Friends, Dopers, CountryPeeps, share your favorite dog & Cat books

I am a complete suck for animal stories. Dogs, cats, horses, pigs, whatever.

I’ve read most of Herriot’s Dog and Cat stories and thoroughly lurved The Good, Good Pig and adoredHorses in my Life.
I’m in a warm and sappy mood this fall and want to expand my animal book reading library.

Presently I am skimming Dogs that know when their owners are coming home. It is more scientific research on the phenomenon of how some pets (not limited to dogs.) know when their owners are coming home. I expected More Stories and not so much Research Mumbo Jumbo. The stories are too brief and not enough.

I’m all ears.


Nop’s Trials

Oooh. Looks interesting!

As a youngster I was quite besotted with Albert Payson Terhune’s numerous collie-worshipping tales. It’s possible you might find them a bit dated. Not too mention absurdly collie-centric ;).

I used to gobble up animal fiction when I was a kid, but I’m temporarily blanking on most of the titles. The abandoned young animal adopted, raised and then regrettfully released back into the wild, was a favorite genre and there were numerous examples. I assume you’ve read the famous raccoon stories, like Rascal and Frosty, A Raccoon to Remember? Probably finished that phase in my early teens, hence my balky memory now.

Have you read Marley and Me?

I was coming in to mention this. Adorable book, and Marley reminds me of my own pup.

For comic relief there’s Why Cats Paint.

These are good!
Keep them coming!

Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones is my all-time favourite.

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst

Upchuck and the Rotten Willy by Bill Wallace

All “kid” books. All completely affecting and real, moving and poignant and unforgetable.

If you love dog stories you must read Farley Mowat’s The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be. It’s a memoir about a budding naturalist and his growing up with an eccentric dog. Whether Mowat is correct to think that the dog was mentally scarred by being carried with a basket of ducks (and much put upon thereby) or not doesn’t matter. It’s grand fun, and I recommend it highly to anyone who loves dogs.
ETA: For generally good dog stories, you should also look into the works of Jim Kjelgaard. He’s most famous for his Irish Setter trilogy, starting with Big Red, but he did a number of other books as well. Generally considered children’s books, but they worked for me.

I’d also suggest Jack London’s White Fang a sort of companion book to The Call of the Wild, where the wild canine becomes tamed.

A Snowflake in My Hand by Samantha Mooney. About a lady and the cats she meets while working on the oncology floor of an animal hospital.
Very, very, very sad, but incredibly good at the same time.


Owls in the Family, by Farley Mowat

Pratchett & Jollife’s The Unadulterated Cat

Sirius, by Olaf Stapledon. Heart-warming; if you have small children, you should read it to them.

I was just coming in to mention him, his name having just popped into my head, reminding me of this thread. He’s to Irish Setters what Terhune was to collies and probably both must bear some retroactive burden for the popularity and puppymilling of those two breeds. I liked Big Red and Irish Red. I thought Outlaw Red kinda sucked.

I agree with you. Especially about Outlaw Red.

Though, part of the problem for the Irish Setter, ISTR, is that the breed clubs actually decided to stop caring about field testings for the dogs. So the champions only had to be pretty. Which meant even so-called reputable breeders were going to town with close breeding for looks only. And for a while had created a dog that would lose a common sense contest with a turkey.

This one. :slight_smile:

My cousins had an Irish Setter named “Kelly” acquired from a pet store back in late 1970’s. Sweet ( but hated other dogs as she got older ), but dumb as a rock :D. And she developed hip dysplasia fairly young, as I recall. Thankfully they were wise enough not to breed her.

ETA: Personally, I always preferred Gordons.