There are a ton of books out there that either feature a dog, or have a dog as an important part of the story. And then there are those of us who read about dogs while snuggled up with a dog, and know there aren’t a whole lot of moments better than those. While I’ve been a lover of books my entire life (thank you Grandma!), I wasn’t a dog lover until a little over 12 years ago when I met my Louie.
I’d grown up with dogs around, but my memories of household pets are filled with cats. And cats are weird. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a cat that loves to cuddle and get pets, but (at least in my experience) cats are mostly assholes and couldn’t care less what you do. And even though I’ll get caught up watching cat videos, I’m fairly confident I will never own another cat in my life. And I know my husband would vehemently oppose getting a cat. And so, dogs it is.
Some of the best books I’ve ever read have dogs in them. My all time favorite book, Where the Red Fern Grows, is the story of a young boy and his two hounds. I laughed until my stomach hurt and then cried like a baby when I read (and watched) Marley and Me. And any fan of Dean Koontz knows he always has a dog somewhere in the story – and it’s usually a golden retriever.
Nothing quite compares to reading about a companion who is there to always support their human. The unconditional love portrayed by dogs in books is matched only by the real life experience. I adopted Louie when he was just a baby, and rescued him from certain death in the form of the Parvo virus. He never lets me down, never judges me, and one of the best feelings in the world is seeing his excited butt waggle when I come home. There isn’t enough time in the day to read all the books featuring a dog, but I’m grateful for the ones we have and that I get the chance to read.
And one thing that I love and hate equally about dogs in books is the chance to grow accustomed to their inevitable death. While I can talk and read about dogs dying, I dread the day I have to face Louie’s passing. But reading about it helps me cope and prepare. And since every character so far has shown that they can make it through that horrible event, I know I’ll be able to as well.
So thank you to all the writers out there telling their beautiful stories about dogs. And may you each discover the magic that is a dogs love.