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?
List of Books written from dog’s point of view
See Also: The beloved Peanuts beagle Snoopy
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 for 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 and can be read here.
Mark Twain was one of the most vocal voice 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.’
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.
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.”
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 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
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…
Also, see the namesake documentary from 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.
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 marvelous 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!