Clearly, pet lovers enjoy reading about animals and the difference they make in our lives. Publishers have focused on inspirational stories. Here are some ideas for pet lovers:
Christmas with Tucker
By Greg Kincaid (Doubleday, New York, NY, 2010; $15.99)
A Dog Named Christmas, by the same author, a hit book a few years back, even became a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie. This book is a prequel, set more than 35 years earlier. It's 1962, and, as Christmas approaches, so do the worst snow and ice storms in Kansas history. Lots of drama ensues as Bo offers to care for Tucker, a starving Irish setter. Yes, the dog is saved, and in return, Tucker helps to heal and teach a broken family about life and love.
Saving Cinnamon: The Amazing True Story of a Missing Military Puppy and the Desperate Mission to Bring Her Home
By Christine Sullivan (St. Martin's Griffin, New York, NY, 2010; $14.99)
Imagine serving your country overseas and being placed in harm's way on a nearly daily basis. Then you meet a very special four-legged friend. While in Afghanistan, Navy reservist Mark Feffer met a stray pup, who became his best pal. Mysteriously, the pup disappeared as Feffer was about to return stateside. Sullivan, Feffer's sister, began a desperate search for Cinnamon, ultimately reuniting her brother with his dog. A future movie, I suspect.
What a Difference a Dog Makes: Big Lessons on Life, Love, and Healing from a Small Pooch
By Dana Jennings (Doubleday, New York, NY, 2010; $21)
Indeed, what a difference a dog can make. Last year, Jennings, a New York Times editor, wrote in a blog post how much his aging dog, Bijou, meant to him while he was recovering from prostate cancer. It turns out dogs are good medicine. This is an inspiring story, and particularly well written, so the words will touch your heart.
Dogs & the Women Who Love Them: Extraordinary True Stories of Loyalty, Healing & Inspiration
By Allen and Linda Anderson (New World Library, Novato, CA, 2010; $14.95)
These stories are, indeed, inspiring, and sometimes you'll be touched (have a tissue ready). Some will make you laugh out loud. It's interesting how many of these stories lead to "self-discovery." Your friends, even your mom, might offer you advice that you ignore. But when your dog points you in a certain direction, you pay attention. (My hope is another book will come out about dogs and the men who love them.)
Dog Walks Man: A Six-Legged Odyssey
By John Zeaman (Lyons Press, Guilford, CT, 2010; $22.95)
This is not a dog-training book about teaching a puppy to heel, but a lesson about what walking a dog can teach us. Some of us do our best thinking while performing inane chores like `vacuuming or walking the dog. Both author and dog benefit, which is why this is a six-legged odyssey.
God and Dog
By Wendy Francisco (Hachette Book Group, New York, NY, 2010; $10.99)
The artist-author and singer first showcased her music on YouTube, and from there it has taken off, with nearly 3 million hits on the site. This little spiritual gift book is missing the music, but the lyrics and drawings are here. These are the opening words: "I look up and I see God. I look down and I see my dog."