Spring Reads for Dog Lovers

A Get Leashed booklist for pet people

By Patrick Cullen


Spring has sprung and although we all might be spending more time gardening, picnicking, and generally enjoying the weather, that doesn’t mean time for reading should stop altogether. In fact, this is the the perfect season for light, easy reading – stealing five minutes of sunshine on your lunch break or resting in your backyard on a Sunday afternoon. So pick up one of these books, dog lovers! We’ve curated a list for everything from laughs to learning to just thumbing through images of our favorite four-legged friends. Enjoy!

Be sure to click on the images below for a direct link to purchase!

Underwater Dogs and Underwater Puppies / Seth Casteel

Seth Casteel is an award-winning pet photographer and animal rights activist who showed us dogs in a brand new way when he decided to photograph them underwater. His first book, Underwater Dogs, became a viral hit after being published in 2012. The success of the book led Casteel to release his follow-up, Underwater Puppies, in 2014. While Casteel’s books have been a pleasure for those of us who appreciate cute dogs doing cute dog things (and who doesn’t?), the countless water-shy dogs who were probably put in floaties and urged to swim in the family pool are undoubtedly hoping there will not be a third edition to further excite their camera-wielding owners.

Three Men in a Boat / Jerome K. Jerome

Three Men in a Boat was published as an attempt at a serious travel guide, but has since been immortalized as an English classic, praised for its voice and humor.  The story follows three men and Montmorency, a fox terrier (who’s “ambition in life, is to get in the way and be sworn at,” writes Jerome), as they boat along the Thames and complain. Despite being written over a century ago, many of the jokes found in the book still split-sides, and Montmorency steals the spotlight as the focus of so many of the laughs. The writing is definitely dated but once you get used to it, Three Men in a Boat stands out as a very entertaining read, even making #6 on Esquire’s list of “The 20 Funniest Books Ever Written” earlier this year.

Sophie / Emma Pearse27204bc0de8c20e0dd6cf2a68f88a768

If you liked Tom Hanks in Castaway, you’ll love Sophie, the Australian cattle dog who went overboard after a storm interrupted a routine boating trip with her two owners. Forced to swim through miles of water teeming with sharks, Sophie survived for five months on an island, all alone. The story is heartwarming and inspirational, earning the attention of celebrities from Cesar Millan to Oprah. While it may not be the most cerebral nor challenging read, it is certainly emotional and shows off the impressive perseverance of dogs such as Sophie, who never gave up hope of being reunited with her owners.

Dog Songs / Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs is a poetic celebration of dogs that has been described as “lovely” but perhaps more importantly, “accessible,” meaning you don’t have to be an avid reader of poetry to take part in the meditation, observation, and praise included in her poems. The work and its author tackle everything from small, day-to-day occurrences with dogs to larger, philosophical dialogues, prompting thought and reconsideration of how special dogs are to us.

The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family / Jon Katz

In his 2004 book, Jon Katz looks at dogs as family members who quickly take on seemingly human characteristics and meaningful, almost person-to-person relationships with us. Katz examines 12 different relationships that illustrate a dog’s unique place in our lives. Reader’s quickly realize the work and thought put into the book as Katz notes psychological theories and interviews with animal workers in order to place each of the included stories in a larger social context. It is sure to make you appreciate dogs even more.

The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs / The New Yorker Magazine

Bringing together more than a dozen big-name contributors, The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs compiles articles, fiction, cartoons, and drawings (among other things) to provide a wonderful variety of thoughtful and amusing reflections on the animals we adore. Smart but relatable, the people over at The New Yorker nailed this anthology. Great as a dedicated read or a coffee table topper to peruse casually, this book is a must-have.