ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 books for dogs and adventure lovers

Updated on April 10, 2016

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.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)