Good Reading

From time to time we announce and/or review new books related to one of our favorite subjects:  dogs.  These are some of our favorites.

Please know that we are not accepting 
any new books for review at this time.

House Trained by Jackie Bouchard

House Trained is a story about trust, love and being judgemental - with a labradoodle dog named Marie playing an essential roleAs author Bouchard says:  "If you love books and dogs and laughter, you'll love my Fido-friendly fiction novels."   That's definitely true of House Trained.


Faithfully Yours is an uplifting examination of the bond we share with the animals in our life.  Peggy uses a great many amazing and touching stories to show that connection via the themes of devotion, protections, acceptance, rescue, healing, compassion, guidance, comfort, faithfulness, and love.  As she weaves these stories into a whole, Peggy shares own personal experiences with the animals in her own life.

Read our full review and watch the trailer here

by Benoit Denizet-Lewis

Part travelogue, part memoir and part informational, Travels with Casey made me laugh.  It made me cry.  It made me think a lot about dogs in general, but especially about my own dogs and my relationships with them.

I'd read some early reviews of this book that portrayed it as humorous.  It is, however, Benoit also tackles some very serious issue regarding canine health, pets of the homelessness, overbreeding, dog rescue and much more. 

by Jan Dunlap

Jan Dunlap was suffering increasingly severe bouts of anxiety after a medical misdiagnosis slapped her in the face with an acute realization of the tenuous nature of human life. A theologian, Jan found her personal faith in God and His promises severely shaken and her enthusiasm for life being replaced by growing fear and debilitating insecurity. Then a rescue-shelter black lab-mix by the name of Gracie came into her life as her daughter's new pet, and Jan determined to do whatever it took to provide both her daughter and the dog with the sense of security she herself no longer felt. 

She quickly discovered, however, that Gracie had her own agenda, and it was all dog. From chasing squirrels to jumping fences to the occasional roll in dead fish, Gracie taught Jan that life is for living, not dreading. As she began to realize that Gracie was helping her manage her anxiety, Jan also came to a new awareness of how a loving God provides healing through His own works of creation. Part memoir and part medical exploration of the truly healing gifts that God freely offers us through our interaction with animals and nature, Saved by Gracie is a story of God's redeeming love revealed at the paws of a dog.

Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country
by Benoit Danizet Lewis

New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis worried that his dog, Casey, didn't like him very much.  So Benoit rented an RV, lured Casey inside with treats, and embarked on a 13,000 mile road trip designed to help them bond.  

Along the way they spent time with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, dedicated stray dog rescuer Randy Grim, got pulled over by a K9 cop in Missouri,  visited Cesar Millan and so much more.  The result is Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country.

Please note:  I did not review this book.  The author spent a week with Randy Grim, founder of Stray Rescue of St Louis and has set up a Dream at DreamFund to benefit Stray Rescue.  Fetch my full blog post for more information and to view a video of Benoit's time with Randy Grim.

by Amber Polo

If you're a dog lover that also loves the Harry Potter series, you will thoroughly enjoy Recovered.  Bibliophiles will be charmed by the "Dewey-speak."  Dog lovers will discover new beloved canine characters.
Fetch my full review of Recovered - Book 3 from the ShapeShifters Library by Amber Polo to read a synopsis and more.

by Dr. Chris M Oslund

Part memoir, part a guide to choosing and living with dogs, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Billed as a handbook, the author not only talks the talk, but as she illustrates with personal stories, she walks the walk.  Along the way, Oslund has the enviable ability to laugh at her self while generously allowing the reader to laugh along with her.  
"My dad likes to say, in reference to me and my dogs, 'How much of a glutton for punishment can one person be.'  The rhetorical response in my case appears to be, 'Nearly endless.'
   In Dad's opinion, my willingness to take on high energy and/or problem dogs is a form of gluttony for punishment.  In my opinion, I'm having a really lovely time."
Love dogs?  Read this book!
Fetch my full review of  Gracie, An English Bull Terrier by Chris Oslund to see why I recommend it so highly.

by Kathryn Primm DVM
If you're reading this blog, then you love pets.  So, I suspect you'll enjoy this book.  Tennessee Tails is a series of short stories about events that really happened in the author's veterinary practice.  How many times have you wondered about the stories your vet could tell about his pet patients and their people?  Well, here is a behind the scenes peek.  As the author says:
"Walk with me and be a fly on the wall for these funny and moving stories from my life as a veterinarian."

