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Three signs you’re an unabashed dog lover: 1. You refer to your dog as “your baby.” 2. You stop, coo and inquire, “Is that a puppy? Can I pet her?” every time you see a new four-legged friend on the block. 3. You voted for the dog park over the children’s park. OK, maybe not that last one, but if you’re a self-identified dog lover, these eight books are must-reads. Gentle warning: A pack of tissues on hand is required.

RELATED: What Your Favorite Dog Breed Says About You

art of racing in the rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein

Enzo would do anything for Denny—that is, if Enzo were human and had opposable thumbs. In the meantime, this lovable canine narrates a heart-wrenching story of unconditional love between him and his up-and-coming, race-car-driving owner. And through it all, our furry friend teaches us more about what it means to be human than we could ever learn on our own.

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lily and the octopus
Lily and the Octopus

“Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley

Ted, a single man in L.A., shows us that even though he can’t find love on any of his bad dates, he can have a profound—and often hilarious—relationship with his 12-year-old dachshund, Lily. Unfortunately, Lily’s condition, which Ted euphemistically refers to as “the octopus,” means their time together will be cut short. While the story will definitely make you cry, how Rowley tells it will have you laughing along the way.

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a dogs purpose
A Dog’s Purpose

“A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron

Cats aren’t the only animals with multiple lives. In his second life as a golden retriever, Bailey comes to find his true purpose. Told through first-person doggy narration, this story will make you quickly fall in love with Bailey as he sets out to fulfill his destiny...which is apparently to make you cry like a baby.

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how dogs love us
How Dogs Love Us

“How Dogs Love Us” by Gregory Berns

Your dog’s your best friend, your confidant, your fur baby—but did you ever stop to think if your dog feels the same way toward you? Neuroscientist Gregory Berns is determined to figure out the answer to that question using MRI technology to scan his dog’s brain. The results? Extraordinary.

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the dogist
The Dogist

“The Dogist” by Elias Weiss Friedman

With over 2 million followers on Instagram, photographer Elias Weiss Friedman (aka “The Dogist”) captures the everyday beauty of dogs. In his first book, Friedman spreads even more love by sharing the heartwarming stories of the dogs he encounters. Just look at that face.

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i could chew on this
I Could Chew on This

“I Could Chew on This” by Francesco Marciuliano

What if Ezra Pound or Sylvia Plath were dogs? Perhaps they’d write poems with titles like “I Dropped a Ball” and “I Lose My Mind When You Leave the House.” Well, imagine no more. This creative collection of poetry gives us a humorous glimpse into our pups’ motives.

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inside of a dog
Inside of a Dog

“Inside of a Dog” by Alexandra Horowitz

The cognitive scientist wanted to answer two questions: What do dogs really know and what are they thinking? From cuddling up to humans to playing a dog five times their size, Horowitz’s research, on everything from cuddling up to humans to playing with a dog five times their size, gives readers incredible insight into what it’s actually like to be a dog.

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hello love
Hello Love

“Hello Love” by Karen McQuestion

A year after his wife’s death, the only thing getting Dan through the pain is his beloved dog, Anni. That is, until she’s stolen from him. Across town, Andrea is similarly trying to pick herself up again from a messy divorce when she rescues a dog from an abusive owner. The name on her tag? Anni. Paths cross. Wounds heal. And second chances become possible. And duh, you’ll probably cry.

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RELATED: Quiz: How Smart Is Your Dog?

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