You owe a lot to your best friend.
Pandemic life wouldn't have been the same without that furry face or those big, loving eyes. Having that silky fur to caress was like therapy; slobbery kisses were a good bonus.
Yep, you love your pet, so why not read about him, too?
For the person who absolutely adopts, "The Puppy No One Wanted" by Barby Keel (Citadel, $15.95) is the book you want. It's the story of Teddy, a sweetheart of a pup who had problems. Once he was brought to a rescue, Keel worked with him and tried to find a loving home for him, but it wasn't easy. Can a scaredy-cat puppy find a happy ending?
Here's another rescue story you'll love: "Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family" by Melissa Shapiro, DVM with Mim Eichler Rivas (Atria, $26). It's the tale of a tiny pup, the family that loved him fiercely, the home he almost didn't have, and the inspiration his story continues to offer.
When you put two dog people in a room, what do they talk about? Canines, of course, and "What Is a Dog?" by Chloe Shaw (Flatiron Books, $24.99) could be one of the side topics. This memoir is about the dogs Shaw has loved and lost, and her journey toward loving herself, both of them linked in a soft tale that's devastating and beautiful.
For the young animal lover, try "Rez Dogs" by Joseph Bruchac (Dial, $16.99). This tale, told in verse form, is about Malian, a young girl who's visiting her grandparents on the Wabanaki reservation when the pandemic hits. All travel is suspended, so she'll have to stay, but how can she help them stay safe? With the help of a dog, of course, and your 7-to-12-year-old will be glad.
Did you ever wonder why you share your house with another species? In "Just Like Family" by Andrea Laurent-Simpson (New York University Press, $30), you'll see how Fluffy came to the family room, Bosco came to bed, and both enjoy sharing more of our lives than almost any other companion animal in history. This is a fascinating, science- and sociology-based look at our deep, deep love for our pets, and animal lovers shouldn't even try to resist..
Finally, for anyone who doesn't automatically think "Dog!" when someone mentions pets, there's "Why Peacocks?" by Sean Flynn (Simon & Schuster, $27). Yes, it's the story of peacocks — not one, but three of them — and Flynn's enjoyment of his backyard buddies. Think that's the whole story? Nope. Flynn also takes readers on a journey to learn about peacocks, where they're found, and who else loves them.
If these pet-based books don't quite fill the bill for you, then you're in luck — there are lots of great books out there, waiting for you. Just ask your favorite librarian or bookseller for exactly what you want.
Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on the prairie in Wisconsin with one man, two dogs and 16,000 books. Look for her at bookwormsez.com or bookwormsez on Twitter.