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Dog Lovers Book Club - January 2020

The January 2020 selection of our Dog Lovers Book Club is out with our pick of the latest book releases for dog lovers of all ages! 

by Maria Goodavage

A thrilling, delightful, globe-trotting journey to discover the heartwarming and fascinating new world of doctor dogs.

In this groundbreaking book, Goodavage brings us behind the scenes of cutting-edge science at top research centers, and into the lives of people whose well-being depends on their devoted, highly skilled personal MDs (medical dogs). With her signature wit and passion, Goodavage explores how doctor dogs are becoming our happy allies in the fight against dozens of physical and mental conditions.

We meet dogs who detect cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and dogs who alert people to seizures and diabetic lows or highs and other life-threatening physical ailments. Goodavage reveals the revolutionary ways dogs are helping those with autism, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. And she introduces us to intrepid canines who are protecting us from antibiotic-resistant bugs, and to dogs who may one day help keep us safe from epidemic catastrophe. Their paycheck for their lifesaving work? Heartfelt praise and a tasty treat or favourite toy.

The emotional element in Doctor Dogs delivers as powerfully as the science. You don’t have to be a dog lover to care deeply about what these dogs are doing and what we are learning from them — although if you’re not a dog lover, you probably will be by the end of the book.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc, Imprint: Dutton, 3rd October 2019

Price: $39.90 from


How Emme the Australian Terrier Changed My Life When I Needed It Most
by Rick Crandall, Joseph Cosgriff

The uplifting story of two unlikely mountaineers: a man in late middle age and a fearless pint-sized pup who, together, scale Colorado's highest peaks.

By the time life had finished hitting Rick Crandall from all sides, he was at the lowest point of his life, both personally and professionally. 

Depressed to find himself facing a mid-late-life age crisis and watching his finances crumble as the tech industry bubble burst, he hopes his future isn't headed downhill. It was at this critical juncture in their new marriage that his wife Pamela made an astute and life-changing suggestion: "Let's get a dog."

So begins the story of Emme, a 200-pound Saint Bernard trapped in the body of 5-pound Australian Terrier puppy. Soon, Emme and Rick hit the hiking trails around Aspen, Colorado. While she is groomed to be a show dog, it's soon obvious that her heart is in the hills and with Rick, who decides to add more challenging hikes to the mix. Before long, they are scaling Colorado's "fourteeners," peaks with altitudes of over 14,000 feet. On one magical day, Emme climbs to the top of four "fourteeners," a quarter of the sixteen such peaks she will complete during her life without once being carried on a trail or on the rocks on the way to a summit.

In mountaineering Rick realizes he has found—in his late sixties—his life's new passion. This is where Emme has led him—out of the abyss and to the top of the mountain. She was never really walking behind: she was nudging him along until he found his stride. Even after Rick understood the glory of climbing, it was Emme still doing the leading, until Rick learned how to lead himself.

Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Health Communications, 14th November 2019

Price: $25.95 at 

by Susan Wilson

Rose Collins is a free woman. After spending years in prison for a murder she didn't commit, Rose has finally been released, and a mysterious benefactor has landed her a job as a project manager on a crumbling estate in Dogtown, an abandoned settlement with a rich history.

With the support of Meghan, a grumpy ex-soldier confined to a wheelchair after an explosion, who she met while training Shark, Meghan's service dog, as part of a prisoner rehabilitation program, Rose begins to rebuild her life. 

As she settles in at Dogtown and learns more about the original residents - women who often lived alone, with only their dogs for protection - she feels a connection to them, and, for the first time, starts to believe that she might have a chance at a happy ending.

But when secrets from her past begin to emerge and threaten the life Rose has built for herself, she and Meghan must fight for their freedom, happiness, and the chance at redemption.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Publisher: St Martins PR, 12th November 2019

Price: $42.50 at 


And the Mysterious Case of Coco the Circus Dog 
by Bryan Grove

Police dog Dudley finds himself thrown out of the police force due to an unfortunate occurrence in a royal palace. Walking the streets, unsure what the future holds, he has a eureka moment when he sees a poster for a lost dog. 

Using his police dog skills, he finds the lost dog and then sets up his own dog detective agency. Soon he recruits Miss Milly as his secretary and Junior Detective Lula as his apprentice. 

The Dudley Dog Detective Agency receives a call from a visiting circus, informing them about the disappearance of one of their star attractions, Coco the Circus Dog. Can Detective Dudley solve the case? 

Paperback, 48 pages
Publisher: Austin & Macauley Publishers, 29th November 2019

RRP: $16.75 from

Complete Reference To Your Best Friend Furr-ever
by National Geographic Kids

You're ready to get a dog, but which furry friend is the best fit for you? From the experts who brought you How to Speak Dog, learn all about more than 400 different dog breeds so you can find your paw-fect friend!

From Dachshunds to Dalmatians and Poodles to Pugs, this comprehensive guide gives an overview of more than 400 different dog breeds. Each profile includes the breed's "dog stats": country of origin, size, coat colour and pattern, grooming difficulty, exercise needs, and "K-9 qualities."

With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman and dog behaviourist Amanda Kowalski, kids will also learn how to choose the right dog for them, how to take care of their new furry friend, and how to understand their behaviour.

Fantastic feature spreads cover dogs in popular culture, dog ancestry, how to prepare for your perfect pooch, dogs with jobs, and so much more. This comprehensive guide is perfect for dog-loving kids, and an excellent reference for families who are adopting their first four-legged family member.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Kids, 27th November 2019
For Ages: 8+ years old

Price: $25.90 at

A Story Celebrating Love After the Loss of a Pet

by Patrice Karst, illustrated by Joanne LewVriethoff 

Using the same simple but effective bonding concept from The Invisible String, which has been used for healing countless readers living with grief, The Invisible Leash illustrates the spiritual connection pet owners have with their animals.

After Zach's dog, Jojo, dies, his friend Emily tries to comfort him with the "best news ever": an invisible leash around our hearts connects everyone to their pets no matter where they are, on this Earth or somewhere beyond... 

Maybe they are even near right now. Zach is sceptical, saying he only believes in what he can see, but Emily lets him find his own way to eventually come to feel the comforting tug of the Invisible Leash. And once again, Zach can sleep peacefully.

Accompanied by emotive and uplifting art by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, Patrice Karst's gentle story celebrates the love, warmth, and joy that animals give us in this life and beyond, and is sure to become the new go-to book for children about pet loss.

Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: Hachette Australia, Imprint: Little, Brown & Company, 10th December 2019
For Ages: 4+ years old 

Price: $20.35 at 

by Caitlynne Garland, Stephanie Stegemoller, Stephen Minervino (Illustrator)

Are there people who pick on you because you look different? 

Maybe you wear glasses. Maybe you have a lot of freckles. Maybe your hair is a different colour. Maybe you travel the world on four wheels. Maybe your skin is a different colour. Maybe everyone can see your surgery scar. Maybe you use hearing aids to hear the world better. Maybe you're not the first one picked for team sports.

There will always be people in the world that look at or treat you differently because they think you look or act differently. Just like River, you can do whatever you put your mind to. The only person in the world that can keep you from your dreams is yourself.

Believe in yourself.

Paperback, 24 pages
Publisher: Rtld Publishing, 10th December 2019
For Ages: 0 - 12 years old 

Price: $15.25 at


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