Tales and tails

As writers, we are consistently drawing inspiration from and making connections to the events in our lives. Everyday interactions and momentous occasions can cause a ripple effect, leading us down a new path of adventure and wonderment. Over the past year or two, I’ve gotten married, earned a Master’s degree, purchased my first home and advanced my career. Each achievement has changed me and enriched my life for the better. 

On New Year’s Day, a new event happened, bringing about more happiness and challenges than I ever expected: my husband and I welcomed a puppy into our home. Charlie, a two-month old Golden Retriever, is a handful but so loved. As I was driving to work the other day, I started thinking about the way my life has changed in just one short week. Our home, my daily schedule, activities, exercise and sleep have all been affected. And, to my surprise, so has my reading preferences. 

Whether we realize it or not, reading is actually an ever-changing constant. The act remains but our interests adapt as our lives change. Lately, I’ve found myself listening to more audiobooks while caring for Charlie and, when choosing titles, I’ve been drawn to those about our canine companions. If you are also a dog lover, here are a selection of my favorites: 

“Dogs: A Literary Anthology” – Dogs have been a staple of literature for centuries. This book contains excerpts, poems and stories from classic works by Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter and Dodie Smith.

“Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley – The story of Teddy, coping with and fighting against the “octopus”, a name he has given the tumor on his beloved dachshund, Lily. 

“Travels with Charley: In Search of America” by John Steinbeck – The entertaining and eye-opening travelogue that chronicles Steinbeck’s cross-country adventures and explorations with his French Poodle, Charley.

“Wet Dog” by Sophie Gamand – Cute, hilarious, unique, and even odd are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of this collection of portraits of our dogs at bath time. 

“London’s Number One Dog-Walking Agency: A Memoir” by Kate MacDougall – The memoir of a woman who quit her job at Sotheby’s and set up a dog-walking agency.  This book is insightful and warm as we meet Kate, her clients… and their human caretakers. 

“The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs” – This book, filled with stories, essays, cartoons and art, is a treat for dog lovers. Contributors include Anne Sexton, Jonathan Lethem, Roald Dahl, E.B. White, Susan Orlean and John Updike. 

If you are a dog lover like me, stop by the Information Desk at the library, and share your favorite canine books and some pictures of your furry friend. 

Lastly, the inspiration behind this post, Charlie:

Featured Image by Tamas Pap on Unsplash. Additional images courtesy of the author.

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