A Dog’s Recommendations for Reading

In Dog Books, Shelley Widhalm on September 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

Zoey the Cute Dachshund recommends dog-related books.

Zoey the Cute Dachshund recommends dog-related books.

I’ve been reading some nonfiction books about the dog life, which I recommend pet owners check out to learn about improving their relationship with us.

When you adopt us, I suggest you read about training dogs and training our particular breed, plus taking us to puppy kindergarten to teach us basic commands and household manners.

Beyond that, reading about dog intelligence, dog behavior and developing a human-canine relationship helps you understand why we act the way we do. To get a perspective on how our behavior plays out, I recommend nonfiction stories, particularly those about pet owners raising, training and loving their dogs.

Here are two I find particularly useful:

“Oogy: the dog only a family could love,” by Larry Levine, 2010, is about a Dogo abused in a dog-fighting ring that lost an ear and half his jaw and the family that loved him, Larry and Jennifer Levin and their twin sons, Dan and Noah. Oogy, dubbed the third twin, is a loyal companion despite his initial mistreatment as a puppy.

Dan walks Oogy every morning and, like me, Oogy wants to meet everyone he saw. At first because he looks like a bulldog, a few people were afraid of him, but they changed their minds when they experienced his gentle, affectionate nature.

Oogy serves as a source of inspiration, a resilient, survivor with a sweet demeanor despite his harrowing beginnings. He shows that happiness, love and hope are possible.

The second book I recommend is “Izzy & Lenore: Two dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me,” by Jon Katz, 2008, about Jon’s work on his New York Bedlam Farm and as a hospice volunteer with Izzy, a border collie rescue, and later, Lenore, a Labrador puppy he adopts midway through the book.

Katz describes how getting a new dog changed his outlook and that having a dog can take you new places.

My favorite part of the book is about breeders, rescuers and trainers using a term called “hitting the jackpot” to describe how a dog and human find each other and mesh perfectly. They complement each other and meet at the right time in their lives.

This, I believe, is the case with my BFF Shelley and me. We have the same colored fur (or hair), long noses and long, lean bodies. We love to play, run and relax – Shelley with a book and me with a rawhide.

And we get each other – she can read my eyes and body language and I can read hers in order to get what I want and need in love and life.

I’d say it’s an unexpected journey, one with lots of human-canine love.


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