Wine lovers love their dogs. There are whole websites and books dedicated to frolicking dogs among the vines as well as ones who work side by side with their owners (and producers of those wines). As an avid reader and lover of dogs, I often pick up literature about our wee "best friends". It's been some time now that I've read The Monks of New Skete or the The Hidden Life of Dogs - Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's Hidden Life being the clear winner here - but my interest in dogs and particular literary genres which cover dogs has not waned.

As a lover of wine, and having many friends in the business as well, I can't think of a better gift to give as a stocking stuffer or hostess gift (along with a bottle of wine, of course!) than one of (what I consider) the all-time great dog books. They are perfect companions for cuddling up in the chair for an evening of enjoyable reading, or for when traveling to wine country to attend a wine tasting or two.


I still break out in tears three chapters before Where the Red Fern Grows ends. Wilson Rawls book about a young boy who trains to redcoon hounds in the Ozark mountains is a heartbreaking yet uplifting tome to love, loyalty, friendship, tests, and faith. You won't soon forget Billy, Old Dan or Little Ann.


My Dog Tulip is British author J.R. Ackerley's amazing account of his life with Tulip - a near to impossible German Shepard that seems undisciplined to Ackerley's colleagues and friends and just damn fine to Ackerley himself. The sentence Ackerley writes are brilliant and Tulip literally leaps off the page like any other 3-dimensional character you may have encountered. This is always a welcome surprise to folks who love dog literature as so very few people have heard of it before.

Non Fiction/Natural Science.

It is in the introduction to Man Meets Dog that we learn that Konrad Lorenz was a Nazi sympathizer. Nonetheless (and interestingly), the New York Times called his observations on the human-canine relationship "provocative and informative, and profoundly civilizing." A Nobel laureate, Lorenz published his hugely entertaining as well as enlightening observations on dogs in 1954. A terrific read for the armchair scientist or anyone interested in the interactions of people and their dogs.

Dogs and Wine.

I couldn't leave without pointing out The Wine Dog series by Craig McGill and Susan Elliot. They cover dogs in vineyards the world over and their explosive empire includes notecards, calendars, and an ever-evolving website.