Dogs live in the moment, and we already know they are wonderful creatures. Here are some books that take this notion out of the box, and help you to explore further. See the pets tag for lots more practical info on how to help dogs.
Life Lessons from Dogs
- Life Lessons from a Dachshund offers wisdom from a sausage dog. Dhillon has bags of personality and is not afraid to adapt to modern life. In this funny book, he imparts his wisdom: from how to handle yourself in an argument to surviving in the big city.
- Life Lessons I Learned From My Dog is a lovely guide by London illustrator Emma Block, showing how dogs can teach us woofs of wisdom on friendship, romance, work and self-care. Find 100 essential lessons, with gorgeous images from this talented artist.
- Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home is the true story of a dog in Ecuador, who when thrown a meatball by a member of a Swedish adventure racing team, tagged along with them through jungles and mountains. Try as they might, they could not lose him (which they tried, for his own safety). After following them through the world’s toughest terrain and crossing the finish line, Arthur now lives with Mikael and his family in Sweden, where his favourite game is rolling in the snow.
- Max the Miracle Dog is the tale of a man near suicide, after suffering an accident that left him with terrible injuries. From cycling over 600 miles as month to becoming a prisoner in his own home, his wife suggested he take a short walk to the shops. He meets an adorable yard dog called Max, who peers through the railings with his soulful brown eyes. The chance encounter changes both their lives, and now (after plucking up the courage to ask if he could take Max for a walk), he eventually adopted him.
Spiritual Wisdom from Dogs
- The Dharma of Dogs shares the reflections of Buddhist writers & teachers on the wisdom beneath the furry surface of our four-legged friend. Explore themes of unconditional love, connecting with nature, and facing our fears.
- My Dog, My Buddha is by an expert in canine psychology who offers 100 life lessons including ground yourself, the power of a good walk, respect personal space, the power of a good stretch and naps are not just for cats!
- Upward Dog is a wonderful book by yoga teacher Edward Vilga who realised that despite being able to fold himself into a pretzel and meditate, his brown dog Bella knew more than any guru in a mountain cave. So with a wag of her tail, she presents her 7 lessons of life including being overjoyed at the slightest gift, and sleeping the sleep of the righteous!
- Guardians of Being is a collaboration of cartoonist Patrick McDonnell and spiritual writer Eckhart Tolle. Together they offer a heartwarming collection of charming drawings & wisdom, to convey a profound love of nature, animals, humans and all creatures.
Wisdom from Dog Walks
- How to Walk a Dog is by Mike, who has been walking his rescue dog in New Zealand’s dog parks for 10 years, and become part of a remarkable community.
- Walking Wisdom is the story of a man whose family dogs taught him about curiosity, wisdom and passion. He wanted to pass this wisdom on to his own child, just like his father did to him. The difference is that this book is by Gotham Chopra, son of the spiritual author Deepak Chopra.
- Walking with Peety is the story of Eric O’Grey, who was overweight, depressed and sick with diabetes. After a lifetime of failed diet attempts, his doctor prescribed adopting a shelter dog. So in came Peety, who was also overweight, middle-aged and like Eric, had seen better days. So the two adopted each other, and began an incredible journey. Over a year of walks, play and good food, both lost their excess weight, and Eric reversed his diabetes and married his high-school sweetheart.
More Dog Wisdom
- My Dog is the Best is a wonderful story for young children, teaching the patience and friendship of dogs. The young child in the book has an overactive imagination, and constantly tells all his friends about how his dog is better than all the others, and all the things he can do. In reality, his dog is likely the laziest dog in the world. But no worry, as he and the boy have a special bond.
- The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer is a heartrending story, but packed with wisdom. It’s mostly out-of-print but you can find used copies (the title links to the author site, where animal shelters can buy in bulk, for fundraising). A tough lawyer goes through the unbearable pain of losing one dog to serious illness, and then almost immediately, his brother. But the second time, the author learns lessons from the first dog’s death, on how to ‘accept the process’ rather than scurrying around trying to find cures. After their deaths, he contacted a (genuine) animal communicator, who relayed the lessons they wanted him to share.
- Be More Sausage is a beautifully written book about what we can learn from dachshunds, who are not just sweet, soft and a little bit silly to look at. Despite having odds stacked against them, sausage dogs display remarkable resilience, tenacity and bravery at every turn. They may only be ankle high, but that does not stop them living life to the full. They don’t care that they look more like a wind-up toy than a fierce guard dog, or that their bark is louder than their bite. Being more sausage is about breaking free from restraints, overcoming physical and emotional hurdles and chewing up the social conventions that conspire to hold us back.
Despite a world view that’s blocked by almost anything in his path, the sausage dog sees only opportunity.