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Dog Lovers Book Club - May 2021

Make a dog mum's day memorable with these Mother's Day gift ideas!

This month's selection features our top picks of the best books across fiction, non-fiction, canine behaviour science, interior design and dog photography. You'll also find some illustrated children's books and educational options to entertain the non fur-kids so you can enjoy your day!

by Michele Merritt

While the past decade has seen a surge of research regarding canine cognition, this newfound interest has not caught the attention of many philosophers. Studies pertaining to dog minds have been pouring out of canine cognition labs all over the world, but they remain relatively ensconced within the scientific, sociological, and anthropological communities, and very little philosophical thought on dog cognition exists.

Philosophers certainly have not shied away from theorizing about the nature of nonhuman animal cognition generally. 

Theories range from Cartesian disavowal of all non-human intelligence to arguments that even fish have complex minds and therefore humans should not eat them. Serious philosophical considerations about dogs and their relationship to humans, however, remain incredibly rare. 

Even less common, if not entirely non-existent, is a critical examination of the question “What are dogs thinking?” and what asking and attempting to answer this question reveals, not so much about dogs, but about us.

With Minding Dogs Michele Merritt attempts to fill two significant gaps in the philosophy of animal cognition. 

First, she adds to the growing discussion on canine cognition, which has been overlooked until recently and requires more consideration. Second, she takes seriously our dynamic collaborations with our canine friends as crucial to understanding both their minds and our own.

Paperback, 204 pages
Publisher: University of Georgia Press, 30th April 2021

RRP: $38.75 at

A Love Story

by Isabel Serna

A very different breed from a crazy cat lady, but with all the eccentricities the name connotes, a dog mom is proud, loving, totally obsessed, and always willing to do anything for that perfect creature in her care her dog. 

And there are millions of them (us) out there, especially on Instagram, sharing the love with the hashtag #dogmom.

A perfect gift just for them is Dog Mom, the little book that gets it. Beautifully illustrated in a bright, vibrant, and emotionally rich way by Isabel Serna, who clearly knows the unique bond between woman and dog, this is a joyful celebration of the dog mom lifestyle: how she spells out “W-A-L-K” so as not to excite her pet; how she plans her pup’s Halloween costume months in advance; different petting techniques and how they work all in the name of giving her dog the love and life it deserves.

Hardcover, 112 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing, 19th August 2020

RRP: $19.50 at

Canines Living Large

by Sara Essex Bradley

Envision opulent manors, modern homes, rustic charmers and traditional abodes. What do so many of these homes have in common? The family dog, of course.

In Sara Essex Bradley's career as an interior design photographer, she's been inside homes that amaze her, some that inspire her, and some that outright confuse her. 

However, the one constant in all of these beautiful spaces is the furry friend, the loyal companion, the ever-forgiven ruiner of fine fabrics - the loyal pooch. These breeds are as varied as their owner's tastes, but be they French Bulldog, Labradoodle, Dachshund or Corgi, they all seem to fit seamlessly with their chosen décor.

Join Bradley on this visual tour of these beautiful spaces, with their humbling canine caretakers the final piece to complete the composition of a home.

In Dog Décor, you'll find:
✔️ A rare combination of dogs and décor, which fills a void in the marketplace for consumers who are interested in both topics
✔️ Dogs remain a perennial popular topic world-wide - in the U.S. alone, approximately 37 percent of all households have a pet dog
✔️ Contains the top 10 most popular dog breeds including Labrador Retrievers, French Bulldogs, German Shepherds and Beagles

Hardcover, 160 pages
Publisher: Glitterati, 9th April 2021

RRP: $42.55 at

A Knock-Your-Socks-Off Guide to Capturing the Best Dog Photos on Earth
by Kaylee Greer

If you want to learn to create pictures that truly capture a dog's personality whether that's playful, cute, whimsical, shy, goofy, strong, or beautiful you've come to the right place.

If you're a professional photographer looking to up your game or an amateur who just wants to take better pictures of your best bud, Dogtography is your guide to capturing jaw-dropping photographs that are filled with heart and soul. And there is no better teacher than Kaylee Greer, a widely published commercial photographer who teaches pet photography workshops around the world and is host of Nat Geo Wild's Pupparazzi, an original television series that focuses on her life and career.

Dogtography is packed with great information and just like Kaylee and her photographs an infectious personality. In this book, you'll learn all of Kaylee's hard earned tricks of the trade, including her camera settings, lens choices, and how she picks great locations.

You'll also learn all about:
✔️ 'Speaking dog' understanding body language, respect, and safety
✔️ What's in Kaylee's camera bag and treat bag (squeakers, snacks, and toys)!
✔️ Getting the best expressions and poses during a shoot
✔️ How to create a great action shot
✔️ Techniques for finding your style and enhancing your creativity
✔️ Kaylee's tried-and-true shot ideas

You'll also learn Kaylee's method for picking the best images from a shoot, plus her post-processing techniques to finish off a shot, including general retouching, making eyes sparkle, and the all-important leash removal!

