Last week I talked about 8 of my most beloved dogs in literature, but dogs are sometimes more than just characters. Sometimes they are the narrators, main characters and the heros of the story.
Writing from another person’s point of view is difficult as it is, but the challenge really gets intense when you try to write from a dog’s perspective. Writing a story from the view point of a dog requires the author to not only have an intense love of dogs I think, but also a deep understanding of them, their behavior, their mind; it takes a lot of time, study and observation to get their voice right.
Here are some books you just shouldn’t pass up if you are a dog lover…
Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight
Lassie is Joe’s prize collie and constant companion. But when Joe’s father loses his job, Lassie must be sold. Three times she escapes from her new owner, and three times she returns home to Joe, until finally she is taken to the remotest part of Scotland—too far a journey for any dog to make alone. How will Lassie come home?
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
The remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog’s Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?
A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale – G. A. Whitmore
Toby’s story takes you on a journey across the country from California to Connecticut and across the spectrum of life’s emotional and spiritual experience. On his quest to find a place to call home, Toby encounters and endures the best and worst of humanity as he comes face to face with sorrow and joy, fear and courage, and ultimately, with the power of love.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
Instinct told them that the way home lay to the west. And so the doughty young Labrador retriever, the roguish bull terrier and the indomitable Siamese set out through the Canadian wilderness. Separately, they would soon have died. But, together, the three house pets faced starvation, exposure, and wild forest animals to make their way home to the family they love.
Lad: A Dog (Lad) by Albert Payson Terhune
First published in 1919, Albert Payson Terhune’s Lad: A Dog is actually a collection of immensely popular magazine stories. The hero is an extraordinary collie named Lad, “a thoroughbred in spirit as well as in blood.” In each tale, Lad exhibits his pure strength of character as he fights off burglars, rescues an invalid child from a poisonous snake, wins ribbons in dog shows, and otherwise leads a dog-hero’s life.
The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London
The two masterpieces by London are best read together, as he had intended them to be thematic mirrors of each other.
The Call of the Wild centers on a domesticated dog, Buck, who is kidnapped and sold to Klondike gold hunters. To survive Buck must listen to the Call and learn the ways of his wolf-ancestors, who guide him from within.
White Fang tells the story of a half-wolf, half-dog nearly destroyed by the vicious cruelty of men. Brought to the very brink of his existence, White Fang is lucky enough to experience the one thing that can save him—human love.
The Chet and Bernie Mystery Series, by Spencer Quinn
When the story begins, Chet and Bernie are settled into the companionable routine they established when Bernie got divorced and lost custody of his son. Riding shotgun for stakeouts in Bernie’s beat-up convertible (and snarfing up doughnuts and beef jerky) is the perfect life for Chet. But their luck is about to change and their many adventures about to begin.
Have you read any of these books? Is your favorite dog book on this list? Which other dog books would you recommend? 🙂