Winter Reading

Get cozy with the best books for pet lovers

By Patrick Cullen

Winter Reading - Get Leashed Magazine

In our humble opinion, you can never have too many photo books of dogs. Luckily, the options are endless. We’ve shown you Underwater Dogs and Underwater Puppies, arguably the books that started our endless desire to fill every nook and cranny of our homes with amazing shots of dogs. We’ve featured Menswear Dog, the fashion-conscious Shiba Inu’s collection showcasing his personal style. Recently, we featured Wet Dog, perhaps an unintended sequel to Underwater Dogs, wherein you will find dogs that are far less happy about their soggy status. And finally, Instagram’s beloved Marnie the Dog’s self-titled book, which is the first of a few social pet books we’ll be bringing you over the next few seasons. For our Winter ’16 list, we’ve compiled a couple of living room-bound photography books to give you something to look at that’s not just white snow or grey skies; the books of our recently featured Pumpkin the Raccoon and the well-known, confusingly cute Tuna (@tunameltsmyheart), as well as a number of other reads for you to explore.

Be sure to click on each image at the bottom of the page for a direct link to Amazon!

Shake by Carli Davidson

Shake is another variation of our favorite dog picture books. This time, it captures animals mid-shake after a dip in the family pool (or worse, a murky pond), and keeps us out of the line of fire. Shake features floppy, frantic pooches when they look their most ridiculous, enabling us to see what’s actually going on when the rapid contorting begins. When your dog shakes off the snow from outside into the middle of your kitchen (again), you’ll be glad to have this book to flip through when the clean-up is done.

Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs by Gene WeingartenBooks2

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs slows things down, just like the dogs featured within its pages. The perfect setting for looking through this great collection is probably in a rocking chair, on the porch of a cabin, with an old dog of your own by your side. But second best is on the couch, with a blanket, during these next few cold months when everyone seems in a hurry to make the most of the shortened, sunlit hours. These old, lovable dogs will remind you that not everything in life needs to move fast.

Unleashed: Poems by Writers’ Dogs by Amy Hempel

Poetry isn’t for everyone, but dogs are (or at least we think so). By that logic, a book full of poems about dogs is for almost everyone. Assuming you’re one of those who could lose themselves in this book for a few hours, Unleashed has been praised by readers and called a must-have for dog lovers. Every poem is written by a regarded poet, from the view point of that poet’s dog. This book would nicely complement a photo book on a coffee table to add a little variety to your collection.

Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog by Laura Young

Just last month we directed you to Pumpkin the Raccoon, who has been enormously popular on social media as of late. Not to say that we ever tire of seeing them (believe me, we don’t), but there are more than enough cute dogs to thumb through on social media. But a Raccoon who thinks he’s just as much a dog as his two dog siblings, living the good life in the Bahamas? Pumpkin is unique in that category and she certainly hasn’t hesitated to seize the spotlight. Her first book documents her adventures with her canine family members and shows off her adorable role as a family pet.

Tuna Melts My Heart: The Underdog with the Overbite by Courtney DasherBooks5

While Tuna is a one of the many aforementioned Instagram celebrity dogs, she’s unique (akin to Pumpkin) in her own way. It’s not too often that you find yourself smiling warmly and admiring a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix with an in-your-face overbite and more chin rolls than you can count. Tuna’s book, as his tag implies, will melt your heart with picture after picture that will leave you questioning why you think this dog is cute but at the same time, absolutely certain that he is.

Decoding Your Dog: Explaining Common Dog Behaviors and How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones by The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

Decoding Your Dog is not the same, browsing “read” of the first few books on this list (there are no pictures and its written by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists) so make sure you have some time and attention to commit if you decide to pick it up. However, don’t be intimidated. The book impressively features both hard science and accessible language. As it notes, poorly-behaved pets will find themselves in shelters at a higher rate. This book hopes to enable owners to change their pets’ unwanted behaviors, or simply inform owners and help them to understand why their pets act the way they do. It is surely a great pick-up for any dog owner looking to learn more about their furry best friend.

All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me (That I Didn’t Learn in Veterinary School) by Jessica Vogelsang

For fans of memoirs, All Dogs Go to Kevin is perfect if you’re looking for a dog theme to your well-authored story. This memoir, authored by a veterinarian and branded as everything she “didn’t learn in vet school,” is funny and relatable. If you’ve loved a dog, you’ll find truths in this book that you’ve already learned and some fresh perspectives that you’ve been waiting for, all thanks to our adored pups.

Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park by Matthew Gilbert

In Off the Leash, Matthew Gilbert chronicles his transition from dog-avoider to dog-adorer through the lens of time spent in and around his local dog park. If you’ve ever been to a dog park, you know how fascinating it is for you as an owner. It gives you an opportunity to socialize with the mixed-bag of dog owners that gather there to form their own community, or just observe. It’s as much a social experiment for the people that bring their dogs as it is for the dogs themselves. This Boston Globe writer will stylistically draw you into his story while providing the same amusement as a trip to the dog park.

So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell

This is the heaviest book on our list but has been celebrated and is held in such high regard that we had to include it. Award-winning author, William Maxwell, presents a tale that is particularly suited for lovers of storytelling. It’s only 135 pages but the content inside is artful and packed. A murder-thriller dated in the 1920s, as a dog lover, your emotions will be challenged when part of the story is laid out by the dog. We don’t want to spoil anything, but it has been said to bring readers to tears and loving dogs makes you particularly vulnerable. For a critically-acclaimed piece of American literature for the invested reader/dog-lover, So Long, See You Tomorrow is worth your time.