It’s Going to the Dogs


Today, February 22, is National Walk the Dog Day. Our Luna doesn’t always chomp at the leash to head outside – she’s slowed down quite a bit the last little while – but we still take her for a morning walk every day. Or an early morning stroll, if I’m being honest. It’s one of my favourite things to do. It gives me a chance to connect with nature . . . with the other dogs who live around me (and with their humans!) . . .  and it deepens my connection with my sweet girl too. On a more pragmatic note, walking almost always shifts something in my mental hard drive, giving me a fresh perspective on life or on my current work in progress. Knowing I was coming home to write a blog on dog walking this morning, I began thinking about dogs in literature. There are many!

Lassie in Lassie Come-Home, written by Eric Knight, was the first to come to mind. Then Toto in The Wizard of Oz. by L. Frank Baum. And Clifford, The Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell. Buck in Jack London’s Call of the Wild and Nana in Peter Pan. More recently, young readers bonded with Winn-Dixie in Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie and Brodie in Dan Gemeinhart’s Good Dog.

I have a couple of dog-centric books on request from the library. One of them, London’s Number One Dog-Walking Agency – a Memoir by Kate MacDougall, seems fitting for this week’s theme. I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m also looking forward to What the Dog Knows, a juvenile novel by Canadian author Sylvia McNicoll that came out late last year.

Who’s your favorite dog in literature? Or in life?

6 thoughts on “It’s Going to the Dogs

  1. One of my favourite “dog stories” is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. A tear jerker but a good read. There’s a movie too, but I haven’t seen it. I also really enjoyed Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Free Thinking Dog by Ted Kerasote.

    1. Thanks, Debra. I haven’t read either of those, though I have heard of ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain.’ I’ll have to look for it and for ‘Merle’s Door’ too. I love book recommendations!

  2. I recently read All Dogs Are Good: Poems & Memories by Courtney Peppernell and loved it. My favourite dogs in real life are my girls, Dot and Lia. I take them out for a walk every morning too. When it comes to fictional dogs, my favourite is Snoopy from the Peanuts comics by Charles M. Schulz. And then there was Ol’ Yeller. I still get teared up thinking about that story.

    1. I completely forgot about Snoopy! And that’s terrible since we had a beagle when our kids were growing up. I’ve seen pictures of your girls, Dot and Lia. They look very sweet!

  3. I’ve read London’s #1 dog-walking agency. It was delightful. Hope you enjoy it. As a child I devoured every dog-themed book in our school library. There was a series that featured “Wolf” made me cry every time.

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