Saturday, March 2, 2013

Man's Best Friend and YA

Last year my fiance and I rescued a dog from the pound. There's a video of us first meeting him here.We named him Sir Raynor Rotterdam of Westalia (hehe), or Raynor for short. No one really seems to know his breed; he's got a lot of everything. Even the pound asked US if we knew what he was (we decided on 1/2 chihuahua and 1/2 Jean-Claude Van Damme).

He was a spur of the moment decision, made three minutes after the shelter closed its gates when we were still inside. And it's been the best decision we've ever made. Raynor's my best friend. He's always pulling mischief, always happy to see me, and always cuddly. Frankly, I'd like to think he thinks the same thing about me.

But Raynor wasn't my first pup. In middle school and high school, I had the coolest yellow lab named Ginger. She was my best friend. She was motherly too, kind of like Nana from Peter Pan. Rest in piece, sweet Ginger.

Which got me thinking, are there any good YA books out there with dogs in it? And I'm not talking about someone mentioning a dog once in the book, I'm talking about a dog that is a key character in the book, a sidekick, or a driving force. I couldn't really think of any. At least not mainstream ones. And after looking, many of the ones I could find with dogs basically were just about them dying. Ugh.

So, writers get on this!

These pups that steal our hearts in real life, totally deserve to be written in. Don't you think?

In the meantime, I did some digging and found that there were some YA books with dogs in them. You've probably never heard of a lot of them, and most of them are from the 90's, so don't judge them by their covers...

YA Books with dogs:

YA Books I've read with dogs playing a small part:

Okay, the one below isn't YA but I loved it...

What books have I missed? Do you have a favorite I don't know about? Are you writing a novel with a dog in it? I'd love to hear in the comments below!


  1. I Am Number Four!

    And congrats on your rescue pup. I have two rescue cats, and they are the best. :)

    Stephanie (Go Flash Go) @ Read, Rinse, Repeat

    1. Oh! Thanks! I will definitely be checking that out.

      And congrats too on your lovelies! That's so awesome that you rescued them too. <3

    2. P.S. Your website is awesome!

  2. Years ago, when I was in middle school. I read a book about a black lab named Jessie(which I'm pretty sure was also the title). The dog was one of the main characters.

    Sarah Dessen's, This Lullabye, has a dog in it. As does Ripslinger's Last Kiss.

    1. Oh! Thanks for the suggestions, Jess! I've added them to my Goodreads to check out! I have reads Sarah Dessen before but not that title. :)

  3. In Patrick Ness's THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, the main character Todd has a dog Manchee that is (emotionally) very central to the story. It helps that everything on the planet can talk, including animals, though their conversation is pretty limited. Manchee has to pee a lot. This is a great series, by the way.

    "The Doorman" is a dog in Markus Zusak's I AM THE MESSENGER - not critical to the plot, but a real crutch for the main character, Ed.