Booking through Thursday: Dogs and Pets

Today's subject on Booking Through Thursday is dogs and other pets:

My dog just had his birthday (12 years old, thanks), so … how do you feel about books about dogs or pets? Fluffy stories of fluffy family members? Solid books on training them or taking care of them? Touching reminiscences of trouble and the way a person’s dog (or pet) has helped get them through?
(Mind you, almost all the pet-related books on my shelf are about dogs, but I’m well aware that people love their cats, horses, ferrets, rabbits, fish, etc. just as much, so … any species is fine!)
Any favorite books to recommend?

I used to love animal books and still read them occasionally. My favourite books featuring pets specifically are by Gerald Durrell, who kept a varied and exotic menagerie of pets throughout his life and ended up running a zoo, and the books by Yorkshire veterinarian Alf Wight, writing as James Herriot, about the animals he treated through his years in practice.

I have also enjoyed pet biographies, i.e. books that follow one particular animal through its life, although I have come to dread the inevitable final chapter about all the things the (by that time inevitably dead) pet taught its owners. Marley and Me is a good example. It was a fine pet biography without the author having to feel he needed to expound on all the things Marley taught him about life, love, etc. That particular chapter lost the book a whole star when I reviewed it.

Books about pets or featuring pets I would recommend are:

  • Books by James Herriot. I have linked to his bibliography on Wikipedia because they were published under different titles in the USA and the UK and there are a number of them.
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. It's not about any particular pet or indeed only about pets, but they make up an important feature of the book. Most of the rest of his books feature animals as well, but mostly wild animals, which is outside the scope of this meme.
  • The Cat Who Covered the World: The Adventures Of Henrietta And Her Foreign Correspondent by Christopher S. Wren. This book covers the adventurous life of the eponymous cat who travelled all over the world with Wren and his family, including stints in Moscow, Beijing and Johannesburg. She roamed free in all those places, and even put in a stint as a stray in Cairo when she got lost for several weeks.
  • I also have to mention Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. Although Seabiscuit was a racehorse, he was a domestic animal and became his owner's pet after he was retired from racing. The book is an amazing portrait of American society at the time, with the horse binding all the different strands of the story together.


Vilia said…
I loved Gerald Durrell books when I was growing up, especially the ones where he was in exotic locations catching the animals. Here's my post Backchatting Books BTT
I haven't read the books you mentioned, but here's MY BTT POST
Tiffany DeOs said…
Seabiscuit has been on my list for awhile. I also think the The Cat Who Covered the World: The Adventures Of Henrietta And Her Foreign Correspondent sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing. Here's mine
Thanks for your book suggestions!

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