Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I love dogs. Growing up, my family and I were dog people all the way (this was partly by default, as we loved animals but my dad wasn't much for cats). I can't remember a time when we didn't have at least one dog -- more often we had two -- and our various canine companions have been, and continue to be, an important and unforgettable part of my life.
I'm hardly the only person to feel this way, which probably explains the high number of dog books, stories, and films out there -- and which explains these stories' consistent popularity. You've probably heard all about "Marley and Me," but scroll down the list to find some lesser-known works about the world of dogs (and their people).
No More Dead Dogs, by Gordon Korman.
From main character Wallace: "Pick up any book with a dog and an award sticker on the cover. Trust me, that dog is going down."
This book (and this character) work to remedy that, in the most humorous way possible. A children's book for those of all ages with a sense of humor.
Watchers, by Dean Koontz.
Koontz is a well-known dog-fan. If you're a fan of both canines and Koontz, don't miss out on one of his best-loved titles.
The Hidden Life of Dogs, by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
For her "behind-the-scenes" look at the animal we humans have the arguably closest ties to, Thomas did not research wolves in their natural habitat nor packs of wild dogs, but rather her own "pack" of pets over a dozen-year span. I read this book back in high school, but Thomas's fascinating look into the world of dogs -- which we think we know so well -- has always stuck with me.
We3. Writer, Grant Morrison. Artist, Frank Quitely.
A trio of strays -- with artificially enhanced intelligence -- band together to escape the science lab and, hopefully, find a way home. To put it simply.
Honestly, this one sort of defies description. If you like sci-fi and love pets, you'll be hooked. Just be prepared for a high weirdness quotient (for you comic book newcomers, know that weirdness is sort of Morrison's MO).
The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training, by Paul Owens.
Though the other guy is the more famous "Dog Whisperer," Owens has plenty of training advice for pet owners with less "excited" animals than the sort Millan generally works with. A good read for pet owners who are looking for a basic training approach.
See Spot Run [videorecording].
There's plenty of family-friendly dog films out there -- most especially "Marley and Me." This, however, is one family movie that's more hilarious than heart-wrenching. And, of course, as a comedy, that means we make it to the end without the dog ... well, but let's not spoil the ending.
Cujo, by Stephen King.
Odds are, you already know what this one is about. As a King fan, I had to give it a mention.
(By the way -- this blog's subject heading? Nope, not a typo. Trust me.
-- Post by Ms. B