Dogs have been by our side for tens of thousands of years and around the world. From the earliest domesticated dogs to today’s hundreds of recognized breeds, our relationship has grown and deepened over time.

This collection of novels with dogs tells some of the most heartwarming stories we could find. From the beginnings of man to today’s struggles, they cover many periods of history. Readers of all ages will love these stories that bring to life one of the most precious and rewarding relationships you can find – that of dogs and people.

“The Art of Running in the Rain” by Garth Stein

This beautiful novel is told from the perspective of a dog and illuminates the “wonders and absurdities” of life next to a Formula 1 racing driver. The touching story reveals truths about humanity that only man’s best friend can really bring to light. The story hit the big screen in 2019 with Patrick Dempsey. Both the movie and the book offer a healthy dose of healthy entertainment for the whole family.

“Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo

Moving away from home as a young child can turn childhood upside down. As soon as the main character Opal adopts a puppy by chance, she regains confidence in herself and in the strange, new world around her. This story of ultimate companionship shows how pets make our lives better and serve as perfect partners. Just like the title above, the Winn-Dixie story came to life on screen with AnnaSophia Robb.

“Call of the Wild” by Jack London

When Buck is stolen from his home and forced to serve as a sled dog in Alaska, he quickly adapts to the primitive, violent lifestyle that comes with this new territory. The cruelty he endures will break your heart, but it is a man’s compassion that changes the course of Buck’s life forever. This story was originally published over a hundred years ago, but has endured for decades of changing times and a brief stint on the list of forbidden books. Fans of classic survival stories will be thrilled to dive into the pages of this tried and true reading.

“First dog on earth: How it all began” by Irv Weinberg

The greatest love stories don’t always involve passionate romance, but unshakable trust. This story documents the deep connection between the beginning tribes of mankind and the dogs who helped them thrive by examining the relationship between the lead dog, Oohma, and Ish, a hunter. The boundaries of humans and animals are tested, but Oohma and Ish flourish symbiotically. The first dog on earth has been touted as “an inventive look at the tribes of mankind as they evolved in prehistoric times when the first domesticated dog appeared”.

“Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley

In this touching novel, Lily helps a dachshund to discover her owner, affection and joie de vivre. Despite his struggles as a writer and personal problems, Lily is a shining light in the life of our protagonist Ted. His world is shaken when Lily’s health begins to deteriorate, but their relationship remains strong. This touching novel feels especially poignant now that so many of us have spent the past year relying on our pets for emotional support. Lily and the Octopus remind readers that the fight for love is the most important fight of all.

“A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron

A dog finds meaning through living with people, which can create a fully symbiotic relationship. Through this beautiful story, readers will learn that every being on our planet has a specific purpose. This well-known film is a well-known tear catcher and after just a few chapters you will reach for a box of handkerchiefs. Even through tears, it is not difficult to discern the important message conveyed in A Dog’s Purpose.

“Shiloh” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

When a dog is rescued from its abusive owner and protected by its new family, bonds are instantly formed. Despite the fact that the new owners are now exposed to the wrath of Shiloh’s previous owner, they are protecting their beloved new pet as only the most devoted owners could. Followed by two other novels, this story ushered in a new era of books with furry friends as the main character. The book list called Shiloh “a moving and powerful look at the best and the worst of human nature.”

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