1. My Dog Tulip by J. R. Ackerley
Throughout his life, writer J. R. Ackerley didn’t consider himself a dog lover, until he came across Tulip, a German Shepherd that was “in love” with him. This book explores the emotions of dogs and our connection to them. It’s a real love story.
2. Flush by Virginia Woolf
Flush is a Cocker Spaniel that has to move from the country to the city after he is offered as a gift to the poet, Elizabeth Barrett. His new owner is cooped up at home due to an illness and Flush must learn to live with her and to adapt to London society, which is nothing like the farm that he grew up on. We discover all of this through the eyes of the dog, who narrates the story.
3. White Fang by Jack London
White Fang is a wild wolf–dog (the son of a female dog and a male wolf), whose entire life is tragic. His father and brothers die when he is little and he is left with just his mother. A group of Native Americans take him from his mother, but he has trouble adapting to the camp, because neither the men or the other dogs will go near him. White Fang is violent and wild, but over the course of the novel he becomes tame, and eventually, a loyal dog.
4. Someone to Run With by David Grossman
In the middle of a conflict in Jerusalem, this novel is focused on a more trivial affair: a lost dog. Assaf is the boy charged with finding the dog, and on the way he meets Tamar, a teenager with her own problems. The two form an understanding that eventually becomes their opportunity to save one another.
5. Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami
This manga brings together two stories about dogs, but the one that gives the book its name is the most beautiful and sad. It’s about Happy, a dog that was rescued from the streets by a little girl, but the person who truly falls in love with the dog is her father. Although at the beginning everything seems fine, the man and Happy are left on their own after an unexpected tragedy. Suffice to say, when you finish this story you’re going to cry A LOT and you’ll want to go around hugging every dog you see.
6. Timbuktu by Paul Auster
Mr Bones is a very intelligent street dog who understands English perfectly, but is unable to speak. He also has more emotional intelligence than most actual people. He forms a strong attachment with a homeless man named Willy G Christmas, and the two begin a relationship of unconditional love.
7. Sirius by Olaf Stapledon
Thomas Trelone is a virtuoso scientist who, after many experiments, manages to achieve human intelligence in a dog. In fact, his dog Sirius even gains the ability to speak. The gifted dog becomes part of the scientist’s family, but as he becomes more and more conscious of things, he begins to understand human misery. He learns that mankind uses violence to solve problems and that power can be used to hurt the weak. This philosophical science fiction novel is hard, direct, and it will put you in an introspective mood.
8. City by Clifford D. Simak
This book is composed of several short stories that catalog the last years of the human race on earth, told from the perspective of dogs. After a migration to Mars, the cities of our planet are emptying out and becoming isolated, lifeless places. Until genetically modified packs of dogs with no memory of their lives as pets move in.
9. “Did He Do It?” from The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig
This short story is about a young couple that adopts a bulldog puppy and the obsession they develop for their pet. One might even say that the dog ends up being the master of the house and his owners the subordinates. This story may serve as a warning about what can happen when love becomes a fixation.
10. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Enzo is an elderly dog who believes in reincarnation. He feels that if he helps his owner, Denny, overcome his difficulties, he can die and be reborn as a human. A quick warning, you are going to fall in love and you are going to cry.
11. Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
Most of the books on this list will warm your heart, but this one is a little different. A stray dog is taken in by a mad scientist in Soviet Russia, who teaches the dog about suffering, and transforms him into a nasty creature with human perception.