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Summer Reading Recommendations

It's the time of year for reading on the beach between dipping your toes in the ocean, in a hammock under a shady leaf tree or on the porch swing during a summer rain storm. I'm here to recommend my favorite dog books and hope you'll drop recs of your own in the comments section.

"Merle's Door" pictured here by Ted Kerasote. A non-fiction love story to his dog Merle who he found wandering as a pup in the wilderness at the start of a rafting trip. The book covers topics like the evolution of dogs from wolves, our shared bond and what makes a good life for our beloved companions.

"Fifteen Dogs" by Andre Alexis

Mischievous mythic brothers Apollo and Hermes in human form make a bet on fifteen dogs about the nature of humanity vs animals and their awareness. Heartbreaking and beautiful! You'll fall in love with at least two of the dogs if not all of them.

"Scent of the Missing" by Susannah Charleson

The author has written a fascinating memoir about her work as a handler and trainer of canine search and rescue dogs. One of the focuses of the group is puppy, Puzzle, who is being trained to do this work. The author also has a home full of rescue dogs with various ailments and special needs.

"The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances: A Novel" by Ellen Cooney

As its name implies, this is a place for people and dogs desperately in need of love, rescue and a second chance. It is sympathetic and handles its characters with care.

"How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain" by Gregory Berns

Bern is a noted neuroscientist who asks that age old question: does my dog love me? He designs a study using fMRI technology and trains his Feist to sit quietly in the machine while conducting experiments that allow him to peer into the workings of the dog's mind. All with full cooperation of the dog! It is inspiring.

"The Friend" by Sigrid Nunez

The book's protagonist loses a dear human friend to suicide and inherits his dog, a gentle Great Dane. She believes there is no room in her heart or her life for this giant of a dog, but as we all know she gains a new best friend in the process. This book explores a lot of territory including grief, loss, love and, of course, friendship.

Any of the Bernie and Chet books by Spencer Quinn

Bernie is a PI and Chet is his faithful sidekick and assistant. The fun part of these books is that Chet is the narrator and he has a joie de vivre that is infectious! He always gets his perp by the pants leg.

I could go on, but I'll leave it here and look forward to reading some of your recommendations.

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