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Topic: Best Dog Books

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Subject: Best Dog Books
Date Posted: 2/9/2008 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2008
Posts: 8
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I've read Marley and Me and Rescuing Sprite and absolutely LOVED them.  I am looking for other books about dogs in that style of story telling.  Any suggestions?

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
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Hmmm, you're young enough I'll bet you never read Lad: a dog, wihch was published almost 100 years ago. PBS link: http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780140364743-Lad+A+Dog It's a children's story really, about a, gosh, I think it was a collie. Incredibly dated, but it was my first dog book, and I loved it. Might be interesting to you to see how dogs were presented in fiction pre-Marley.

I read this years ago: Bandit: The Heart-Warming True Story of One Dog's Rescue from Death Row by Vicki Hearne. The author tamed a pit bull who was supposedly fit only for euthanasia. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Bandit-Heart-Warming-Story-Rescue-Death/dp/1602390703/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202574264&sr=1-7

Or The Dogs Who Found Me: What I've Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind by Ken Foster. PBS link: http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9781592287499-The+Dogs+Who+Found+Me+What+Ive+Learned+from+Pets+Who+Were+Left+Behind


Last Edited on: 2/9/08 11:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/9/2008 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
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I can't seem to edit the previous post. This is not a dog story like Marley's, but I found it very touching and inspiring. A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas. PBS link: http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780151012114-A+Three+Dog+Life


Date Posted: 2/9/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 530
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Dogs At War by Blythe Hamer

In military conflicts around the world, these unsung heroes have proved themselves time and again, and many have won decorations for their acts of bravery. From dragging wounded soldiers to safety to detecting a trip wire as thin as a hair or tracking the enemy back to a hideout, dogs have played a critical role in military conflicts and saved countless lives. The heroes honored in this volume include the "kamikaze" attack dogs used by Russia’s Red Army to destroy the invading Germans’ tanks, the heroic Airedale Jack who saved an entire British battalion during World War I, the parachuting dog who made more jumps during World War II than any man, and the American war dogs that saved as many as 10,000 lives during the Vietnam War. Starting with early warriors and moving through Allied dogs and American mascot dogs of World War I; para pups, anti-tank dogs, and defense dogs of World War II; the collection ends with scout dogs and other dog stories of the Vietnam War.Dogs At War

Dear Kilroy:  A Dog to Guide Us by Nora Vitz Harrison

Kilroy, a yellow Labrador retriever, started life as a potential guide for the blind. His life took a detour when he was dropped from the program. Noras sister, Alice, adopted him as a pet. The love he brought to her life eased her through a very difficult time - the dissolution of her 18-year marriage. Watching and participating in this special relationship reminded Nora that success takes many forms. Kilroy "failed" as a guide dog, but he succeeded in changing Alices life for the better. He became her guide as she made her journey from grief to new happiness.

Chelsea:  The Story of a Signal Dog

In this lively memoir, Ogden eloquently explains what it's like for a deaf person to function in a hearing world--and how Chelsea, a well-trained ``signal dog,'' adds dimension to his life. When Ogden and his wife, Anne, who is also deaf, lose their first dog, Lox, they lost not just a companion, but a connection to the hearing world. (They had taught Lox, among other things, to indicate when someone was at the door or on the telephone.) So they set about adopting a signal dog from Canine Companions for Independence, a group that matches dogs with deaf and handicapped individuals and puts both humans and canines through a very rigorous training program. The dogs have been previously taught to respond to over 80 signals, and when their new owners arrive, it is they who need the training. Ogden spends half of a two-week training period literally leashed to his new dog, a Belgian sheepdog named Chelsea, so they can bond together and learn to read each other's signals (no wonder human graduates refer to the training as boot camp). Throughout, Ogden conveys what it's like to be deaf--even the little things, such as how a hearing-impaired person worships in church or manages to lip-read someone with a mustache.


Date Posted: 2/12/2008 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Lester mentioned Lad... I love Lad!!.   I still reread them periodically, both Lad: A Dog and Lad of Sunnybank.  I also like the following books:

Where the Red Fern Grows :  Wilson Rawls

Dog Books by Jim Kjelgaard , favorites were Desert Dog, Big Red, Irish Red, Outlaw Red, Snow Dog

Jack London - Call of the Wild, White Fang


Date Posted: 2/15/2008 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,241
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My favorite is "The Dog Who Rescues Cats: the True Story of Ginny" by Philip Gonzalez. It's  one of my keepers.

Subject: Dogs
Date Posted: 2/15/2008 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2007
Posts: 270
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Subject: Dogs
Date Posted: 2/15/2008 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2007
Posts: 270
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Sorry, the above jumped up before I was ready.

There are lots of good dog stories in the James Herriot books. These are about his life as a veterenarian and I found  them so interesting I have read them at least twice.




