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Dogs That Rock


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Recommended by Lucy, as told to Deb, an adult reference librarian.

Check our other Fave Five lists, too!

Bad Dogs Have More Fun

by John Grogan
1426596.jpg Before Marley & Me became a New York Times #1 bestseller and my all-time favorite memoir, John Grogan wrote as a staff columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer for four years. In this book, Bad Dogs Have More Fun, Vanguard Press (the publisher) and the Philadelphia Inquirer (the newspaper), published it without his knowledge or consent. This is an unauthorized collection of his newspaper articles. Still, his writing talent shines through. The book is divided into thirds: the first part about family, the second part about pets, and the third part about life. My favorite essay is about his lovable, incorrigible golden Labrador retriever, Marley.

From Baghdad, With Love

by Jay Kopelman
1394438.jpg Both heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time, this is one of the best books Ive ever read. A true story about an American soldier and his efforts to save a puppy and safely bring him home to the States. When Marines on patrol enter an abandoned house looking for insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq, they hear what sounded like pins dropping from grenades. Instead, it was a starving, scruffy, stray puppy. The unit of Marines, also known as the Lava Dogs, was trained instinctively to shoot and kill the enemy without question. Adopting pets in foreign countries was strictly forbidden. Lt.Col. Jay Kopelmans mission to adopt Lava and bring him home to America lasted a year and broke many established military rules and orders. He may have saved Lava, but Lava also saved him.

Good Dog. Stay

by Anna Quindlen
1425769.jpg Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling novelist and columnist, reflects on life with her beloved black Labrador retriever, Beau, and lessons she learned from him. This short, illustrated book is a tribute to her loyal companion who passed away last June. When the author wrote about his declining health in April for her column in Newsweek, many readers responded by sending in personal notes of loss and photographs of their dogs. Beau was a gift on her 40th birthday. The adorable puppy with the AKC name Bristols Beauregard Buchanan, was renamed and thus began a dignified 15-year journey of a dogs life until it was time for the family to let go.

Its Okay to Miss the Bed on the First Jump

by John OHurley
1394431.jpgDancing With the Stars first-ever champion and NBCs National Dog Show host, John OHurley, demonstrates, with charm and gentle wit, the enduring wisdom our canine friends. Each chapter is dedicated to a lesson and the author provides examples from his own lifes experiences. Within these pages we meet the dogs of O'Hurley's life, both his and others', who have served as some of his most valuable and enlightened teachers: Taffy, Betty and Scoshi who all demonstrate compassion is best expressed by listening and encourages us that not only will a safety net appear if we're brave enough to leap, but that every moment has the potential to change our lives. His writing is full of fun and poignancy and thoroughly delightful to read. This is one of the most enjoyable books Ive ever read.

Just Gus: A Rescued Dog and the Woman He Loved

by Laurie Williams
1382594.jpg Gus was one lucky dog. Injured and abandoned on the unforgiving streets of the Bronx, he might have become another of the seven million animals euthanized every year. Then Stephanie Williams entered the picture. A successful journalist, she had been diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer at the age of 30. On medical leave and living alone, she wanted a warm four-legged companion. When she saw Gus's soulful eyes and goofy grin, it was love at first sight. She rescued him, and he would return the favor in spades. Just Gus is about how much joy one dog could bring to one womans life. Gus gives tireless love, comfort and support throughout her ordeal. This is an extraordinary story of hope you wont soon forget.