My favorite type of book to read has been pet related for as long as I can remember. In grade school, I’d read as many animal-related books as I could for the Accelerated Reader program. I loved books from the perspective of animals, especially.
Some of my favorite animal/pet related books to date are:
1. A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron – This and the sequel (next on the list) were just so amazing to read. The concept just touched my heart and made me feel good to think that this was how a dog’s life worked. It’s a quick and easy read, but a great concept. Dog lovers will love this. And a movie is coming in January! // From Amazon: 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, A Dog’s Purpose 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, A Dog’s Purpose 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 moving and beautifully crafted 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.
2. A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron – This is the sequel to A Dog’s Purpose. I actually read this book before I read the first. My grandma gave me this book and said I would love it shortly before she passed away. I put off reading it for about 6 months, because I knew I’d be a blubbery mess otherwise. Okay… I still was. I enjoyed this one more than the first, but I might be biased because of the personal sentiment this book has to me. Again, any dog lover will love this book. // From Amazon: Buddy is a good dog.
After searching for his purpose through several eventful lives, Buddy is sure that he has found and fulfilled it. Yet as he watches curious baby Clarity get into dangerous mischief, he is certain that this little girl is very much in need of a dog of her own.
When Buddy is reborn, he realizes that he has a new destiny. He’s overjoyed when he is adopted by Clarity, now a vibrant but troubled teenager. When they are suddenly separated, Buddy despairs―who will take care of his girl?
A charming and heartwarming story of hope, love, and unending devotion, A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron asks the question: Do we really take care of our pets, or do they take care of us? More than just another endearing dog tale, A Dog’s Journey is the moving story of unwavering loyalty and a love that crosses all barriers.
3. Dogs and the Women Who Love Them: Extraordinary True Stories of Loyalty, Healing, and Inspiration by Allen Anderson – I picked this up since it was about dogs and women. I was not disappointed and loved the heart-warming, touching stories included. If you’re like me, you’ll probably cry from a few of the stories. Not necessarily because they’re sad, but because they speak to the dog-lover in you. // From Amazon: When the nurturing nature of women meets the loyalty and unguarded affection of dogs, remarkable connections ensue. You’ll be entertained, inspired, and moved by shelter dogs, police K-9s, dogs rescued from hurricanes and dog fighting, service dogs helping returning veterans, prison inmates who train service dogs, and everyday mutts who transform lives just by providing an exuberant welcome at the end of the day.
4. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz – This wad informative and easy to read. I enjoyed this one quite a bit and I’m sure you will, too! // From Amazon: With more than 52 million pet dogs in America today, it’s clear we are a nation of unabashed dog-lovers. Yet the relationship between dogs and humans remains a fascinating mystery, as no one really knows what goes on in the canine mind. Now, in Inside of a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz fuses her perspectives as both scientist and dog-owner to deliver a fresh look at the world of dogs—as seen from the animal’s point of view. Inspired by her years of living with her own dog, Pumpernickel, who was a constant source of delight and mystery, Horowitz’s mind became filled with questions and ideas. In crisp, clear prose, she draws on her research in the field of dog cognition to give readers a sense of a dog’s perceptual and cognitive abilities—and paints a picture of what the canine experience is like. Horowitz’s own scientific journey, and the insights she uncovered, allowed her to understand her dog better and appreciate her more.
Containing up-to-the minute research and providing many moments of dog-behavior recognition, this lively and absorbing book helps dog owners to see their best friend’s behavior in a different, and revealing light, allowing them to understand their pets and enjoy their company even more.
5. The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel by Garth Stein – Okay, so this one isn’t so much about a dog, as it is a story from the dog’s point-of-view. I loved reading everything from a dog’s perspective. It’s funny, up-lifing, and sad all at the same time. Trust me, read this one. // From Amazon: A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope–a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.
6. The Sight by David Clement-Davies – I found this book my junior year of high school and have read it several times since. This is a fantasy novel focused around wolves (my favorite animal). I wouldn’t say this is an easy read or light-hearted, but it is an adventure. // From Amazon: In the shadow of an abandoned castle, a wolf pack seeks shelter. the she-wolf ’s pups will not be able to survive the harsh transylvanian winter. And they are being stalked by a lone wolf, Morgra, possessed of a mysterious and terrifying power known as the sight. Morgra knows that one of the pups born beneath the castle holds a key to power even stronger than her own—power that could give her control of this world and the next. but the pack she hunts will do anything to protect their own, even if it means setting in motion a battle that will involve all of nature, including the creature the wolves fear the most — Man.
7. Child of the Wolves by Elizabeth Hall – I initially read this when I was in grade school. I’m not sure which grade, but I want to say around 4th or so. It goes into depth about how a wolf pack works, which I absolutely loved. I should probably reread this soon… // From Amazon: Granite, a Siberian husky puppy, is all alone in the Alaskan forest after escaping from his kennel. Each moment of his life is threatened until Snowdrift, a great white wolf, welcomes him into a wolf pack. But Granite must earn his place among the wolf tribe by facing vicious attacks from the other wolves, the human wolf hunters, and the constant challenges of the frozen forest.
8. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – I feel like this is an animal classic by now. It’s an emotional-rollercoaster, but a worthy read. // From Amazon: Perhaps the most celebrated animal story of the nineteenth century, Black Beauty is the suspenseful and deeply moving account of a horse’s experiences at the hands of many owners — some, sensitive riders who treated him gently; others, cruel drivers who thoughtlessly inflicted lasting damage.
Written as the animal’s autobiography, and as an appeal for the humane treatment of horses, Anna Sewell’s beloved classic reveals as much about human conduct and the social ills of the time as it does about the treatment of animals. Scenes from the lives of both the landed gentry and the impoverished working class offer a subtle but well-rounded perspective of social conditions in England during the late nineteenth century.