Paperback, 264 pages
Publisher: Rocky Nook, 1st April 2021

Price: $50.50 at

LONDON'S No.1 Dog-Walking Agency
On the hunt for the perfect job, with the help of man's best friend

by Kate MacDougall

Kate MacDougall always knew her heart wasn't really in her job at Sotheby's. All around her, her friends were finding their dream jobs and whooshing up career ladders, fulfilled and glowing with success, flush with easy credit. 

After yet another breakage, this time of two precious porcelain pigeons, she had enough, and walked out of her comfortable, snoozy, back-office existence into the unknown world of the then-nascent gig economy.

London's No 1 Dog-Walking Agency is the story of her next 5 years and the dogs (and people) she meets along the way. There's Winston, the Labrador who isn't allowed to get muddy, even after owners split up and then enlist Kate in their custody battle. 

There's the chic trio of Islington couples whose immaculately arranged dog walking schedule is thrown off when one of them gets off with the dog walker Kate has employed. 

There's Kate's long-suffering, dog-agnostic boyfriend Finn, and her mother, who is always on the alert for wedding bells and grandchildren. Amongst all this, there's Kate herself: trying to work out what she wants from life and when, and how to get there.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Publisher: Bonnier, 8th April 2021

RRP: $32.99 from


The Powerful Friendships of Military Dogs and Soldiers 

by Nancy Roe Pimm

"Expertly captures the bonding relationship between human and animal under the tension of combat, where the difference between life and death is many times determined by a dog."  John Burnam, creator of the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument. 

Dogs have faithfully followed humans into combat since the dawn of time. As U.S. soldiers found ways to use the canines amazing senses of smell and hearing, the military working dog team was born. These teams are active across all branches of the military and are the single most effective weapon against improvised explosive devices. 

With profiles of 12 military working dog teams from the Civil War to Iraq, Nancy Roe Pimm tells the story of this evolving bond between dogs and soldiers with humour and heart. She also recounts how dogs were treated as expendable equipment until the soldiers whose hearts had been touched, and saved, fought for the rights of their canine companions.

Paperback, 160 pages
Publisher: Quindaro Press, 1st March 2021
For Ages: 12 - 14 years old

RRP: $21.35 at

by Patricia Storms, illustrated by Nathalie Dion

A dog delights in a summer day spent in the garden with his owner, an avid gardener.

When a dog named Dutch hears the gardener going down the stairs each morning, he anticipates her every move. But most of all, he waits for the beautiful words, Okay, Dutch. Let’s go outside

It’s a bright summer day. Dutch stands back from the dark, dusty tool shed, but the rest of the day is blissful: rolling in the dewy grass, waiting for a scratch behind his ears, napping on the gardener’s boots at midday and playing in the hose.

An amusing story about taking pleasure in the things we love, especially in the company of a good friend, written by Patricia Storms, with gorgeous illustrations by Nathalie Dion.

Hardcover, 36 pages
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 6th April 2021
For Ages: 6 - 7 years old  

RRP: $31.50 at

by Catherine Stier, illustrated by Francesca Rosa

Spend a day in the life of a guide dog Sammy the Golden Retriever has a big job. Because his owner is visually impaired, Sammy needs to keep a constant watch of their surroundings. 

And in the city, there is a lot to notice--and a lot of potential distractions too. 

Told from the dog's perspective, this story also includes back matter about the breed and role of the working dog.

Format: Paperback, 96 pages
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, 1st March 2021
For Ages: 7 - 9 years old

Price: $14.81 at

by Ruth Brown

An adorable count-down book by household name, Ruth Brown.

Ten little dogs, sitting in a line,
One chased a butterfly
And then there were…. nine.
Then 8, then 7 and so on. Continue the countdown fun until only one little dog remains. Will there be none? Turn the final page to find out.

Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: Scallywag Press, 1st April 2021
For Ages: 3+ years old

RRP: $24.99 at

by Michelle Lander Feinberg

Fetch, sit, stay, and roll over are not the words that Cooper the Dog wants to hear. A dog-about-town, he prefers steak sauce on his kibble, attending the ballet, and driving the family car! Cooper has a nose for travel and adventure but is truly happy as the head of the household. 

Get to know Cooper, and how well-loved dogs are more than just pets. They are important members of the family! 

Michelle Lander Feinberg's hilarious, delightful dog adventure for children ages 2-8 and their families.

Paperback, 30 pages
Publisher: Sdp Publishing Solutions LLC, 3rd November 2020
For Ages: 2 - 8 years old 

RRP: $15.35 at 

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