a favorite dog-related book? Or maybe with another animal, like Seabiscuit? Now that one is great also!
This is Lily. She was one of our teeny fosters a while back. I used to foster when I was in college also but then took a long break until we bought this house here. I don’t know how many fosters we have had by now. I keep meaning to count and keep track of them but haven’t gotten around to that yet. Both reading and fostering are very important to me and I love it when I can do them both together by cuddling up on the couch with a foster and a good book.
Have you ever fostered any animals? Would you like to? What’s keeping you from jumping right in? It’s an amazing feeling to find a forever home for a homeless animal and see them thrive in their new homes. Lily here was adopted by a young Potterhead who promptly gave her the last name Potter. How perfect!