by Jackie Bouchard
A story about loss and new beginnings, Rescue Me, Maybe is a barking good read about a woman who has lost both her spouse and her dog to cancer within weeks of each other, but she was more sad about the dog.  As she re-groups, she rescues a dog that, in fact, rescues her.  Bouchard writes with great compassion combined with humor.  She deals with issues like death and loss with an attention for the very human, irontic details that made me sigh, made me cry and, yes, made me laugh out loud.  Along the way, we meet a cast of characters that remain with me even though I long ago finished reading the book.  Rescue Me, Maybe is a warm, dog friendly tale that makes real that saying: Life is what happens while you're busy making plans.

by Peggy Tibbetts
A dog with mental illness and bullying neighbors create a perfect storm in this compelling non-fiction dog tale.  This is a heartbreaking story, but once I began reading, I could not put the book down.  Crazy Bitch is not just another warm fuzzy tribute to a dog memoir.  Tibbetts takes the reader on a journey of love and beyond-the-norm commitment to a dog with Canine Compulsive Disorder.  You'll care more than you'd perhaps like to about this dog, Venus, and will cheer on Tibbetts in her quest to provide the best life possible.

Learning to Live with Fritz:  Disgruntled Angel in a Hairy Disguise
by E. Rawlins

In a light-hearted, chatty style, E. Rawlins tells the story of Fritz/Frizbee and how this little dog taught her how to live a better life.  Fritz leads his mistress on a merry chase of the good life.  With his bad behavior, huge personality, headstrong temperament, Fritz seems an unlikely match for a woman who describes herself as a Diva.  Yet, the two make quite a team.

A retired international opera singer, Rawlins has written a fun, thoughtful book for dog lovers.

It's Just A Dog
by Russ Ryan

It's Just A Dog is a story about loss, love and new beginnings, told with humor.  This story begins with the death of Charlie's beloved dog, Pete.  As Charlie deals - or rather does not deal well - with his grief, he travels the bettersweet road of loving another dog, numerous encounters with the ghost of his dead dog, and becomes involved with one of the local crazy dog ladies.  Along the way, the author skillfully harmonizes humor with pathos.

A great read from a guy who is an authentic dog lover and truly understands that a dog is never, ever "just a dog."  

It's Just A Dog is available for purchase on Amazon Kindle and paperback.  
NOTE:  50% of the sales of It's Just A Dog during the 3-month summer launch (through September 2, 2013) will be donated by the author to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.

The Love Dog
by Elsa Watson

The Love Dog, by Elsa Watson, is a charming story told from the point of view of the primary human AND canine in the book.  A light hearted, humorous tale, The Love Dog is a dog-gone good read.

The Love Dog (A Tor MM Original; $7.99) will be on sale to the public January 29, 2013.   ISBN 978-0-7653-6809-6  336 pages.  Available from all major book sellers.

Fetch our full review of The Love Dog here.

Raising My Furry Children, by Tracy Ahrens celebrates the bond between humans and animals with anecdotes of daily living with pets.

You'll smile, laugh and worry along with Tracy as she tells stories that feel very familiar to those of us who love cats and dogs.

Raising My Furry Children is a collection of columns that the author has written while raising her furry kids: Speckles, a Brittany spaniel, and her cats, Desdemona, CD, Joan of Arc, and Captain Jack Sparrow...

Read our full review here.

Raising My Furry Children can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or from any major bookstore  

Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs is, hands down, my favorite dog book. This is less a book review as it is an opportunity for me to encourage you to consider this one of the best gifts you can give this holiday season.

A collection of short profile vignettes written by Gene Weingarten and photographs by Michael S. Williamson, this book is a tribute to senior dogs. ...

Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs, published 2008 by Simon & Schuster, 160 pages. Available at major book sellers.

The Fitzy Resolution by A.D. DeSena; published by Dogged Publishers

If you enjoy political thrillers and think it might be fun for dogs to be the central characters, The Fitzy Resolution is a fun read.  

I was hooked on the first page with the description of the story's heroine, Casey, a three year old yellow Labrador Retriever.  What follows is a tale of mystery and political intrigue (and, yes, satire) told from the animals' points of view.

We're pleased to recommend this book as a good read for all dog lovers, including older teens.  Please read our full review of The Fitzy Resolution for more information.

Wise Up Workbook:  Organizing the Care of My Dog by Morgan T. Orr and Penelope Orr Spry

Sisters Penny and Morgan were faced with an overwhelming information void when their father died suddenly and, at the same time, their mother battled dementia.  Their personal experience led them to develop these easy-to-use workbooks to collect, organize and document vital information about your pets.

Available for dogs, cats, small pets, fish, birds and reptile pets.  These workbooks make it easy to insure you and your pet are ready for anythings.  Organize vital pet information that you need for both foreseen and unexpected life events.

We highly recommend Wise Up Workbooks; please read our full review of Organizing the Care of My Dog here.

Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats by Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell

A number of years ago I learned about Eckhart Tolle and began following his writings. The first book I read was “The Power of Now”. This book changed the way I see myself and the world.

