~posted by Marion
In 2012, 34.5% of U.S. households owned 36,117,000 cats and 36.5% owned 43,346,000 dogs. These figures come from the American Veterinary Medical Association. That’s a lot of us with Felis catuses and domesticated canids. As of this summer, I joined the latter group after my family adopted two rescue dogs; coming to us already named Kate and Diana, one outgoing and the other shy. Quite a change since I grew up with two cats and occasional litters of kittens, then owned two cats in my younger adult years. Here are some titles to help those of us new or interested in the world of dogs and their behaviors, needs and lifestyles.
- Decoding your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones
- The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think by Brian Hare
- Cesar Millan’s Short Guide to a Happy Dog: 98 Essential Tips and Techniques by Cesar Millan
- The Secret History of Kindness: Learning From How Dogs Learn by Melissa Holbrook Pierson
- Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words by John W. Pilley
- Team Dog: How to Train Your Dog—the Navy SEAL Way by Mike Ritland
- Train Your Dog Positively: Understand Your Dog and Solve Common Behavior Problems Including Separation Anxiety, Excessive Barking, Aggression, Housetraining, Leash Pulling, and More! by Victoria Stillwell
A lot of people have also written about their dogs and the incredible differences they’ve made in a human’s life. Here’s just a few titles.
- The Radical Practice of Loving Everyone: A Four-legged Approach to Enlightenment by Michael J. Chase
- George the Dog, John the Artist: A Rescue Story by John Dolan
- Haatchi and Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog by Wendy Holden
- Stepdog: A Memoir by Mireya Navarro
- Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-country Adventure by David Rosenfelt
- Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love by Danielle Steele
- All the Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me (that I Didn’t Learn in Veterinary School) by Jessica Vogelsang
The Seattle Public Library has many more books and also online resources that provide articles and information on pet ownership, specific breeds, training, health and other related topics. Stop by any location or use Ask a Librarian for suggestions on searching the catalog and using the online databases.
Can you guess? I am a converted and happy dog owner now. It’s hard to tell if it’s me or the dog who likes to walk who is most happy for the daily trek around the block. The shy dog likes listening to me read children’s picture books. They both proudly defend the backyard from squirrels. And, yes, these dogs have listened to stories, or the family lore, about some incredible family cats.