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Editor’s Picks for Notable Dog Books in 2010


Dog books are getting better and smarter. This year’s bumper crop is testimony to the unflagging popularity and importance of canines in our lives. From stories of incredible courage and redemptive come-backs, to moving memoirs and spot-on training guides, these ten standouts, with a few memoirs also noted, are definitely worth your attention.


Dog Walks Man by John Zeaman is a contemplative and humorous exploration of one of the simplest of pleasures: walking with a dog. The narrative’s strength comes from its quiet, meditative pacing. Whether he’s walking along suburban alleys with Pete, the Poodle, or exploring the phantasmagorical landscape of New Jersey’s Meadowlands, the author’s musings on life’s wildness are a pleasure and joy.


Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell focuses on her long friendship with Caroline Knapp (author of Pack of Two), inspired—one might even say authored—by their mutual love of dogs. Theirs was a remarkable relationship, one based not only on personality similarities but on the trust each of them placed in the other, allowing them to create a profound and lasting attachment that has transcended grief and transformed lives.


The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Sports Illustrated’s Jim Gorant sheds light on a much-ignored facet of the Vick dog-fighting story. Gorant follows the journey of Vick’s Pit Bulls from their rescue through their rehabilitation, illuminating their remarkable capacity for forgiveness and the importance of treating abused dogs as victims in need of help and healing.


The Love That Dog Training Program by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to the power of positive reinforcement training from “First Dog” Bo’s trainer. Her approach underscores the need for daily training routines—it will pay dividends.


A Modern Dog’s Life: Discover How to Do the Best for Your Dog by Paul McGreevy, PhD, an Australian veterinarian and behaviorist who urge modern dog owners to behave more like a “life coach” rather than an “alpha dog.” He draws upon recent scientific studies to help us better understand our dogs, their motivations, behavior and needs. This book is amusing, erudite and engrossing.


One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Afghanistan by Pen Farthing. In this inspiring memoir of compassion amid combat a British Royal marine sergeant, serving in Helmand, a remote Afghanistan province, calls upon the resources and courage of his fellow marines to save the lives of dogs amid firefights and mortar attacks.


Photobooth Dogs by Cameron Woo is a charming gift book of vintage photographs celebrating the great fondness and fascination for dogs held by past generations—and delightfully captured in photobooth portraits. These endearing self-portraits are snapshots of friendship and timeless devotion.


Scent of the Missing is a memoir by Susannah Charleson. Readers ride along with the author’s canine search-and-rescue partner-in-training, Puzzle, a rambunctious, delightful Golden Retriever, from the moment the pup enters her life through her long training. With wit, charm and a deep understanding of dogs, Charleson’s story of this fully collaborative partnership is unforgettable.




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Submitted by Anonymous | December 7 2010 |

I highly recommend Good Old Dogs. Not only does it give information about the physical health of seniors, it opened my eyes to their mental health and how to keep them mentally active. After reading this book, I started doing things differntly with my 13 year old collie mix so that I kept his mind active and his world interesting. Even if you have a young dog now, get this book for his/her later years. Jane

Submitted by Pamela | December 7 2010 |

I enjoyed Jennifer Arnold's Through a Dog's Eyes about training assistance dogs.

Submitted by Ellen Brown | December 7 2010 |

"A Dog's Purpose" by Bruce Cameron was not only one of the best 'dog' reads ever...but one of the best reads ever. Period.

Submitted by Laura | December 8 2010 |

I loved the "The Lost Dogs" by Jim Gorant, and highly recommend it. While it had it's moments when I had to put it down and go play with our three rescues, the amount of work to prove the case against Vick and the rehab of the dogs is truly amazing--I am now a fan of Bad Rap organization and the others who made this happen.

Submitted by Jane | December 22 2010 |

Another comment about recommended books: I just finished Scent of the Missing and WOW. She's a good writer and gave so much information about what it means to train for search and rescue. Things I had NO idea about and yet when I thought about it, of course the training would be rigorous and extensive. I have a new found respect and awe for all the people and dogs who participate in any aspect of search and rescue. Also just read You Had Me at Woof. Another good writer who gave me much more insight about rescuing and fostering dogs. I'm glad I read both of these books and think they would be great gifts.

Submitted by Leland Dirks | March 22 2011 |

I think you'd like my Border Collie Angelo's book, too. It's the story about his five and a half week disappearance, and the long road back to home, through the eyes of the people whose lives he touches.

It's called Angelo's Journey, and it's available at http://www.amazon.com/Angelos-Journey-ebook/dp/B004RYW53U/

Thanks for letting me publicize it here!