Date Posted: 2/15/2008 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2006
Posts: 79
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Any of the Jon Katz books are wonderful.  Another good dog book is Bark If You Love Me by Louise Bernikow about a formerly non-dog New Yorker who finds a dog and is totally smitten.  And not to be missed is From Baghdad, With Love about the puppy Lava which Lt.Col Jay Kopelman found in Iraq.  He not only kept the puppy but managed to get him back to the U.S. against all military regulations.

Date Posted: 2/15/2008 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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Nop's Trials--   by Donald McCaig

Sight Hound: a novel -- by Pam Houston

Last Edited on: 2/15/08 5:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/15/2008 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 594
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Good Dog Stay by Anna Quindlen(?sp)

With Love From Baghdad

Date Posted: 2/15/2008 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 3,272
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Where the Red Fern Grows is a childrens' books but is one of my favorite dog stories. 

Date Posted: 2/16/2008 12:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 80
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One of the best dog books that I have ever read is a classic called Beautiful Joe written by Margaret Marshall Saunders.  Here's the link:

http://www.beautifuljoe.org/       It was originally written in 1894. I read it growing up and i am nearly 41 and still remember it. The website is really touching, too.


CR: The Stand by Stephen King

Last read: The Bitch Posse by Martha O'Connor

Future read: The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber 

Date Posted: 2/16/2008 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 594
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Anyone but You by Jennifer Crusie is a good one too (it's on my bookshelf!).  Laughed out loud, my hubby thought I was a little nuts!

Last Edited on: 2/16/08 8:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/16/2008 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 19
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Great topic!  Many of my faves have already been mentioned.  One more excellent dog book is Wally's World by Marsha Boulton.  Well written, heartwarming, all the things one wishes from a dog book.  Also, it gives a unique glimpse into the world of a Canadian writer.  Enjoy!


Date Posted: 2/17/2008 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 230
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One light and funny read is Ella in Europe by Michael Koenig.  This guy who is a little insane about his dog takes her on a trip to Europe.  As someone who buys my dog Christmas presents and takes her to the wine shop, pharmacy and local coffeeshop, I totally get it although I may not *** spoiler alert***











have taken my puppydog to Hermes to buy a scarf.

And while we're spoiling, I liked the Dogs of Bedlam Farm By John Katz although I found his attitude towards all animals to be rather egotistical.  Then I read his blog about A Good Dog and realized what it was about: someone who is too in love with the knowledge he thinks he has and his own convenience to let his dog live.    If you must read him, do so on PBS so as not to put money in his pocket.

Last Edited on: 2/17/08 11:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2008 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2006
Posts: 348
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Here are some more good dog stories:

  • A Dog Year; Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me by Jon Katz
  • Away to Me by Betty Levin
  • A Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin

Away to Me and A Dog's Life are both classified at Juvinile Literature but they are well worth an adult read. 

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2005
Posts: 470
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I would second (or third) the recommendation of "A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me" by Jon Katz - he's a wonderful writer, and like "Marley & Me" it's a memoir of his life with dogs (one in particular). I also enjoyed "Lad, a Dog" which I read as a child, and another old book "The Dog Who Wouldn't Be" by Farley Mowatt. And, last but not least, I just finished "Buster's Diaries" as told to Roy Hattersley. It's a memoir written from the dog's point of view, and if you know dogs, it's quite funny.
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2006
Posts: 9,102
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Old Yeller by Fred Gibson

Date Posted: 3/11/2008 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I am halfway through Nop's Trials by Donald McCaig (yes, the same author who wrote Rhett Butler's People) It was a bestseller in the mid-80's, but that was a generation ago...! This is a fabulous book and a must for any lover of canine fiction. And 23 years after it's original publication, I think it qualifies again as a "hidden gem". There is also a sequel called Nop's Hope.

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2008
Posts: 5
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There's a series of wonderful mysteries based in the dog show world written by Laurien Berenson that are well worth the read.

Also a very cute book called "My Life with George" by Judith Summers about her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Date Posted: 3/13/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2005
Posts: 37
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A Dog's Life by Peter Mayle.   The dog, called Boy, "talks" about his adventures and canine philosophy.  The book is comical hearing things from a dog's perspective, and it has some neat illustrations as well.

Date Posted: 3/13/2008 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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James Herriott, James Herriott!  I have to reread All Creatures Great and Small at least once a year.  My husband, not a recreational reader as a rule, is also known to reread it.

All you have to do is say "Tricky-Woo" to someone who's read it and they can't help but smile!



Date Posted: 3/15/2008 1:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/29/2008
Posts: 20
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For Bea, the story of the Beagle who changed my life by Kristin Von Kreisler

Listen!  by Stephanie S. Tolan

Dogs of Dreamtime by Karen Shanley

These are on my MT TBR



Date Posted: 3/15/2008 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 908
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Marley and Me- great book!

I have many books on my wishlist which look like good dog books! I just received Amazing Gracie and am about 20 pages into it! It is so good, and while it may be a keeper I'll look for a hardcover and repost mine when done!