Animals have been part of our life and family since the beginning of mankind. Egyptians for example had worshipped cats believing them magical creatures that holds the threshold to life after death. Wild dogs have been hunting companions since ever. Horses have been transporting us and goods long time ago. Since when animals became pets, it is unknown but for sure they will always share our planet home forever as always has been. Hence the numerous fictions and non fiction novels about many of them. Because we love them.
Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
The true story of an outcast cat. Homer was blind and weak at four weeks of age. Everybody told Gwen (author/owner) that he wad not going to make it. But Homer proved them wrong. This is a great story of how animals can survive the unsurvivable and teaches us humans that we can survive as well too.
It can be a great book for anyone with disabilities and/or their caretaker. Just to read about this extraordinary cat surpassing one difficult life can be not only challenging nut truly inspiring. If Homer could, you can do it to.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
A story about friendship and true loyalty till the end, and beyond. Old Dan and little Ann are coonhounds that really know to live in a pack. Extremely loyal to each other and to their owner Billy. The narrator, Billy, tells the story in a melancholy memory of his childhood dogs. Remembering when he, Old Dan and little Ann became the great trio of hunters with Billy’s grandfather’s help. The beautiful ending of this novel describes how a family’s love and loyalty can be forever. In 1974 a film was made about the book.
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
A sudden day, a stray yellow dog arrives at Travis’ farm. Reluctantly Travis, who is in charge of the house now while his father is away in a trip, keeps the dog. Naming him Old Yeller, this story narrates how this loathing turns to friendship and how Old Yellers’ bravery and loyalty makes him win not only a place in the farm but also a place in the family’s heart.
Beautiful story inspired by true events, is one of the most popular books in history winning the heart of millions. Eventually Disney made a movie about this novel in 1957. Later there was a sequel named Savage Sam, which is a follow up story of one of Old Yeller’s offspring and it’s film in 1963.
Cujo by Stephen King
In another note…no everything is peaches and cream in the pets world. Stephen King tells the terrifying story of Cujo. A huge St. Bernard, Cujo starts as a friendly family dog. But turns into a a hellish nightmare when he is bitten by a bat who infects him with the lethal virus of Rabies. As only King knows how to terrorize, Cujo little by little begins to transform into a monster that deserves to be a King character.
Later it was made into a movie with the same name in 1983. The movie have been presented in the veterinary field for the explanation of the stages of the virus. It is very accurate from the stage of inoculation, later developing into malaise, then to the early neurological symptom of roaming and finally the horror of the disease (in a Hollywood scenario,of course). It seems that the four dogs who played Cujo must have won the Academy Awards.
My Dog Skip by Willie Morris
This is a biographic count of Morris’ childhood dog. The author’s nostalgic reminiscence is a beautiful novel that describes how this two friends grew up together. Personally it is one of the most inspirational novel because, as I’m sure many others, it is almost my story with my childhood dog/”sister”.
The novel was made into a film with the same name in 2000, which made me shed tears like no other movie. And. I don’t cry that easy. Fully recommended.
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
This is the non fiction story of a legend. Seabiscuit was a race horse that won many races in the 1936. The extraordinary fact of this tale is that at the beginning of his life the stallion was a mock in the stables. Until an unusual trainer set eyes on him and joined him with a jockey with similar unpredictable character.
This story is one of perseverance and triumph. Later it was made into a film in 2003.
The Big Red Horse by Lawrence Scanlan
In 1994, Sports Illustrated ranked Secretariat #17 in their list of the 40 greatest sports figures of the past 40 years. In 1999, ESPN listed him 35th of the 100 greatest North American athletes of the 20th century, the highest of three non-humans on the list.
This is a presentation of the great Secretariat. One of the few non human animals recognized in human awards. There are numerous books, documentaries and statues about this super star. Eventually a movie was made in 2010. His Triple Crown Race record in 1973 has not been challenged yet. All this achievements made this horse immortalized.
Among his books Secretariat, The Horse God Built, Secretariat’s Meadow, Secretariat: The Life of the Most Famous Triple Crown Winner in American History,Big Red of Meadow Stable: Secretariat, the Making of a Champion and many other, this particular book is the chosen to be presented on this list. Despite being directed for young adults and kind of underrated, it has magnificent reviews. The fact that it tells the story of his groom Eddie “Shorty” Sweat is one of the most important aspects. Beyond the money and the prestige that this horse gave to his owners and the race horsing carrier, this man was his friend first. And the Big Red deserved this more than anything else.
Daisy; an Autobiography of a Cat by Miranda Eliot Swan
A memoir of a cat in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The author chose to write the book in a cat’s point of view to make an awareness of the animal cruelty at that time. Very few people care at the era, considering animals as soulless living beings. But Miranda Eliot Swan did care. Making her perhaps a woman ahead of her time.
As a very rare book, is in this list for the aforementioned reasons. Readers are warned for the gore in many scenes of the book. Also is kind of historical in the sense that describes in detail how was life back then.
Animal cruelty still exists, but thankfully we humans are evolving to know that other animals have feelings as well. This creating awareness and laws that protect animal rights. And rights has to be since they share our planet with us.