Check It Out: Stories for lovers of cats, dogs

There's nothing like going home after a hard day's work and being greeted at the door by your four-legged friend. Always happy, wagging a tail, and eager to please, a dog is truly man, woman, and child's best friend. Cats, although a little more aloof but just as loveable, also remain constant companions for many of us. The benefits of having a pet like a dog or a cat outnumber the never ending responsibilities of being a pet owner. It's been said that people who have animals are generally more happy and healthy in the long run. A canine buddy or feline friend will not only bring companionship into your life, but also countless hours of pure joy, love, and entertainment.

The following books available at the Newport Beach Public Library explore the relationships humans have with dogs and cats, and show how these loveable pets find their ways into our homes and into our hearts forever.

"You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness" by Julie Klam is a heartfelt account of living and working with dogs. Klam, a Boston terrier rescue worker, describes the lessons learned from the canine companions she's had over the years and how these experiences led her on a journey to find true happiness.

It's the little things in life that are explored in John Zeaman's "Dog walks Man: a Six Legged Odyssey." Walking the dog may seem like one of those everyday ordinary tasks that many a pet owner is responsible for doing, but Zeaman takes a different, more enthusiastic approach on the topic. It's during this daily duty that he gets into an inspirational meditative state where his thoughts, experiences, and ideas take on new, clearer meanings. Readers will be sure to enjoy his insights.

"Oogy: The Dog only a Family could Love by Larry Levin" explores the bond between a family and one little dog who was down on his luck. After their beloved cat had to be put down, the Levin family is heartbroken. While turning to leave the animal hospital after saying goodbye, a most unfortunate sight catches their eyes: a dog named Oogy. After being used as bait in dog fighting, poor Oogy has lost an ear and suffers from some serious bumps and cuts. The Levin family knew right away that they needed to take care of Oogy and adopt him as their pet, and this wonderful story explores that initial meeting and the creation of a lasting bond between Oogy and the family.

"Huck" by Janet Elder offers readers a compassionate look at life's trials and tribulations, and how a pet can have an enormous affect on the human heart. A true story, Huck, offers a glimpse into the kindness of strangers. When a young boy's dog escapes from the back yard, a whole town begins a search to find this missing friend. Heartwarming, fun, and lighthearted, this book is sure to be a favorite.

"Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World" and sequel "Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of a Small Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions" by Vicki Myron are both written about a kitten who was dropped off in a library book drop late one evening and adopted by library staff. Myron, the library director, details the events of Dewey's life and how one little cat brought the community together and helped to promote library services, literacy, and a sense of community. In her sequel, Myron tells more stories of other animals that have made significant impacts on the communities in which they live. Myron also throws in a few extra Dewey stories that readers are sure to enjoy.

Check out these fun pet-loving stories and more at the library.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org. For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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