Author of OUTBACK LOVE a contemporary romance novel set in Australia, JETTING AWAY a short story prequel to OUTBACK LOVE, MOON OVER MADNESS a paranormal romantic comedy and BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS a collection of short stories and poems about life and love. All are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel and Kobo. On Twitter @TeriHeyer

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer

My dog, Dude, on a hot summer day.
We have reached the middle of summer and it is hot, hot, HOT. On the weekend, the temp hit 101, which is unusually hot for the Florida Gulf Coast. Yesterday topped out at 97 degrees and then took a dive to 76 after hours of much needed rain. Ahhh! A temporary reprieve from scorching hot temps.

I grew up referring to this time of year as "the dog days of summer." Is that term still used? Or am I horribly out of date? Well, ask my dogs, Dude and Shani, and they'll tell you this truly is the dog days of summer.

As I write it's clouding up for another afternoon thunderstorm, hopefully with more of that much needed rain. Funny thing, thunderstorms here don't always bring rain. Sometimes it's hours of lightning and thunder and nary a drop of rain. Go figure. Weather never fails to amaze me.

For those of you who have been following my blog, I'm notorious for lists of great books to read. So this post is no exception. My dogs, Dude in particular, says "Ahh-rooooooo!" Dude is part Golden Retriever and part hound (???), so he "talks" like a southern hound dog. Picture Scooby Doo in a real live dog. That's Dude.
Shani enjoying the dog days of summer.

Shani, on the other hand, is an "old" lady at ten and a half. She's a Collie/Chow mix with a  heart of gold.  She half-heartedly raised Dude from the moment I brought home a wiggly, noisy, nineteen pound, three month old pup a year and a half ago. Shani did a great job of teaching Dude proper dog manners. So Dude is a well-behaved, but goofy one hundred pound dog. Oh, Shani doesn't like me to give out her weight, but she's a solid eighty-five pounds.

Okay, now back to my book list thingy that I often include in my posts. This being "dog days" and all, well, I figured I'd better list some books about dogs. Or at least some books that have great dog characters as part of the cast. Which means I'm going  to shamelessly promo my books for just a moment.

Outback Love has a lovable "ugly" dog named Elliot who enters into the novel when Priscilla and Ian reach the Outback. I'm not going to give away Elliot's part of the story, but he certainly tries to steal the show.

Moon Over Madness has a hundred pound pup named Jake who is a central character in my paranormal romantic comedy. Jake has the uncanny ability of being able to "talk" to children. Nope, he doesn't talk to adults. Imagine that!

"Old Dogs Need Love Too" is one of my short stories in Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows. It's the story of two "old" souls, a widow and an old throw-away dog, who find each other.

Now that I've plugged my books, it's time to list some other great dog reads.

My love of dog stories began before I could read. My favorite bedtime stories were those by Albert Payson Terhune. I had a collection of his dog stories and that's what I insisted my mom read to me, over and over again. He's probably best known for Lad: A Dog. I think the book I had as a child was Best Loved Dog Stores of Albert Payson Terhune, which is virtually impossible to find these days, but some libraries might still have a copy. I did notice that Amazon has three copies at an incredibly high price.

My favorite child/YA dog stories (or books with great dog characters) were:

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
Savage Sam by Fred Gipson
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

As an adult, I've come across several authors (some of my favs) who include great dog characters in their books. Of course, my favorite of those is Bob, the dog in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series. Who wouldn't fall for lovable ol' Bob? Jennifer Crusie has some cool dogs in some of her books. Emily Carmichael also has some great books with dogs as the central characters: Finding Mr. Right, Diamond in the Rough and Gone to the Dogs (I've read and loved these).

I have three dog books on my Kindle which I'm hoping to read soon:

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook
An Angel With Fur by Russell Blake

In looking for dog books this morning I came across a treasure trove of dog mysteries. So here are some of the ones I found. I haven't read any of these, but most certainly plan to do so.

The Kingdom of Dog (Golden Retriever Mysteries) by Neil S. Plakcy
Smokey Mountain Tracks (Rainy Stockton Dog Mysteries) by Donna Ball
Gone to the Dogs (Dog Lover's Mystery Series) by Susan Conant
A Shot in the Bark (A Dog Park Mystery) by Carol Ann Newsome
Never Con a Corgi (Leigh Koslow Mystery Series) by Edie Claire
Play Dead (An Allie Babcock Mystery) by Leslie O'Kane
Hounding the Pavement (A Dog Walker Mystery) by Judi McCoy
Bark M for Murder by J. A. Jance, (a collection of dog mysteries)
Magic (Dog Mysteries) by Edmund Humm
Ten Little Bloodhounds by Virginia Lanier
Pekinese Premonition by Jacqueline Vick

In my search I also came across the following dog books that look interesting:

A Dog Story (A Short Tale of Kedge) by Nancy L. Silk
Jack by Ray Braswell
One Good Dog by Susan Wilson
Rottweiller Rescue by Ellen O'Connell
The Woof in the Wedding Plans by Regina Duke
Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service by Beth Kendrick
Dog Nanny by Ann Whitaker
It's a Dog's Life by Dale Mayer
The Story of Rose: A Man and His Dog by Jon Katz

This is by no means a complete list of the great dog books out there. So here's my request to all you dog lovers. Please add your favorite dog books in the comments below. Also, don't hesitate to add dog books that you've written.

Dude says, "Ahh-rooo-rooo-rooooooo!" Shani says, "RAH!"  And I say, "Thank you!"


  1. Thanks for listing my short story for The Dog Days of Summer. A story to cool the heat about Kedge who moves aboard sailing vessel as a pup in Sacramento Delta. "A Dog's Story (A Short Tale of Kedge)" has great reviews. Fun story to read to kids.

    1. Hi Nancy! Kedge just had to be included in my list.


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