13 Famous Dog Stories That Are Beyond Inspirational


Hello, PupViners! I’m back with another piece of my mind that will hold you in front of your screens for a while.

Here’s something you definitely don’t know about the person on the other side of the screen: I’m an avid reader, and my favorite books are those about dogs! 

Of course, by books about dogs, I don’t mean my professional literature. That’s a whole other story. 

I’m talking about books I read for pleasure. Whether they’re fictional pieces or based on true stories, I devour them all. It started in my childhood and the love for such books is still alive. 

Since I consider myself a bit of an expert in this field, I thought I should share with you guys some of my favorite books and stories where dogs are heroes.

Children’s Books

1. Lassie Come Home, by Eric Knight

Lassie Come Home book
Source: TypePunchMatrix

One of the first books I ever read was this one about Lassie. Since then, I’ve read it a couple more times, and saw movies and animated features everytime they were showing on television. 

Lassie first started as a story by Eric Knight, but it soon turned into a novel in 1940. 

The female Rough Collie found herself living in Depression-era England with her family in Yorkshire. However, since money was tight, the family had to sell Lassie. There, her journey begins. 

Lassie’s journey from Scotland to Yorkshire is full of unpredictable events. You’ll sit on the edge of your seat, hoping and praying that Lassie finally comes home. 

The novel was turned into so many movie adaptations. Personally, the original from 1943 is my favorite.

2. White Fang, by Jack London

White Fang book
Source: TheFirstEdition

The first time I read White Fang, I wasn’t really impressed. We had to do a book report and I remember struggling with the reading. 

Now, when I look back, I see it was the wrong time for the first read. I picked up the book several years later and it was perfect. The descriptions, the journey from the wilderness into a domestic life, the bravery… 

White Fang is a must! 

The end left me in tears, and I always dread it whenever I pick this book to skim through it. 

Just as many other publications on this list, White Fang was also turned into many movie adaptations, the latest one being from 2018.

3. Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson

Old Yeller book
Source: PangoBooks

Rarely did any book leave me in tears like Old Yeller did. 

I remember my mom telling me about this book and how sad she was after reading it. I believe we all experience books in different ways. I wasn’t sad… I was devastated. Needless to say, I never saw the movie nor will I ever.

The book was enough. Old Yeller destroyed me forever. I bawled my eyes out when Travis had to do what had to be done. I can’t imagine myself in Travis’ position, and I could never make a similar decision. 

If you want a classic book about a dog that saved so many lives, then Old Yeller would be more than enough.

4. The Hundred And One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith

The Hundred And One Dalmatians book
Source: AlexTSmith

One of the first dog movies I ever watched was Disney’s The 101 Dalmatians. It was years later when I found out my grandma had a copy of the first edition of this book. Apparently, we’re all dog people in the family. 

I can’t tell how much I wish she still had that book. It got lost somewhere a couple of years ago. 

The Hundred And One Dalmatians, first edition from 1956. book
The Hundred And One Dalmatians, first edition from 1956.
Source: RareAntiquarianBooks

We all know the plot of this story: Two brave Dalmatian parents go to rescue their puppies from a fur farm. 

Disney portrayed it pretty well, and if you’re more into contemporary stuff, you can read their book adaptations. 

However, I’d always pick the original. Although it is a children’s book, I strongly believe every adult should read it, too, especially if you’re a dog owner.

5. Because Of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo

Because Of Winn-Dixie book
Source: BraveAndKindBooks

Even though it’s not as old as some other stories here, Winn-Dixie still deserves a mention. 

Originally published in 2000, this book somehow skipped my radar. I was a teen back then, and I didn’t really like children’s books like this one. 

But, when a movie came out in 2005, I watched it with my niece, and she actually told me it’s based on a book she had to read for a project. 

Of course, I went looking for Winn-Dixie immediately. 

It’s sweet, funny, and heartwarming. And, it’s the perfect read for kids to teach them the value of owning a pet. 

6. The Call Of The Wild, by Jack London

The Call Of The Wild book
Source: Etsy

Once again, we go back to Jack London. I believe he’s the first author everyone thinks about when someone mentions dog stories or novels. 

