About This Book


We are all crazy about our dogs and can't read enough about them, whether they're misbehaving and giving us big, innocent looks, or loyally standing by us in times of need. This new book from Chicken Soup for the Soul contains the 101 best dog stories from the company's extensive library. Readers will revel in the heartwarming, amusing, inspirational, and occasionally tearful stories about our best friends and faithful companions — our dogs.

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Five tips for getting the most from your relationship with your dog

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Loving Our Dogs by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

We love our dogs. They are confidants, playmates, protectors, pranksters and even lifesavers. Our lives would not be the same without them. The 101 stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Loving Our Dogs can help you get even more from your relationship with your dog. Here are five tips for making the most of your time with your canine companion:

1. Let yourself fall in love. Aletha Jane Lindstrom did not want Inky on her farm. He was big and shaggy, and he ripped the linens from her clothesline. But Inky came with the farm and was there to stay. He patrolled the property like any good watchdog and became her son Tim’s closest companion. One evening, Aletha and Tim discovered Inky hiding in the barn with a severely injured leg. Aletha hadn’t realized how much Inky meant to her until she chose to care for a crippled Inky rather than put him to sleep. She cried, she writes, "because he loved Tim so much, and Tim loved him. But mostly I cried because I hadn’t really wanted him; not until now." It was not until Inky recovered and came to greet Tim at the bus stop that their family felt whole again. Inky taught Aletha an important lesson: "'Life’s pretty precious…especially when there’s love.’"

2. Listen to your dog. As Gayle Delhagen and her family hurried one day to get ready and leave for an event, her aunt’s dog — Sammy — kept demanding attention! But her Aunt Julie had misplaced her dentures. So the whole family frantically searched the house for the false teeth, ignoring Sammy, who continued to bark and vie for attention. Then, out of frustration, Aunt Julie sat on the bottom of the steps and cried. As Gayle consoled her aunt, they heard Sammy bark again and finally paid attention to the dog. "As we turned around to see what she wanted, we both exploded into laughter," Gayle writes. "There stood a ‘smiling’ Sammy — with Aunt Julie’s false teeth in her mouth." Sammy had found Aunt Julie’s teeth and been trying to tell them that all along!

3. Learn to be yourself. W. W. Meade felt pressured to become a doctor like his father and grandfather, but he knew in his heart that he wanted to do something else. While training Jerry, his father’s new hunting dog, W. W. saw that Jerry didn’t want to do what was expected of him either — the dog wanted to run, not hunt. After W. W. told his father that Jerry would not be the hunting dog he wanted, his father surprised him by keeping Jerry to let him run on their farm. It lifted his dad’s spirits to see Jerry’s joy at doing what he wanted to do. "'What makes any living thing worth the time of day,’" his dad told him, "'is that it is what it is.’" The dog’s example helped W. W. muster the courage to tell his father that he would not pursue medicine. "I’m disappointed that you’re not going to be a doctor. But I’m not disappointed in you," W. W.’s father told him. "Now we’ll just wait to see how you run."

4. Realize other people love your dog, too. In the middle of a cross-country flight home after visiting his parents, Mike Bell learned that his dog Dakota had been accidently loaded into the wrong cargo hold, one not designed for animals. Mike was heartsick to learn from the captain that it was possible Dakota had already frozen to death. The captain diverted the plane to make an unscheduled landing at the next major airport. Mike feared for his dog. When they landed and brought Dakota outside, Mike found his dog miserable and shivering, but alive. He could not bear to be separated from his companion and was allowed to bring Dakota on the plane and wrap him in blankets. Mike rejoiced, as did the other passengers, who cheered and clapped when he and Dakota came on board. "While I walked down the aisle to my seat, some of the passengers reached out in an effort to touch Dakota," Mike writes, "I realized that they also cared and were excited that Dakota made it."

5. Every dog deserves a chance. As an animal control officer, Bill King often received calls about stray dogs. He didn’t form attachments, except for one big black dog he named Buddy. Buddy did not trust humans and Bill could never get close enough to catch him. Bill made a promise that if he ever caught Buddy, he would adopt him and show him what "good people" were like. For over a year, Bill checked on Buddy daily, fed him and worried about him when the weather was cold. Slowly, Bill earned Buddy’s trust. The day he caught Buddy, he brought him to the animal rescue center and spent a long time petting him, developing a bond. A short time later, Bill adopted Buddy. "I kept my promise to Buddy and have shown him that people can be good," Bill writes. "It was a happy ending worth waiting for."

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