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The best dog memoirs appeal to dog lovers and (gasp!) non-dog people alike, because they’re powerful, poignant, and beautifully written. But I’m not going to lie—these books are irresistible if you’re a dog lover. You might need a few tissues to make it through them, but they’re the best kind of tears. These gripping memoirs are not to be missed.
Boasting four-legged protagonists that range from bumbling to heroic, each story captures the unique, complex bond between humans and their animals. These page-turners show us exactly why we’re dog people.
by Julie Klam
Julie Klam is single, stuck in a dead-end job, and searching for happiness. She thought she’d find it with the right man (because that’s what every rom-com says, right?), but instead she found it in the form of a frisky, four-legged companion. Though her first pup, Otto, shaped her heart, the dogs who followed also filled her life with humor, hope, and a trove of stories that all dog lovers will appreciate. $6.95 paperback
by Julie Barton
Julie Barton suffered from debilitating depression and anxiety. The story of how her dog help draw her out of that darkness is a bestseller recommended by the likes of Cheryl Strayed (Wild). Pick it up to find out how a rescued puppy named Bunker changed everything about Barton’s illness. $11.07 paperback
by Caroline Knapp
From the author of the the acclaimed bestseller Drinking: A Love Story, this memoir follows Knapp’s life after the deaths of both her parents, and at the beginning of her newfound sobriety. Finding joy in her newly adopted pup Lucille, Knapp explores the complex kinship between humans and animals (with the help of animal behaviorists and psychologists!) in a book that’s rich with the poignant prose that has already made her beloved. $11.28 paperback
by Mark Doty
Facing the impending death of his longtime partner from AIDS, the author adopts a rambunctious dog to join the family and bring a bit of light into his darkening world. From there, with his usual elegance and light touch, acclaimed poet Mark Doty illustrates how Beau and his other dog Arden helped him through times of sadness and joy. $8.20 paperback
by Michael Hingson
This is the story of how the blind author’s guide dog led him to safety from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center on 9/11—but also the story about how he got there in the first place. Inspiring and impossible to put down, this book celebrates the courage of one dog at a moment when her owner needed her the most. $7.27 paperback
by Dean Koontz
Yep, that Dean Koontz. This beautiful tribute to his golden retriever shows another side of the bestselling novelist as he celebrates the wit, wonder, and kindness of his longtime companion. Even everyday occurrences with Trixie entertain (who knew fetch could be so enthralling?) when expressed with Koontz’s unique style. $10.68 paperback
by Ken Foster
Making up a memorable and motley crew, the dogs in Ken Foster’s life manage to take him on quite the journey. Always arriving in unexpected ways, each one—from the cheerful Rottweiler to the tiny pit—makes their mark and guides him with compassion through times of grief and joy. Told with warmth and candor, each vignette captures the chaos and beauty of being a devoted dog lover. $13.51 paperback
by Lauren Fern Watt
A lighter read for those sizzling summer months, this book follows Lauren Watt and her 160 lb. English Mastiff through college, tiny city apartments, first jobs, and big heartbreaks. They’re always together: an indestructible duo. So when Gizelle gets sick, Lauren designs an incredible bucket list to embrace their remaining time together. And that’s when the adventure begins… $14.65 paperback
by Colin Campbell
When a heartbroken man and neglected dog come together, incredible things can happen. After Campbell adopts George, the 140-pound Newfoundland Landseer, during an especially low point in his life, the relationship they build helps breathe life back into both of them. Once they move to California the adventures truly begin, and the “free days” they spend do more good than either could have expected. $7.36 paperback
by Sue Halpern
What happens when you combine a bored Labradoodle with a public nursing home? Sue Halpern and her pup Pranksy find out when they become a certified therapy-dog team. Intuitive and kind, Pranksy inspires interactions between residents and her owner that remind us all of how transformative a little old-fashioned conversation can be. $7.99 paperback