Who's a Good Boy? 10 Good Dog Books
This is my dog Rufus and yes, he's a good boy!
Dogs bring a lot of joy into the lives of their human ball throwing, treat giving, neck scratching servants. So I thought to myself, why not share some interesting dog reads during the dog days of summer?
Travels with Charley is a lesser know book by John Steinbeck that outlines his travels in camper throughout the United States circa 1960 with his blue French poodle Charley. It's both a travelogue and social commentary, but it's also a very sweet man dog relationship book. It's an easy, old fashioned read and I liked it a lot, although it wasn't clear then or now if it's a work of fiction or non fiction. Nonetheless there is much honesty in it. You might also like Bill Steigerwald's Dogging Steinbeck where he tracked the trip in the 1990s and analyzed how truthful the original was. Or, for something more current, you can read Travels with Casey by Benoit Denizet-Lewis about his own four month journey in an RV with his dog.
My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley is not an easy read and very likely not to everyone's taste. It deals in a very frank way with defecation and then the author's attempts to get his female dog Queenie impregnated. Ackerley was a "man of letters" in mid century Britain, the literary editor of the BBC's weekly magazine The Listener. I recall reading this book as a young gay man tracking down the writings of the closeted British gay men of the previous century. I think you will either love it or hate it, but either way, you will be in a select group and it makes for very interesting dinner conversation (no need to thank me). There is also a DVD of it starring the irascible Christopher Plummer. You may also be interested in his more explicitly gay novel We Think the World of You or his semi autobiographical Hindoo Holiday: An Indian Journey, describing his time as a private secretary for a minor (and eccentric) Indian maharaja in the 1920s. It's been described as a Firbankian, an allusion to Ronald Firbank, another early 20th century gay writer, who starts his short story Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli, with the baptism of a Spanish Infanta's dog (also very amusing and also worth dipping into).
A quirky and prize winning book, set mostly in the minds of sentient (and sometimes talking) dogs. Not for the faint of heart, a dog's life is tough in this novel. Set it Toronto you will very likely recognize both High Park and the Beach areas. I could really hear the voice of the speaking dog when I read it some time ago. Having my own dog, who is part of my family pack, it resonated with me. My husband on the other hand, could not get into it and didn't finish it.
If you're the type whose voice goes very high when they see a dog, or very low, and who often find themselves going Awwwww then you may also enjoy the Reddit board r/aww .
And for something completely opposite of r/aww I would suggest Francis Alys' El Gringo set in Mexico.