Ahh….it’s August. The dog days of summer are finally here. While you may be thinking of barbecues, beaches and sunny days, August 26 is National Dog Day! According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2012 more than 83 million dogs are pets. Americans spend $50 billion annually taking care of the furry companion. Any dog owner will tell you flat out that their dog isn’t simply a pet, but a family member. Proud pet parents love their “fur kids” more than anything in the world, and sometimes, even more than their relatives. But what makes dogs so remarkable and why do we feel such incredible affection for our four legged friends?

Dogs are amazing. They ask for nothing and give their love unconditionally. They are loyal and devoted without question. They allow us to dress them up in everything from party hats to outrageous sweaters and still manage to mug for the camera. Dogs greet every day with boundless enthusiasm and the feeling that something magical is about to happen. It may be a walk in the park, meeting a friend or sampling a new variety of dog treats. But whatever it is, dogs have an unbelievable ability to embrace life with both paws. Dogs don’t care if you’re having a bad hair day, got stuck in traffic, fell off the Weight Watchers wagon (again!) or broke up with your boyfriend. Regardless of what’s happening in your life, your dog loves you unconditionally and will greet you with a big smile and a wagging tail every time you walk through the front door.

Here are some great reads to celebrate National Dog Day followed by some dog gone good stuff to win.


DogCari1.cvr.DesCompRevDogs in Cars (Countryman Press, Oct 27) by photographer Lara Jo Regan captures dogs doing what they love best, hanging out of car windows. Regan’s book is a no-holds-barred look at man and woman’s best friend enjoying the simple pleasures of a car ride.  With ears flapping in the breeze, nose in the air and spectacular goofy grins, Dogs in Cars captures the pure joy dogs experience when hitting the road.


I Am My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein

I am my own dogCaldecott Honor winner  ’s I Am My Own Dog (Candlewick, April 5) is a cheerfully delightful book of drawings that tells the tale of a dog who is master of his own domain; doing whatever he feels like doing from fetching his own slippers to curling up at his own feet. But the one thing this dog can’t seem to do is scratch that one itchy spot in the middle of his back. Everything changes when the dog meets a new human, who not only scratches the itchy spot, but now the dog has his own person he can train to become his faithful companion.


Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly by Mark Ulriksen

 Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly (Goff Books, September 2014) is a beautifully illustrated book by Mark Ulriksen that spotlights the life of dogs. The book reflects Ulriken’s love of all things dogs. Using heartfelt observations, readers will connect with each of the illustrations from why getting an older dog from a shelter has its advantages to indisputable fact that there is nothing happier than a happy dog. All three books are a “must have” for any dog lover who is looking to add to his collection.


The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell

The Dog Park Laura Caldwell returns with this romantic tale of a furry cupid in The Dog Park (Harlequin MIRA, July 29). Jessica and Sebastian’s marriage has seen better days and now all they have in common is joint custody of their adorable labradoodle, Baxter. Then Baxter heroically rescues a child and the video footage goes viral—pushing Jessica and Sebastian together again. With the entire world watching, including the new guy she’s seeing and the press, Jessica has to decide on the life she wants. And with whom she wants to share it.

Click HERE to enter to win a copy of The Dog Park and a box of dog goodies.


In celebration of National Dog Day, I hope readers will remember that right now there are thousands wonderful and loving dogs living in shelters looking for fur-ever homes. Even if you can’t adopt a dog, consider making a donation (no matter how small) to your local shelter, rescue group or Human Society. As someone who adopted a rescue dog, I can honestly tell you that while I may have adopted him, in truth, he rescued me.

Isle_of_Dogs_logoOur National Dog Day sponsor, Isle of Dogs, is offering one lucky BookTrib dog lover a chance to win deluxe shampoo specially formulated for their dog that won’t dry the coat or irritate sensitive skin. In addition,  Isle of Dogs BookTrib readers can receive 15 percent off their products at check-out until September 2. Click to get the code.  Dogs play with our kids, sleep on our beds and travel at our sides. We love to pamper them but somehow, when it comes to grooming, we act as though dandruff, itching and scratching are supposed to be commonplace in dogs. Hence the mission of Isle of Dogs—to provide dog owners around the world with the products, tools and customer service to keep their dogs clean, beautiful and healthy.

Enter to win Shampoo and Condition for YOUR specific kind of dog.