I have since read numerous books by Tolle and am amazed by his insight. So, I was thrilled when my dogs, with the help of my lovely wife, gave me “Guardians of Being” for my recent birthday.

The full name of the book is “Guardians of Being, Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats” The words are by Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher, and the art is by Patrick McDonnell, creator of the comic strip MUTTS. These two are truly inspired and work wonderfully together...
Our book review of Guardians of Being first appeared as a guest blog post and you may read the complete post and review here at Talking Dogs

The Dog Cancer Survival Guide:  Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity  by Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM with Dr. Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip, ACVIM (Oncology).  Published by Maui Media, LLC

Some reviewers have stated that if your dog has cancer, you need this book.  I’ll go one step further and say:  if you own a dog, you need this book.  The majority of dog owners will be forced to deal with the heartbreak of losing a dog to cancer.  In fact, if you subtract euthanasia, cancer is  the number one killer of dogs. 

I can honestly say that I wish I’d had this book years ago.  I’ve lost three dogs to cancer, one only a few weeks ago...

Dr. Demian Dressler is a general practice veterinarian in Maui, Hawaii, who first published The Dog Cancer Survival Guide as an eBook sold to readers of Dr. Dressler’s blog  Dr. Susan Ettinger is a veterinary oncologist at the Animal Specialty Center in New York City.  They first met at The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in the 1990’s.  In The dog Cancer Survival Guide they’ve taken their decades of clinical experience and thorough research of the current literature to explain dog cancer for the lay person.

Talking Dogs recommends this book without any reservation.  What a wonderful holiday gift this would be for anyone who lives with dogs.  Fetch a copy of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide today at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle or NookThe Talking Dogs blog post for The Dog Cancer Survival Guide can be found here.

Dog, Inc.:  The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend by John Woestendiek 
This is not just another dog book.  Dog, Inc is a book about science, big business and commerce, merchandising and salesmanship, morality and ethics, as well as the love we have for our dogs.  This book proves that truth is stranger than (science) fiction.  Once you pick it up you'll have a hard time putting it down.  And when you do put it down, you'll find your mind returning time and again to the issues it raises.

John Woestendiek, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, does an amazing job of explaining the ins and outs of cloning man's best friend.  Woestendiek gives us the scientific facts and history of cloning dogs (and other mammals) in easy to understand language. Along the way he gives us a healthy dose of the very human story. From the woman who hoped to clone the pit bull who she believed saved her life and eventually purchased what would be the first commercially produced dog clones, to a billionaire who decides to make a profit from cloning his family dog, to the scientists who made dog cloning a reality..

Dog Trots Globe - To Paris and Provence by Sheron Long.
A delightful travelogue told from the point of view of author, Sheron Long's, Shetland Sheepdog.  Chula, the Sheltie dog, traveled from Carmel Valley in California to Paris and Saint-Remy-de-Provence over two months time.  Beautiful photographs, recommendations of dog friendly places and charming storytelling abound.  Dog Trots Globe is available from OIC Books and includes online extras.

Read Talking Dogs full book review of Dog Trots Globe.

Orphans of Katrina:  Inside the World's Biggest Animal Rescue  by Karen O'Toole
Five years ago, we were glued to our television in paralyzed horror. Our hearts broke as we watched the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina. The loss and devastation, the chaos and heartbreak are things that we will never forget.

In the midst of all the human suffering, thousands of companion animals were abandoned in the drowning city of New Orleans. Karen O'Toole has written a moving account of her experiences of rescue and frustration, disillusionment and redemption in our Gulf region.  Read more here.

DOGS  by Tim Flach
If you've seen Flach's book of horses, you'll want this new book, too. It almost seems like a slap in the face to call Tim Flach a photographer. The man is an artist. Absolutely amazing shots of dogs in all kinds of settings. Fetch this book. Flip through the pages. You'll have to have it, too.  Read more about DOGS here.

Huck:  The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family - And a Whole town - About Hope and Happy Endings  by Janet Elder
Now, this is a dog book that makes you feel good about people.  A breast cancer diagnosis changes a mom's mind about letting her son finally get a puppy. Mom (Janet Elder) hopes the puppy will give her son, Michael, something happy to focus on during her cancer treatment. However, the little toy poodle, Huck, gave Elder a lot to focus on, too. When Huck is left with the author's sister in New Jersey while Elder's family vacations in Florida, Huck runs away. As they try to find their puppy, the Elder family encounters countless strangers who volunteer to help.
Read more about this book here.

Ariel's Adventures, The Series:  Ariel's New Home by Jocelyn Jackson
This book for children is based on real life characters including Ariel, the Maltese Dog.  It begins with Ariel finding a new home and meeting her new family.  Read more about this book here.

   More Coming...  soon.