As the days become shorter and the nights colder, what better way is there to spend a chilly evening than by curling up with a book after a pleasant walk with your dog? Cuddle up under a blanket, and dive into one of these ten fantastic dog books.
- “White Fang” by Jack London: This classic tale follows White Fang, a wolf-dog hybrid born into the Alaskan wild. The young pup goes from life in the wild to living with humans, first in a Native camp, before falling into the harsh world of dog fighting, and, eventually, a family of his own.
- “Call of the Wild” by Jack London: This story is almost the reverse of Jack London’s other book. Buck, a prized pet of a California judge, is stolen from his home and taken to Alaska, where he must cope with the harsh Yukon landscape, strange new people, and even other dogs.
- “The Incredible Journey” by Sheila Burnford: Three pets: Luath, the Golden Retriever; Tao, the Siamese cat; and Bodger, the Bull Terrier; are left behind when their family must travel abroad. The three journey through the Canadian wilds, following an instinct that draws them to find their family. But the journey is difficult, and the three must face the deadly challenges of the wild.
- “Shiloh” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor: Marty Preston, a boy from West Virginia, defies his community’s expectations by taking care of his neighbour’s abused Beagle. He names the dog Shiloh, and vows that he will keep the dog one way or another.
- “The Underneath” by Kathi Appelt: This book is a stunning blend of fantasy and the tough reality of the life of an old dog and his cat friends. A lone stray cat finds her way to Ranger, an old dog who lives under the porch of an old bayou house. In the dangerous swamp, haunted by Gar’s cruel owner and strange spirits from long ago, this strange new family must try to survive and flourish.
- “Born to Run” by Michael Murpurgo: Patrick rescues a litter of puppies from the river, and is allowed to keep one. He names his new dog ‘Best Mate’, and the two become firm friends. But the two are cruelly separated when Best Mate is stolen to be trained for greyhound racing. Will Best Mate ever find his family again?
- “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” by Dodie Smith: The Disney cartoon and live-action film may be more famous, but this classic book is what inspired them. The newly married Mr and Mrs Dearly have a pair of Dlamatian dogs, Pongo and Missis, who soon have a litter of fifteen puppies. After a dinner party with Cruella de Vil, the puppies disappear. The dogs set out to rescue their puppies, allying with other dogs around the country in their quest.
- “Old Yeller” by Fred Gipson: This American book was made into a well-loved Disney film of the same name. Set it in 1860s in Texas, it follows Travis, a teenage boy, who is helping his mother run their farm while his father is away. A stray dog wanders on to the farm. The dog is soon adopted and given a name: “Yeller”, soon becoming Travis’s constant companion.
- “The Invisible Dog” by Dick King Smith: Janie desperately wants a dog, especially a Great Dane, but her parents aren’t so keen. When Janie finds an old dog collar and leash in the house, she decides that if she can’t have a real dog, she’s going to have an invisible dog instead!
“Dogsbody” by Diana Wynne Jones: Sirius, the guardian of the Dog Star, is wrongfully exiled to Earth to live as a dog. He may return from his exile if he can find the mysterious Zoi, a powerful object that he had previously guarded. Between his quest for the Zoi and life as a dog, Sirius struggles with his new life on Earth, but help may come from some unexpected sources, like the human girl Kathleen and even the spirits of Earth.