Leader of the Pack

4 min read


They say happiness is a book in your hand and a dog by your side, and really, who are we to dispute that?!

Make no bones about it, this month has us crazed for our beloved furry friends. March’s BOTM has given us all the feels and inspired some further reading and we wanted to share with you what’s next on our to-read list.

Finding Gobi: The True Story of a Little Dog and an Incredible Journey by Dion Leonard  |  BUY NOW

Seasoned ultra-marathon runner, Dion Leonard, unexpectedly crossed paths with a little stray dog while competing in a gruelling 155-mile race through the Gobi Desert in China. The pup – to be aptly named Gobi – earned Leonard’s love through running stride-for-stride with him over Tian Shan Mountains, across dunes, and through villages keeping the pace for nearly 80 miles. In witnessing Gobi’s incredible determination to keep up, Leonard’s goal shifted from winning the race to caring for his new friend, ensuring she was safe, fed, and hydrated from his own limited supplies. Leonard was determined to bring Gobi home to the UK to become a part of his family, though while making arrangements for her travel, Gobi went missing in the sprawling Chinese city where she was being kept.

A dramatic and heart-wrenching true life tale of the journey, struggles, and successes that brought these two together, more than once.

You Had Me At Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam  |  BUY NOW

Julie Klam was a single 30-year-old, part-time clerk, who had passed the days of hopefully waiting for a special parter to come into her life and resorted to tarot card readings to learn when she’d meet her match. Little did she expect him to be a flat-faced and crooked-eyed, albeit undeniably sweet, Boston Terrier named Otto, with whom she instantly fell in love. Learning to share not just a home, but also her heart, with her new companion, Klam discovered many of life’s lessons from her relationship with Otto. As her family grew to include a husband and daughter, and several more Boston Terriers after Otto, she was surprised to come to understand just how much wisdom her dogs could impart upon her.

You Had Me At Woof is the warm and humourous tale of how one one woman’s four-legged companions opened her heart to love and happiness.

Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote  |  BUY NOW

While on a camping expedition in the Utah desert, author Ted Kerasote met a Labrador mix who was living in the wild. Seeking companionship, the two paired up and developed a bond that inspired Ted to name the dog Merle and bring him home. Noting Merle’s intelligence, and recognizing the impact of being confined to life solely as a pet in the human world, Ted installed a dog door, allowing Merle to come and go, experiencing the world outside and in, of his own accord.

Merle’s Door explores the connection between dog and owner and the issues faced as their lives intertwine, with research into animal behaviour and consciousness, while diving into the origin and evolution of the human-dog relationship. Kerasote’s story of independence and partnership is tender, enlightening, and remarkable, as he suggests how these lessons can be applied to every day life.

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin  |  BUY NOW

During a time of loss and hardship, Larry Levin and his two sons encountered the ugliest dog they’d ever seen. Oggy (an affectionate derivative of ugly) was at the vet to be treated and cared for after being used as bait for fighting dogs and left for dead. But Oogy was full of life and love and immediately captured the hearts of the Levins, who saw past his missing ear and scar-tissue covered face, and adopted him to become the newest member of the family.

This story tells of Oogy’s complete story, from the group of people who were determined to rescue the months-old pup to the family that opened their doors and hearts, making up for a horrible past and showing him the warmth and love he deserved.

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume  |  BUY NOW

In this narrative, loner and outcast, Ray, discovers a one-eyed terrier (whom he endearingly refers to as One Eye) advertised in the window of a shop, seeking a “compassionate and tolerant owner”. While both are more than familiar with being alone and unloved, the two form a unique bond from the companionship they find in each other. As seasons change and their relationship evolves and intensifies, the newly bonded, misfit pair are forced to flee their home following a violent incident that leaves them fearing a visit from the dog warden, and abandon the life they’ve established in order to stick together.

Compassionate and captivating, Spill Simmer Falter Wither spans a year long journey (with each section title simulating the four seasons) of the two wanderers who came together to find mates in each other.


By Valerie Bennett

Girly Book Club

The concept is simple. We’re a global book club for likeminded women to discuss great books! All members of the book club read the same book over the same period; members then meet up in their respective cities at the end of each month to discuss the book and exchange views.
Girly Book Club

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