5 books for dogs and adventure lovers

I am sure all writers and avid readers of books have their favorite books that they use for inspiration. Well, since I like hiking, nature study and photography in the company of my dog K2 and I love to read, I, too, have a list of my favorite books that I draw my inspiration from to keep me going. Here is my list of 5 books that combine my passion for all outdoor activities. The list is in chronological order the books were published.


1. Man-eaters of Kumaon (First published 1944)

I love dog stories. It does not matter what breed or what type of dog is the subject. I got into reading dog stories through Jim Corbett’s accounts of his hunting man-eating tigers of India. Corbett preferred to hunt alone and on foot when pursuing dangerous game. He often hunted with this small dog named Robin, about whom he wrote in many adventures in his first book The Man-Eaters of Kumaon. Those stories were nerve wrenching as I read them when I was in my pre-teens and early teens. How Corbett put his little friend to work attracted me to the adventures of hunting man-eating tigers.

By May 1946 over half a million copies of Man-Eaters of Kumaon were in print. The book had been translated into four languages (including Czech and Finnish) as well as six Indian languages. By 1980 the book went on to sell over four million copies world wide.


2. Time is short and the water rises, Operation Gwamba by John Walsh (First published: January 1, 1967)

This is the first non-fiction adventure book I read before coming to the USA for my studies in 1983 after borrowing it from the American Center in Karachi, Pakistan.

As the subtitle suggests, this a true heartwarming story of the rescue of 10,000 animals from certain death in the rain forests of the southern American country of Suriname told by the rescuer John Walsh who lived the event. This is book that brought intermittent tears of joy and of pain, so touching and memorable that I ordered it again in 2009.

What I liked about the adventure was that John broke them into smaller stories, which were a delight to read. These smaller stories inform us about the country, geography, wildlife, and its culture of that time. One chapter that particularly brought tears in my eyes was about a little puppy, abandoned by the villagers due to rising waters, who sees its little island slowly giving way to water as it relocates itself finally on the rooftop of a sinking hut. It was ultimately rescued by the team just in time and grew up into a rescue assistance dog.


John Walsh and his team adopted many dogs as pets and used them in their animal rescue operations. Indeed there were some humorous stories about some of them.

I am sure that my love for wildlife protection and dogs were picked from this book. My dog K2, a Kuvasz, accompanies me to all flora and fauna photography trips. In the picture, this Osprey is actually eyeing both of us as it flew over a lake hunting for fish.


3. Blind Courage by Bill Irwin and David McCasland ( First published March 4, 1993)

This book narrates a story of a blind man, Bill Irwin, who, with his guide dog , Orient, hiked the 2100 miles of the treacherous Appalachian Trail. The adventuresome duo was affectionately nicknamed 'Orient Express. Many hikers like me were in total awe of the feat.

Bill Irwin moved on to become a motivational speaker, something he continued until his death on March 1, 2003. He was 73. Washington Post covered him thin these words, "Mr. Irwin was feted as an inspiration to hikers and disabled people when, on Nov. 21, 1990, he became the first blind man to traverse the Appalachian Trail, which stretches more than 2,100 miles, from Georgia to Maine. Admirers across the country watched news reports of him dropping to his knees to pray after ascending 5,269 feet on Mount Katahdin, Maine, the northernmost end of the trail. Members of his home church were there to greet him and sang “Amazing Grace.”

After reading this book, my faith in the "disability aid" or "assistance dogs" increased many-folds. We are aware that dogs are used as ’Guide Dogs’ and ‘Hearing Dogs’, but fewer of us know that they are being used as service dogs and as help in sensory processing disorders. For example, an Autism Service Dog will interrupt behavior of an autistic child who is self-harming or provide a counterbalance to latter’s poor balance.


4. Following Atticus by Tom Ryan (First published: January 1, 2011)

Subtitled 'Forty-Eight Peaks, One Little Dog, and an extraordinary Friendship', I loved reading about the adventures of a team of two most unusual partners who conquered 48 four-thousanders (peaks taller than 4,000 feet) of New Hampshire not only in summers, but, most of them, twice in winters.

I did not realize that hiking and trekking with dogs is an addictive hobby. Tom describes all his mountain climbing adventures at a personal and emotional level that keeps you totally engrossed. He described his excursions in such a livid way that I imagined myself becoming an uninvited partner over and over again.

K2 and us during a fall season hike.
K2 and us during a fall season hike. | Source

There is a personal take for me. I love hiking with my dog, but was a reluctant day-long hiker. Although I will never try to emulate Tom and Atticus on conquering mountains in winters, I was able to muster enough courage from reading the account of these two `warriors' to get going on longer and longer hikes, pushing myself to the limit, in the winters of southern Ontario. And of course, just like Atticus, K2 loves it.


5. Malamute Man: Memoirs of an Arctic Traveler by Joe G. Henderson (First published: January 12, 2012)

I may be a little biased in my review of this book, because I love dogs, hiking, dog sledding, and reading about extreme adventures. This book contains all of these ingredients.

First of all, hats off to the adventurer / writer for choosing to relocate to the far corners of Alaska with only one Malamute puppy to begin with. Eventually, he puts to work 22 Alaskan Malamutes for what they were originally meant to do - carry huge loads across the arctic region, rather than keeping them as pets only. Second of all, I salute him for restricting himself to minimum of technology. The team of dog and one man are on their own deep in that frozen hostile region.

