Some of the best protagonists of our favorite stories are dogs. They’re courageous, love adventure and know how to have fun. If you’re a dog-lover you should definitely check out these books featuring our favorite furry buds.
|The Art of Racing in the Rain
Many books feature animals as starring characters, but few of them feature a story told through the eyes of the dog himself. The Art of Racing in the Rain follows a dog named Enzo as he recounts his life on the eve of his final day. He tells the story of how he came to be with the family of a racecar driver and talks about the struggles, and triumphs, that we all experience in our lives from the loss of his owner’s wife to the excitement of achieving his dreams. It’s incredibly heart-warming, though a little sad, and should be at the top of your next reading list.
|A Good Dog: The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life
Sometimes we rescue a dog thinking that we’re saving their life, only to find out that they’re the ones that save ours. A Good Dog is the true story of Orson, a border collie who refuses to follow the rules. It’s a hilarious account of a dog that fought his obedience training at every turn, only to end up teaching his owner a life-altering lesson on following his own desires. Orson causes his family to uproot to a two hundred year old farm and start anew, and the story of it is funny and touching for everyone.
|A Dog’s Purpose
A Dog’s Purpose is another novel that follows the life of a canine protagonist, but this time we follow him through multiple lives. As Bailey finds himself being reborn, first as a stray mutt, then twice-again as a new puppy we follow along as he searches for a purpose in his existence. It’s a theme that resonates with both dogs and humans alike. The author, W. Bruce Cameron, is the same guy that wrote 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter so, as you can imagine, the book is pretty hilarious.
|Where the Red Fern Grows
There are a lot of classics about the relationship between a boy and his dog, but none quite as effective and heart wrenching as Where the Red Fern Grows. Ten-year old Billy wants nothing more than a pair of coonhounds of his own when he finally gets his parents to let him care for Old Dan and Little Ann. The hounds, one brave and the other incredibly smart, become fast friends with Billy. The story tells of the lengths they and Billy go to protect one another as they train to become some of the best hunters around. Fair warning: there will be tears.
Shiloh is another childhood classic that follows a young boy as he tries to protect an abused beagle from its cruel owner. Marty goes to great lengths to protect Shiloh from being beaten, from hiding him to lying to his parents about the dog’s whereabouts. It’s a great story about how sometimes we lie to protect the ones we love, even if we’re told it’s not supposed to be right. This one has a happier ending than the last so don’t fear.
|Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog
Haatachi and Owen “Little B” Howkins didn’t have the best of childhoods. Haatachi, an Anatolian Shepherd, was abused and left for dead on a railroad track as a puppy after being hit and disabled by a train. Little B was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him confided to a wheelchair. Both boy and dog were lonely and dispirited until the day they met. The book tells the story of two inseparable friends that will leave you laughing, crying and with renewed hope and joy for life as you follow their journey to leading happy lives. The true story of their friendship is incredibly inspirational and a must-read.
|Travels With Casey
If you’re fascinated with the relationships between humans and dogs this will be a great book for you. Travels With Casey follows a man as he treks across the country with a dog he’s pretty sure doesn’t like him, in search of finding meaning between the bond between man and his best-friend. It’s hilariously insightful and the stories he tells about the fellow dog owners he meets along the way will leave you seeing a lot of yourself in them. What starts out as a lukewarm understanding between the man and his dog turns into genuine love by the end.