10 Pet-Friendly Reads for the Dog Days of Summer

Evelyn lives in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys birding by the Puget Sound, working on her Fiat 500, and spending time with other people's dogs and children. She recently relocated from New York City, where her work appeared in Time Out New York, Travel + Leisure, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency, among others.

SleepyCat_400Long walks on a quiet beach with your favorite pooch, literal lazy sunny cat naps, and long horse rides through shady wooded paths: Summer is best spent with your favorite animal companion. These books will inspire adventures with your best friend, even if it’s just using the extra daylight for more time at the dog park, or Summer Fridays at home, curled up with your kitty. Take a little time to reflect on how much animals have to teach us, and the many ways they enrich our lives.

Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus

by Steven Rowley

The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without. For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all. Grab a box of tissues, and a comfy seat on the couch, this book will sweep you up after the first page.

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  • Get Lily and the Octopus
  • Get Lily and the Octopus
  • Get Lily and the Octopus
  • Get Lily and the Octopus
Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal

Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal

by Tim Hayes and Robert Redford

Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal is the first and only book to scientifically and experientially explain why horses have the extraordinary ability to emotionally transform the lives of thousands of men, women and children, whether they are horse lovers, or suffering from deep psychological wounds.

It is a book for anyone who wants to experience the joy, wonder, self-awareness and peace of mind that comes from creating a horse/human relationship, and it puts forth and clarifies the principles of today’s Natural Horsemanship (or what was once referred to as “Horse Whispering”).

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Free Days With George: Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog

Free Days With George: Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog

by Colin Campbell

A heartwarming, true story about George, a rescue dog who helps his owner rediscover love and happiness. Marley & Me meets Tuesdays with Morrie and The Art of Racing in the Rain–get your tissues ready, animal lovers!

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  • Get Free Days With George: Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog
  • Get Free Days With George: Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog
  • Get Free Days With George: Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog
  • Get Free Days With George: Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog
Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances

Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances

by Rachel Anne Ridge and Priscilla Shirer

Rachel Anne Ridge was at the end of her rope. The economy had crashed, taking her formerly thriving business along with it. She had been a successful artist, doing work she loved, but now she felt like a failure. How would her family pay their bills? What would the future hold? If only God would somehow let them know that everything was going to be all right . . . and then Flash the donkey showed up.

If there is ever a good time to discover a wounded, frightened, bedraggled donkey standing in your driveway, this wasn’t it. The local sheriff dismissed Flash as “worthless.” But Rachel didn’t believe that, and she couldn’t turn him away. She brought Flash into her struggling family during their darkest hour―and he turned out to be the very thing they needed most. Flash is the true story of their adventures together in learning to love and trust; breaking down whatever fences stood in their way; and finding the strength, confidence, and faith to carry on. Prepare to fall in love with Flash: a quirky, unlikely hero with gigantic ears, a deafening bray, a personality as big as Texas, and a story you’ll never forget.

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A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life

by James Bowen

When street musician James Bowen found an injured cat curled up in the hallway of his apartment building, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London, barely making enough money to feed himself, and the last thing he needed was a pet. Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent but very sick animal, whom he named Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining that he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.

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  • Get A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life
  • Get A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life
  • Get A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life
  • Get A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life
Lion in the Living Room

Lion in the Living Room

by Abigail Tucker

A lively adventure through history, natural science, and pop culture in search of how cats conquered the world, the Internet, and our hearts. House cats rule back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, and our bedrooms. But how did cats accomplish global domination? Unlike dogs, they offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent rat-catchers and pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still. To better understand these furry strangers in our midst, Abby Tucker travels to meet the breeders, activists, and scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to cats.

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Old Faithful: Dogs of a Certain Age

Old Faithful: Dogs of a Certain Age

by Peter Thorne

A stunning and indelible collection of portraits and stories that capture dogs of a certain age in all their patchy, scruffy, jowly, and devoted glory—an homage to man’s best friend, based on the popular international photography project.

The dogs in Old Faithful are well worn, well loved, and well on in years. After his grandmother’s 100th birthday party, photographer and dog lover Pete Thorne found himself taking photos of elderly dogs. In their aged, imperfect faces, he saw a depth of life, joy, and wisdom missing from more youthful subjects. He gathered these rich and powerful portraits into a web series he called “Old Faithful.”

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  • Get Old Faithful: Dogs of a Certain Age
All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small

by James Herriot

In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult, such as one to an old man in the village whose very ill dog is his only friend and companion, some are lighthearted and fun, such as Herriot’s periodic visits to the overfed and pampered Pekinese Tricki Woo who throws parties and has his own stationery, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening, such as Herriot’s recollections of poor farmers who will scrape their meager earnings together to be able to get proper care for their working animals. From seeing to his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth.

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Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself

Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself

by Julie Barton

At twenty-two, Julie Barton collapsed on her kitchen floor in Manhattan. She was one year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie’s incoherent phone call, her mother raced from Ohio to New York and took her home.

Haunted by troubling childhood memories, Julie continued to sink into suicidal depression. Psychiatrists, therapists, and family tried to intervene, but nothing reached her until the day she decided to do one hopeful thing: adopt a Golden Retriever puppy she named Bunker. Dog Medicine captures the anguish of depression, the slow path to recovery, the beauty of forgiveness, and the astonishing ways animals can help heal even the most broken hearts and minds.

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If It Fits, I Sits

If It Fits, I Sits

by Various

We’ll probably never know why our furry friends insist upon squeezing themselves into weird and awkward places, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the ensuing cuteness! With over one hundred photos of cats caught in the act, If It Fits, I Sits captures the quirky, adorable, and no-nonsense spirit of felines everywhere.

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