Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Woof You: My Favorite Books About (Literal) Puppy Love

It's Tuesday -- time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. In honor of Valentine's Day, this week's topic is a Valentine's freebie. Freebie... oh no, the dreaded freebie! I tossed around some ideas (favorite couples, worst couples, etc.) but I don't read a ton of romance-y stuff and in the end I decided to go with a type of love near and dear to my heart: dog love.

I've always been a dog person, even though we just have a cat right now. We lost our sweet boxer dog Conan to canine lymphoma just about two years ago now. He was our furry baby and our best friend. He made our little family seem so much fuller, and we loved him so very, very much, from his cold, wet nose to his nub of a tail.



After Conan passed away, I couldn't bring myself to read any books about dogs. But last year I finally picked up a couple, and I managed to get through them without getting too emotional. I still haven't been able to bring myself to read "A Dog's Purpose," though. I get the impression that it's a tear-jerker at the best of times!

Below are some of my favorite books about dogs, which explore and exemplify the bond, the friendship and the love we have with our cherished canine counterparts.

"Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him" by Luis Carlos Montalvan: This is a wonderful book about the power of service dogs, told by a former Marine captain who was crippled by PTSD before Tuesday came into his life. (review)
"The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming" by Shreve Stockton: The memoir about a soul-searching woman and an orphaned coyote is good, but the beautiful photos of Charlie the coyote make the book amazing.

"Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero" by Michael Hingson: Like "Until Tuesday," this book is about the special bond between service dog and owner. Hingson was a blind man trapped in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and this book tells how he and Rosalie made it out alive. (review)
"The Dogs of Christmas" by W. Bruce Cameron: This is a sweet, fun Christmas romance that involves puppes! (Bonus points for being set in my home state of Colorado. And for having the most adorable cover!) (review)

"The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog" by W. Bruce Cameron: Cameron's novel, set 30,000 years ago, theorizes how wolves might have come to be domesticated. (review)
"The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein: One of my favorite books -- beautiful, sad and funny -- told from the perspective of a very special dog named Enzo.

"Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery" by Spencer Quinn: The first in a mystery series told by dog Chet and his private-investigator human Bernie. (review)
"Dog Songs: Poems" by Mary Oliver: Poignant and fun poems about our furry friends. I actually read this book out loud to Conan. (review)

"Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog" by John Grogan: The quintessential dog memoir.
"The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption" by Jim Gorant: The details of Michael Vick's dog-fighting ring will make you sick, but the stories of the rescued dogs who found new life will bring joy to your heart. (review)

Coffee Table Books:

"Find Momo: Coast to Coast" by Andrew Knapp: I love Momo! After coming across the Momo books at work (there are two), I started following the author's Instagram page (here), which is full of awesome pictures of Momo. The books are fun for dog-lovers of all ages, since they're kind of like a "Where's Waldo?" with an adorable dog and beautiful/quirky/interesting locales.

"The Dogist: Photographic Encounters With 1000 Dogs" by Elias Weiss Friedman: Another book I happened across at work. The portraits will have you chuckling and "aww-ing."

 On My To-Read List:

"A Dog's Purpose" by W. Bruce Cameron
"Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe" by Erin Taylor Young

"From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava" by Jay Kopelman
"No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, And Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII" by Robert Weintraub


  1. I LOVE THIS POST! I absolutely love animals, and there are several of these I haven't read!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. Look at all those adorable dogs on the covers! I really want to read Dog Song someday. I enjoyed Dog On It, although I am not partial to reading books written from the animal's perspective (I'm about to start one narrated by a cat--please let it be good and not annoying!). I don't do well with books that end in the dog's death. It doesn't matter how good the book is, it puts me in a terrible funk for days after I finish. So, I tend to avoid them.

    1. I'm totally with you on the dog's death stuff -- and you know what I do? I just don't read it at all! I have literally skipped entire chapters!

      You should check out "Dog Songs." It was super fun and fast. You could read it in an hour or two.

  3. Wonderful topic. Conan was a beauty. Those boxers sure have a way of stealing our hearts. I loved Racing in the Rain and Marley and Me as well. I have several of the books you featured on my TBR and The Dogist is a lovely book I want to own someday as I borrowed it from the library a few weeks ago. Surviving Henry is a great book and the author is really kind. She even commented on the review of it I featured on my blog. Hope you love it!

  4. This is a great idea! I'm not really a dog person, but my husband a I adopted a rescued pit bull several months ago and she has sort of taken over our lives. (That book "Surviving Henry" sounds sorta familiar :) Some of these really look interesting to me though, so I'll keep them in mind to read. And your dog was adorable - I kind of love boxers and their cute faces.


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