Books for dog lovers to bark about

If you can’t bring your dog with you on vacation, take along these best-selling books about man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Photo:

WASHINGTON, August 8, 2013  Books about dogs have been at or near the top of the nonfiction best-seller lists ever since the howling success of Marley and Me. Even works of fiction that have to do with our furry friends become instant hits. Here’s a list of some of the latest titles as well as some old favorites that dog lovers will want to snuggle-up with wherever their travels lead them.

The Divinity of Dogs

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Simon & Schuster’s Best Selling The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man’s Best Friend, is about people’s moments of enlightenment with dogs. It includes stories in which love, tolerance, comfort, compassion, loyalty, joyfulness, and even death provide inspirational lessons about life from experiences with dogs. Written by Jennifer Skiff, the bestselling author of God Stories, this book is a collection of other people’s inspirational and heartwarming stories intertwined with her own encounters of the divine through dogs. Today, there are more than 80 million dogs in the United States, many of them profoundly touching the lives of the humans with whom they live. They teach us about patience and love, they comfort us when we’re feeling most alone, and they even perform miracles. In The Divinity of Dogs, you’ll find dozens of inspiring and delightful tales to get lost in on a warm summer night.

Travels with Charley: In Search of America

This travelogue was written by American author John Steinbeck detailing a 1960’s road trip around the United States he reportedly made with Charley, his middle-aged French standard poodle. Most recently republished by the Penguin Group, just last year, after half a century of masquerading as a work of nonfiction, the truth about this iconic book has finally come to light. That truth: “Charley” was not very true or accurate or honest at all. In fact, Penguin says it was heavily fictionalized. Fiction or non-fiction, “Charlie” is one of the best loved classics of all time and worth reading again and again.

Dog is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World’s Oldest Friendship

An anthology of essays, short stories, and commentaries that explore the human/dog bond, this book examines the many lessons that dogs teach us as our muses, mentors, and loyal best friends. Published by the popular upscale dog magazine, The Bark, celebs such as Margaret Cho, Carolyn Chute, Pam Houston, Erica Jong, Tom Junod, Caroline Knapp, and Alice Walker, share their touching tales of embracing the full experience of the world’s oldest friendship. This book takes a look at the ways dogs have influenced our lives as healers and spiritual guides. Compiled by the editors of the popular magazine, dog lovers will relate to the dog culture outlined in 288 pages. 

A Dog’s Purpose

W. Bruce Cameron’s novel told entirely from a dog’s perspective has the highest reader ranking of any NY Times Bestsellers. This touching story looks at a dog’s real life, from a dog’s true determination, narrated by a loyal canine looking for the true meaning of life. The entire premise of the book is that a dog’s soul never dies; instead, dogs are reincarnated and keep being reborn again and again. In each new life, the dog remembers important lessons and eventually concludes that there must be a purpose for his life. Publishers Weekly calls it “a tail-wagging three hanky boo-hooer” and “delightful.”

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Dogs and the Women Who Love Them: Extraordinary True Stories of Loyalty, Healing, and Inspiration

Allen and Linda Anderson have masterfully put together this collection of true heart-warming stories about dogs published by New World Library. Showcasing stories about the connection between nurturing women and their loyal canines, this book celebrates all types of dogs, from rescue mutts to pampered pedigrees, honoring their compassionate acts of love with their human masters.

Bite This Book

The first book ever written especially for dogs by dog lover and film producer Lony Ruhmann, Bite This Book is a compilation of 24 different vignettes that explore how dogs experience life. Published by Mirror Publishing, this collection of dog tales became a reality thanks to a rescue mutt named Juve (pronounced Hoo’ vee).

Shortly after rescuing Juve, the puppy came down with distemper and was ill for six months. During that time, Ruhmann made it a point to communicate (listen and talk) with his sick puppy, hoping the time they spent together would aid in the healing process. It did and two years later, these communications with his pup lead Ruhmann to write this book.

According to Ruhmann, Bite This Book is all about…communicating with love through the language barrier.

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Find out about more great books for dog lovers to add to their summer reading list at Good Reads. 

Susan Hartzler is Washington Times Communities’ canine confident. Her expert reviews on pooch-tested products and services can be found at Alpha Dog.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Susan Hartzler

As a consumer dog product and service expert, Susan Hartzler is up to date on the latest trends for dogs and their guardians. Dogs are her passion; so naturally, the subject is something she knows about from both a personal and professional basis.

An award winning writer, Hartzler is a contributor to New World Library’s “Dogs And The Women Who Love Them,” an Oprah pick, and Simon & Schuster’s best selling “Divinity of Dogs.” A short story she wrote about her first therapy dog, Baldwin, was published in Animal Wellness Magazine and awarded the Angel on a Leash Award from the Dog Writer’s Association of America.  Hartzler has developed a loyal following of dog lovers for her serial blog,, a personal journey about dogs and men. She and her dog Bliss are a therapy dog team and visit children in the oncology ward at County USC Medical Center. For more information, please visit


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