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I don't know what to recommend, but dog stories I've read

Fictive stories
Eric Knight: Lassie Come-Home
Everybody knows Lassie and how she returned home after she was sold to a wealthy duke.
Jack London: The Call of the Wild
Buck has his kingdom in his master's house and garden when one day he is kidnapped. The gold rush in Alaska needs powerful sled dogs and soon Buck has to survive this hard life in that hard nature.
White Fang
White Fang is another famous dog story. I don't remember what actually happened there.
Daniel P. Mannix: The Fox and the Hound
I haven't actually read this but I found in my shelf.
A. J. Dawson: Finn the Wolfhound
Finn is a handsome Irish wolfhound and a very promising show dog. His life takes another turn when he is stolen. He finally escapes and has to survive before finding his master again.
Trojepolski (or however it is spelled): Bim
A sad story of a setter called Bim.
Sheila Burnford: Bel-Ria, the Dog of War
This book tells about Bel-Ria's adventures in Europe during the second World War.

Based on true life, I assume
Marley & Me
Stein: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Willie Morris: My Dog Skip
There is also another book about the life of an ordinary dog. It is about a divorced man and his Bernese Mountain Dog Hola. I just don't remember its name.
Hak Whittmore, Caroline Hebard: So That Other May Live
About Caroline Hebard and her search and rescue dogs.
Angela Locke: Search Dog and Sam & co. The Heroic Search Dogs of the Fells
Sam is an energetic Labrador retriever who is introduced to search and rescue work with his master. I loved these books.
gonzalez: ginny, the dog who saves cats
Two books about ginny who finds cats and helps to rescue them.
James Herriot's books
 

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I just remembered this book the other day. It's called Stone Fox and it's more of short novel for children. I remember really loving it, though.
It's a story about a boy who enters a sled race with his beloved dog in an attempt to win some desperately needed money for he and his grandfather (if I remember correctly).
 

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I recently started reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It's a novel told from a dog's point of view (written in the first person with the dog as the narrator). This may give the impression that it's a children's book, as it's so rare to find adult books with an animal as a main character, but it's not: it's aimed at adults and deals with adult themes. It shows a family life, including complicated drama and grief and people's love for each other, their love for the family dog, and the dog's love for them (along with a lot of other feelings also). The dog also had a tendency to mediate on philosophical questions and explain how people could do so much better if they had a dog's wisdom. He also provides explanations for many things dogs do that make no sense to many people.

The "racing" in the title refers to endurance car racing, which is something the dog's primary owner (the husband/father of the family) does. I have a feeling that the car racing is going to feature in a big way at some point in the book, but haven't reached that part yet.

I'm a big reader, I read a lot, and I only chose this book because it features a dog. It combines a big love of mine (dogs) with something I have no knowledge of (racing cars), so it's an interesting read. The dog definitely features much more heavily than the cars. The writing style isn't that great, and differs from the more complex styles that I usually prefer, but the themes are so interesting, and taking a family dog's point of view is such a novel idea - there is so much about family relations in this book, which features in so many books of all kinds, but the dog's perspective really does add something unique to this novel.

I might post again when I've finished as I'm sure there will be more to add when I have done.
 

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I've now finished The Art of Racing in the Rain . I enjoyed it even more towards the end. It still didn't have all that much to do with racing cars, which was fine by me as I was reading it for the dog and family issues.

Being narrated by the dog, some events in the story can't be relayed directly, because they take place in places the dog can't go - hospitals, etc. - and it's quite clever how what would be pivotal scenes get described in different ways. It was also very poignant showing how people's stress affects the dog.
 

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I really liked Marley & Me . It's lighter than what I'd normally read, but so funny, and poignant at times too. Marley reminds me so much of the bouncing ball of energy and love and destruction that was one of the dogs we had when I was a child. It's also such a great depiction of how a dog fits into family life, especially as it's a memoir, not fiction.

I'm hoping to get Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf for my next dog book. :)
 

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If you've not read Marley & Me, PinkCupcake, you should read that too. It's different from The Art of Racing in the Rain as it's a memoir, and (obviously!) not told from the dog's perspective, but it's similar in that it's about dogs' role in family life. It's far more comic and less poignant than Racing in the Rain, but the poignant moments are definitely there as well, and every bit as moving.

I'm contemplating watching the film of Marley, but I don't usually like comedies.... but then I didn't think I'd like the book much for that reason, but changed my mind on that.