This time, we have Buck… a half sheepdog, half St. Bernard. 

The Call Of The Wild teaches us how deep a human’s friendship with a dog can go. It will overcome all obstacles no matter the wilderness or the people between them.

Signed first edition of The Call Of The Wild, from 1903. book
Signed first edition of The Call Of The Wild, from 1903.
Source: Biblio

7. The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story Of Balto, by Natalie Standiford

The True Story Of Balto book
Source: Ebay

Balto’s story has been told in many different ways, but the motif of each adaptation is the same: a brave Husky that saved the entire town. 

Balto beat impossible odds, and ran 650 miles to deliver medicine to the town of Nome. If it wasn’t for him, the whole town would have been gone. 

I believe every dog owner should have a copy of Balto’s story. Oh, and let’s not forget the many movie adaptations. This one is my favorite! 

Adult Books

1. Marley & Me, by John Grogan

Marley & Me book
Source: BookSpine

Many of you know about Marley from the movie. But, I first found out about Marley from the eponymous book. 

Marley was the reason why I wished for a Golden Retriever. He was also the reason why I decided we’re not a good fit at all. 

He was mischievous, but he loved the Grogan’s to pieces. 

Marley’s story is unbelievably heartwarming. Every time I need something to read when I’m sad, I pick Marley. At least, he makes me warm with feelings.

2. The Art Of Racing In The Rain, by Garth Stein

The Art Of Racing In The Rain book
Source: TheRakyatPost

A friend of mine recommended this book to me, called The Art Of Racing In The Rain. To be honest, I didn’t expect much from it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved Enzo’s story just as much as I loved Marley’s. 

Even though it started with me crying my eyes out, the book really held my interest. I remember staying up late finishing it. And, yes… I was devastated after reading it, but somehow I still felt good knowing Enzo’s life had a purpose, and he got what he believed in.

3. A Dog’s Purpose, by Bruce Cameron

A Dog’s Purpose book
Source: Amazon

Lately, there’s one name that really stands out when it comes to fictional books focused on dogs as protagonists. I absolutely LOVE Bruce Cameron, and I bet you’ll love him, too!

I gotta admit, I’m guilty of reading every single piece done by this author, but A Dog’s Purpose  is, by far, my favorite. It probably has a lot to do with it being my first read after losing one of my dogs.

Cameron portrays characters you have to love. He makes you wish you knew his dogs in person. He makes you wish you could grab them all in one huge hug. 

Books are filled with positivity, even in some sad periods. There’s always a motif that shines through the darkest stage and leads our heroes forward. 

Honestly, I wish I had a dog like Bailey, Bailey, Bailey, Bailey. 

You’ll wish that, too.

5. Lily And The Octopus, by Steven Rowley

Lily And The Octopus book
Source: Twitter

In my personal opinion, Lily and the Octopus stands hand in hand with The Art Of Racing In The Rain. They both take you on one hell of a ride you’ll never forget.

Technically, I did not read this book. I bought an audio version because I heard so many wonderful things about it. And, yes… it’s equally as good as the real paperback book.

Lily’s story is something every dog owner must read. It will make you terribly sad, but still soft, with warm, fuzzy feelings. 

I can’t lie. One of the biggest reasons why I liked Lily is because she talks throughout the book. I’m a sucker for such books! 

6. A Big Little Life, by Dean Koontz

A Big Little Life book
Source: Ebay

I like reading Koontz, but I always thought he wrote thrillers. Well, he proved me wrong with A Big Little Life. Koontz can write pretty much anything.

Trixie changed Koontz’s life. This book left a great impact on mine, too. Once again, a Golden Retriever made the world go around. Well, at least for the author.

Trixie was the dog that blew their mind with her intelligence. She was special. She was talented. She was one of a kind.

I highly recommend Koontz’s memoirs because they’re not the kind of dog books you’re used to.

These 13 books are just a little collection from my library. I have lots of other dog stories to recommend to you. But, if I had to pick the best of the best, those would be these 13 stellar dogs!