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Dog Lovers Book Club - September 2019

Spring has sprung and so has the September 2019 selection of the Dog Lovers Book Club with eight new book releases that caught our interest this month. 

You will find expert advice on bringing home your rescue dog to ensure a perfect fur-ever after, a guide to help those who are grieving the loss of a beloved pet plus a couple of great bios that would make a perfect late Father's Day presentHappy reading!

by Laura Vissaritis

A practical guide to adopting, training and living with a rescue dog, from popular dog trainer and animal behaviourist Laura Vissaritis.

Adopting a rescue dog can be daunting. With anxieties and fears from their previous life, they can carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. But all dogs deserve a second chance – and this book will teach you how to provide it.

Animal behaviourist Laura Vissaritis’ approach to training a rescue dog focuses on one side of the relationship: the human. Because to help your dog change their behaviour, first you must change your own.
By building a relationship based on mutual trust and respect, you will help your dog make the most of their new life. 

Explaining the underlying psychology and offering clear step-by-step guides, Laura covers everything you need to know, including how to:

o bring home and socialise your rescue dog 
o establish routines for essentials like toilet training and walking on a leash 
o understand your dog’s body language 
o discourage unwanted behaviours such as excessive barking or jumping up 
o ease their stress, phobias or separation anxiety. 

Giving a rescue dog a better life is one of the most emotional, uplifting journeys you can go on. The Rescue Dog will guide you on the path to success. 

Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia, 17th September 2019 

Price (pre-order): $27.35 at

The inspiring true story of Sergeant Luke Warburton, his police dog Chuck and the crime-busting Dog Unit 

by Luke WarburtonSimon Bouda 

The inspiring true story of police officer Luke Warburton and his best friend, Chuck the police dog, and their dangerous operations in the line of duty.

At 10.30 p.m. on 12 January 2016 Acting Sergeant Luke Warburton thought he was taking his last breath. A decorated New South Wales Police Officer, the father of three was looking death in the face after a bullet pierced his femoral vein. 

If it wasn't for the fact that it happened in the Emergency Ward of Sydney's Nepean Hospital, Warburton would probably have been dead already. An hour earlier, he'd walked to his police van with his ever-faithful German shepherd, Chuck, trotting alongside. 

Later, Luke would be awarded the Commissioner's Valour Award for conspicuous merit and exceptional bravery in the line of duty. He would maintain he was just a copper doing his job.

So, too, was Chuck, who was nationally recognised for bringing down Australia's most wanted man, Malcolm Naden, after a manhunt lasting more than seven years.

Man's Best Friend is Luke and Chuck's story. It's the story of a boy who dreamed of one day being a policeman, of his love for dogs and his time at the NSW Police Dog Unit. It's also the story of an ordinary man and his ordinary dog doing extraordinary things in the line of duty.

Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Hachette Australia, 6th August 2019

RRP: $32.99 from 

How a rescue dog and her owner saved each other
by Sean Laidlaw

The remarkable true story that became a viral news sensation.

Former Royal Engineer Sean Laidlaw was working as a bomb disposal expert in Syria when he heard whimpering from the rubble of a school that had exploded and collapsed. Upon further inspection he found that the source of the noise was a tiny, abandoned puppy, surrounded by her four dead siblings. 

A terrified Barrie initially rejected Sean's advances - but he refused to give up. He made sure she was safe and brought her food and drink, and cordoned off the area to ensure it was safe from explosives. After a few days Barrie grew to trust Sean and eventually the two became inseparable in the three months he was in Syria.

Sean had to return to the UK, leaving Barrie behind. When his contract wasn't renewed he knew he had to bring Barrie home. The two created an unbreakable bond and they were reunited in emotional scenes that have made headlines all over the world.

Sean credits Barrie with helping him with his PTSD and their story is a powerful reminder of the incredible bond that dogs and humans have, and how both can save the other.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, 8th August 2019

RRP: $39.99 from 

It's Alright To Grieve

by Doris Zagdanski

Times have certainly changed for pet owners. A higher proportion of Australians live in households with a dog and/or cat than with a child. 

The humanisation of pets means that when pet owners experience the loss of their animal companion, their sense of grief can be very real and very painful. What adds to this difficulty is our society's general lack of understanding about death and loss, even more so when it's the death of a pet. So we can be denied the opportunity to grieve.

In When Pets Die, Doris Zagdanski turns her attention to pet loss. The often unrecognised hurt of losing a pet is given a name - disenfranchised grief. This grief is explained in a common sense, practical and sensitive way. Just what you need when your pet companion has died and it seems no-one understands. 

Whether she is speaking to you face to face, addressing a large audience or using the written word, Doris understands grief and gets her message across.

Paperback, 96 pages
Publisher: Wilkinson Publishing, 5th April 2019

RRP: $19.99 at 


Spot Adventurer Dog

by Zaro Weil, illustrated by Katy Riddell

This is Spot’s story and he tells it in his own words. Born rough on the streets of Brooklyn, he realises from an early age that he is destined to become a dog adventurer. He vows he will go everywhere and do everything. One terrible day Spot’s entire family are carted off by the dog police. Spot is broken-hearted and realises his mission is to search for his mother and brothers. As he courageously makes his way over the Brooklyn Bridge to New York City, Spot’s adventures begin. 

Living rough as a dare-devil street dog, a series of remarkable events occur. Spot meets some extraordinary new friends and a few terrible enemies.

Paperback, 144 pages
Publisher: Troika Books, 1st August 2019
For Ages: 9+ years old

RRP: $18.99 at

Dog Man: Book 7
by Dav Pilkey

The Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new super villain! 

Meanwhile, Petey the Cat has been released from jail and starts a new life with Li'l Petey. But when Petey's own father arrives, Petey must face his past to understand the difference between being good and doing good.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Scholastic US, 13th August 2019
For Ages: 8+ years old

RRP: $8.00 at

by Marie Yates, illustrated by Fiona Mackay

Luna’s Woodland Adventure is the first book in Luna’s Adventure Series; encouraging and developing a growth mindset in children aged five to six years old. 

It is only through asking for help from her new woodland friends that rescue dog, Luna, can find her way home, highlighting the fact that we’re all different and we’re all uniquely placed to offer something of value to the world.

This book was designed to use the awesomeness of dogs to promote positive core beliefs in children that can serve them as they get older.

Paperback: 32 pages 

Publisher: Love Learning from Dogs Publishing House, 23rd August 2019
For Ages: 5-6 years old

RRP: $12.80 (
£6.99) from

Nat Geo - Doggy Defenders
by National Geographic Kids

In this addition to National Geographic Kids' super-cute series about dogs with jobs, you'll join real-life fire dog Dolley as she protects her city and solves crime. Good dog, Dolley!

Sometimes it takes a dog to get the job done! In this endearing picture book, readers meet courageous canine, Dolley, and follow her as she spends an exciting day at work with the fire department. 

Gorgeous photography brings to life the true stories of brave Dolley's role as a fire dog in Loudoun, Virginia, U.S.A. Simple, lyrical text lets readers journey along as Dolley visits the site of a fire, trains to sniff out flammable items, and teaches students about fire safety. Young readers will fall for this witty and daring tale of heroism, along with aww-worthy photographs.

In this great educational series, you’ll also find Tiger the Police Dog, Willow the Therapy Dog and Stella the Search Dog.

Hardcover, 48 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Kids, 13th August 2019
For Ages: 4+ years old

RRP: $19.99 at 

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