Books written from dog’s point of view – What’s your favorite?

Books written from dog's point of view
Books written from dog’s point of view

It isn’t surprising that dogs have waded through our imaginations given the history we share with them. If this dog were to curate a list of all things happy for the soul ―  dogs, books, travel, and food would feature for sure.

Wasn’t it in books where animals talked that we first discovered the joy of reading? 

Ever wondered what’s it like to view the world from a dog’s POV? Books written from dog’s point of view present an unparalleled whimsical insight not only into dogs as we know them but also says a lot about the writer penning them.

Books written from dog’s point of view

See Also: The beloved Peanuts beagle Snoopy

a dog's life

1. A dog’s life: The Autobiography of a stray invites us into the setbacks and adventures of Squirrel, the dog.  Separated from family and braving town-to-town journeys, she encounters friends and foes all in search of a place to call home.

2. A Dog’s Tale is a heart wrenching short story written by Mark Twain. It originally appeared in the 1903 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Mark Twain was one of the most vocal voices against the experimentations on animals. A Dog’s Tale is narrated by a dog who saves his human family’s baby from a fire. But in a twist befitting only the callous corruptness of a human mind, the owner performs a deadly experiment on the dog’s puppy.

Note to self: Humans aren’t always a dog’s best friend

3. Timbuktu by Paul Auster is told through the eyes of Mr. Bones, a dog who closely witnesses the last days of his master. Through internal monologues, we learn how the dog yearns to be reunited with his human in the afterlife.

Somewhere along the pages, the dog has an epiphany of sorts that Timbuktu is where they’d meet:

‘Where the map of this world ends, that’s where the map of Timbuktu begins.’  

timbuktu paul auster

4. Fluke by James Herbert is the story of a dog who since his puppy days believes he was once a man. His quest to find out the truth about his past sets the tone for this curious read.

It was later adapted into a motion picture as well but then as they say  — a film is almost never as good as the book.

fluke james herbert

5. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is a heartbreakingly good novel! It is narrated by Enzo, the dog who has observed closely the twists and trials in his race-car driving human’s life.

“Suppressing the symptom does nothing but force the true problem to express itself on a deeper level at some other time.”

art of racing in the rain
Enzo yearns to be a human so that he could communicate better with Denny, his human.

6. A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. Based on the premise that a dog never really dies but keeps reincarnating while remembering each life and lesson.

And in this entire loop, a dog learns the purpose behind these rebirths.

a dog's purpose book

A Dog’s Purpose has now been adapted into a movie.

“I realized that today I truly understood my purpose as Ellie: not just to find people but to save them.”

7. Kashtanka by Anton Chekhov

kashtanka book

Narrated from the POV of a dachshund mix, Kashtanka is the harrowing tale of an ill-treated dog who escapes his cruel master only to return…

8. Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov.

Sharik, a stray, finds himself adopted by a surgeon however what he thinks to be an end to all his maladies is not what it seems. The doctor’s real intentions are to perform medical experiments on him…

heart of a dog book

Also, see the namesake documentary by Laurie Anderson.

9. Investigations of a Dog by Franz Kafka

The wild imaginations of acclaimed writer Kafka gave us readers many stories with animals as lead characters – ‘Josephine the Singer’, ‘The Burrow’…

‘The Investigations of a Dog’ has musings of an unknown dog as he tries to find explanations to all that he sees around him.

investigations of a dog kafka

Then there’s Flush. Virginia Woolf’s autobiographical take on a spaniel. Although I haven’t read this esoteric book in entirety yet.

Did you know Virginia Woolf’s first published essay was an obituary to the family’s dog?

Complement this with Laurie Anderson’s heartwarming documentary Heart of a Dog and Nick Abadzis’s moving graphic novel on being lost in infinite space, Laika. We also suggest revisiting Jack London’s marvellous novels – Call of the Wild and White Fang

Did your favorite book written from a dog’s point of view feature here? If not, tell us who you would have picked for your list!

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14 thoughts on “Books written from dog’s point of view – What’s your favorite?”

  1. I’m trying to find the book narrated by a dog named Shadow whose master had discovered a way to not die. Set in Belgium around the time of the Napoleonic wars. The dog’s name may also have been the title of the book.

  2. I am looking for a book with the dog narrating it. The owner’s name is Sam and his wife name is Rose. they live on a farm. The dog is a barn dog whose colour is white. i don’t have an author or a title of the book. i am looking for this book for a friend.

    1. A book from high school 30 years ago, set during ww2 a dog caught up in the blitz is separated from his master (I think was killed) attached himself to another man who he connects with his master and hopes to find him. Can’t remember the name of the book or how it ended.

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