K2 about to cross a makeshift bridge over a semi-frozen creek.
K2 about to cross a makeshift bridge over a semi-frozen creek. | Source

The book is written in a very interesting and involving manner, giving details of his various dogs, their personal traits, and events associated with some of them. He also presents, in a very lively manner, various thrilling incidents (and accidents) he faced during his many forays.

Although he lives off the land, stories about his experience with wildlife are both thrilling and engaging. I need to learn from the passion he shows for wildlife.

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Comments 30 comments

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 4 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Thank you, Norma, for reading my article and leaving a comment :-)

norlawrence profile image

norlawrence 4 months ago from California

Thanks for a great article. I will have to check the books you mentioned.

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 11 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Hi Irshad,

Thank you for reading this article and leaving a comment. I hope this article helps you in your endeavors.


icv profile image

icv 11 months ago from India, Kerala

Thank Suhail. It is the right time to go through your hub while I am thinking about animals' issues in my nearest area. Thanks you for sharing...

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Suhail and my dog 13 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Thank you for reading my hub and leaving a comment Discordzrocks.

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 13 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Thank you, Rabadi. I am reciprocating your nice gesture. I would also like to express my apologies for missing out on your comment earlier.

Discordzrocks profile image

Discordzrocks 13 months ago from Austin TX

Old yeller would be nice.

Rabadi profile image

Rabadi 15 months ago from New York

A very nice read. Now following

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 16 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Hi Marie (truthfornow):

You are most welcome. Reading and hiking with my dog are my passion. I hope I am able to help people find interesting activities and interesting books to read :-)

truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 16 months ago from New Orleans, LA

Books and dogs. You can't go wrong. I have never heard of any of these, so thanks for sharing and giving me some new ideas for stuff to read. I love animals and adventures.

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 16 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Hi Flourish,

Thank you for reading this hub.

The books have been popular, but not necessarily with the dog lovers. For example, 'The man eaters of Kumaon' was popular with the ethical hunters and wildlife lovers of India.

I wanted to write something about books that should appeal to people who love adventures, dogs, wildlife conservation, general stories of human achievement, and/or a combination thereof. I came up with this list.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

I never heard of these. They are sure to be favorites among dog lovers. The malamutes reminded me of a dog I used to know and love (a neighbor's neglected dog whom I would walk and tend to, give treats to and love as my own).

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 18 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Hi Mel,

Thank you for reading my hub and leaving a comment here. 'White Fang' is the first dog book that I read and I still read it off and on. I have to check out the other one you mentioned.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 18 months ago from San Diego California

My favorite dog novel is "Where the Red Fern Grows," by Wilson Rawls. White Fang by Jack London is another good one. I haven't read any of the books on your list, but they look great. Great hub!

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 19 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Thank you, Nell. I loved that tales versus tails thing!

Lassie, The adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The littlest hobo, Run, Joe, Run, are 4 that I could recall ha-ha.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 19 months ago from England

What a great list of books! I love dogs so grew up reading doggy tales! or should that be tails? lol! obviously lassie, that was when I was little but there was another one, but can I remember it? no of course not! lol! great hub! voted up, nell

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 19 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Or, Adrienne, you can read a chapter every single day of one book at a time. This is what I do. I buy a book and try to complete two chapters a day hahaha.

Btw, thank you for reading my hub.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 19 months ago from USA

Wow, there are several I haven't read and I didn't even know of their existence! Will bookmark for future reference. Hopefully one day I may take a vacation and enjoy reading these treasures!

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 19 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Hi Deb,

You will definitely like 'Time is short and the water rises' and 'Malamute Man'. The former book may not be available on amazon though, except used versions.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 19 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I haven't read any of these wonderful books, but I'd sure like to do so. They are filled with adventure and suspense, my own personal brew! Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 19 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

You are most welcome. Linda.

Re-reading these books every few years keep me going, especially when my energy level and zeal go down a few notches.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for sharing these interesting reviews, Suhail. I've never read any of the books, so I appreciate your descriptions a great deal.

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 19 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author


Thank you so very much for always caring to visit my hubs.

Just to let you know, two authors of those 5 have their active Facebook pages (Tom Ryan of 'Following Atticus' and Joe Hendersen of 'Malamute Man').

Genna East profile image

Genna East 19 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

This is quite a collection. I enjoyed reading your synopsis and reviews, and hope to read at least of these interesting books, soon. Thanks so much for sharing them with us. :-)

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 20 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Hi Stella,

That feat of Bill Irwin was super impressive indeed. It has never been attempted by anyone else again.

Thank you for reading my hub and leaving these nice comments.

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 20 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Thank you, Bill, as usual.

Today was a warm day in southern Ontario. I did go out for a hike with K2 and for wildlife photography, but the sun was out in full force and humidity was high too. So we cut the trip short.

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 20 months ago from Mississauga, ON Author

Thank you, Jodah.

Call of the Wild and White Fang are great books to read. Of course, my criteria for selecting books for this hub limited my choices, but those two are my favorites as well.

ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 20 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

My kind of Hub. Bill Irwin was amazing in hiking that trail. I would love to do it. I would like to hike 2100 miles. Great hub, Stella

billybuc profile image

billybuc 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

Never heard of them so thank you for the suggestions. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

Wonderful hub Suhail. I love dogs (we have three) and stories involving them. Among the first books I ever read and enjoyed were "Call of the Wild" and "White Fang" by Jack London. Voted up.

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