Thanks for replying btw. I love reading and will probably be talking to myself a lot on this thread. ;)
 

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Old Yeller! Classic that everyone knows the ending to but it's still great. Shiloh and Where the Red Fern Grows were good too. And of course 101 Dalmatians. It seems most dog novels are written for kids. I read Big Red too but I found it somewhat boring. I personally wasn't a fan of The Art of Racing in the Rain but everyone's got their own tastes. The only other adult novel involving dogs I haven't mentioned is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. It's not *about* a dog, but it's about a boy whose family breeds dogs and his relationships with several and how he trains them with signals. (The boy is mute). It was definitely a different sort of story.

As for Non-Fiction I really love Amazing Gracie by Dan Dyer about a deaf Great Dane who helped her owners found the 3 Dog Bakery. Unforgettable Mutts by Karen Derrico was a book I love that has short biographies of many famous mutts who performed heroic acts, were war dogs, movie stars, etc. And while I hate his political beliefs, Rescuing Sprite by Mark Levin was really good too. Right now I'm reading Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote and am enjoying it a lot. I've never read Marley & Me. I saw the movie, and I found it so unpalatable how the irresponsible dog ownership and bad dog behavior was depicted as hilarious that I donated my unread copy of the book to the animal shelter to sell.
 

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I hadn't thought of 101 Dalmatians, it's ages since I read it, but I know I enjoyed it at the time.

I was disappointed with some of the stuff towards the end of Marley &Me. I won't give too much away in case some here haven't read it, but at some points the author didn't seem to treat the dog as all that special. Not that he treated him badly, just not with the type of devotion you might expect from someone who is inspired enough by their dog to write a book about him. I haven't seen the film yet but I plan to.
 

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I've never read Marley & Me. I saw the movie, and I found it so unpalatable how the irresponsible dog ownership and bad dog behavior was depicted as hilarious that I donated my unread copy of the book to the animal shelter to sell.
I tried the film but gave up on it early on - it just wasn't funny like the book was.
 

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I thought I'd post a proper review of Marley & Me. There are spoilers in this post, should anyone reading want to avoid them.

I've never read Marley & Me. I saw the movie, and I found it so unpalatable how the irresponsible dog ownership and bad dog behavior was depicted as hilarious that I donated my unread copy of the book to the animal shelter to sell.
I only saw the very beginning of the film, but I found a lot of the book enjoyable. Some bad dog behaviour is funny, especially in hindsight, e.g. eating precious objects, destroying furniture. They're serious behaviour issues, but they can be reasons to laugh later. Ditto the obedience issues - pulling on the lead, running off, etc. - and pooping where he shouldn't.

I don't know if I'd say Grogan was irresponsible (as portrayed in the book at least). He was an average, novice dog owner. He sought professional help for the obedience (not that the professional was that great), and a vet for the dog's phobia. One incident stood out: Grogan once tried kneeing the dog to stop him jumping on him. But this stood out because it was a physical punishment (Grogan doesn't seem to see it as cruel), it wasn't typical of the way he treats Marley. Generally Grogan just seemed kind of clueless, well-meaning, and willing to admit his mistakes as a dog owner and make a joke out of himself too.

What I didn't understand, and what ruined the light hearted, poignant atmosphere of the book near the end, was the fact that when it came down to it, Marley was just an unimportant pet to his owner. That's what a lot of dogs are to their owners. It doesn't mean the owners are cruel or that the dogs have terrible lives, I just wasn't expecting it in a memoir about a man's relationship with his dog. Since he'd decided to write a book about it, I assumed he'd be a person who counted his dog as a member of his family. He put his family first, then his career, then his dog at some point afterwards.

So the events at the end that ruined it for me: when Marley is old and ill, they put him in boarding kennels while the wife and kids go on holiday and Grogan is busy with work. Marley has a health crisis and nearly dies. Then, after spending some chapters reflecting on his dog in light of the fact that Marley's life is coming to and end, Grogan relates how they then put him kennels again (albeit with the best veterinary care he could find, a sort of vet/boarding kennels) and head off to Disneyland. It spoiled what had up until that point seemed to be the true story of a man who genuinely did care about his dog quite a bit. It showed it to be nothing more than what it really was: the true story of the average dog owner who's not particularly interested in dogs. He has a pet dog, he likes the dog and tries to look after him, without really having the time or motivation to learn, and so never gets beyond being a novice in dog ownership.

I still think it's an enjoyable book, and the author really does have a gift for capturing that particular type of manic, loveable dog in words. I find it hard to understand why he would dedicate a book to a dog when he wasn't all that dedicated to the dog in the first place, but it is interesting to read about how the dog fits into the family's life, and in a way it's made more interesting by being unusual, as most dog-books are written by true dog-people, not by people who happen to have a dog.
 

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I had actually heard of that too in some reviews. I can understand not being able to afford certain medical care and putting a dog down early, or having pressing family/career responsibilities but I can't see going on a fun vacation when the dog is ill and alone. Even if the book was funnier I found the family really irritating and callous when it matters.
 
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