Internationally renowned animal photographer Alex Cearns is the Creative Director of Houndstooth Studio and the author of Zen Dogs Her images have won a multitude of awards and have been published widely across Australian and international print and online media, in books, magazines and campaigns.
Inspired by the joy of working with animals, Alex’s philanthropy and passionate advocacy for animal rescue has earned her high regard among Australia’s animal lovers and a strong following on social media.A gorgeous compendium for every dog lover, animal enthusiast, and anyone looking to add some peace and joy to their day, Zen Dogs reminds us of the power dogs have to enrich our lives – to make us happier, healthier, calmer, and more loving.
Alex shares her top ten dog books about dogs:
Incredible Dog Journeys by Laura Greaves
The tale of 18 different dogs who all travelled great distances and overcame adversity. Be inspired, be enthralled and be amazed. Dogs are incredible. I first met Laura when she was the editor for a national dog magazine and as crazy dog ladies we hit it off right away. I enjoy her engaging writing style and was thrilled to hear she was putting pen to paper for a book all about dogs. She didn’t disappoint!
John Brown Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner
A timeless children’s book depicting the relationship between a jealous dog and a new-to-town cat – with a greater overall message of acceptance and tolerance. This was one of my favourite books as a child. I grew up with an Old English Sheep Dog, so was immediately drawn to the dog star of the story, John Brown, who is also an Old English Sheepdog. The beautiful illustrations, combined with the poignant words captured my heart, and I still enjoy picking this book up now as an adult and being transported back into its world.
The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet by Victoria Stilwell
Learn how to understand your pooch, and strengthen your bond with this fun and fascinating guide. From the star of Animal Planets ‘It’s Me or the Dog’, Victoria Stilwell, as she reveals how to interpret and speak the hidden language of dogs. Victoria is one of the worlds most recognized and respected dog trainers and I have admired her work with dogs for many years. She’s a passionate advocate for positive reinforcement dog training methods, and is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation through the Victoria Stilwell Foundation, which provides financial support and canine behaviour expertise to dog organizations and rescue shelters. We are making plans to collaborate together on a project in the future, and hope we can bring it to fruition.
Dogservations by Serena Hodgson
Artful images from Serena Hodgson of three dogs who have character in spades – Rocco, the bull mastiff, Ralph, the dachshund, and Simon, the bulldog. A coffee table collectable for every dog lover. As a professional photographer, I greatly admire the work of my peers and Serena’s dog photography stands out from the pack. She has such a creative eye and for Dogservations she worked with dogs she knew very well, capturing every nuance of their quirky characters for us to enjoy.
Marley and Me by John Grogan
Story of a cheeky Labrador whose behavioural issues are eventually accepted by his humans, who learn some life lessons along the way. Marley and Me is a book every dog person can relate to. I cried my way through it from start to finish, but it was one of those good cry things – where you feel compelled to keep reading because you know that at the end you will be better off for it.
Marnie the Dog – I’m a book by Shirley Braha
At 10 year of age Marnie was adopted from a shelter in NYC and became an online sensation. Known for an adorable face, with her tongue lolling about, her book features tonnes of photos and cute quotes. I first discovered Marnie on Instagram and fell immediately in love with her. I began showing friends her page and they became instant fans too. Marnie connects with that part of us that wants to see a wrong put right. Her story started off as a sad one, but now, in her twilight years, she finally has the life she deserves.
Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz
Part science, part ‘dogology’, this book is an intelligent portrayal of the ways dogs view their surroundings. Enter their world through the pages of ‘Inside of a Dog’. I learnt so much from reading this book and looked at my dogs Pip and Pixel in a new light. I now see that they communicate with me in many different ways, beyond what I initially thought possible, and have such a strong sense of what’s going on around them thanks to their combined senses.
The Divinity of Dogs by Jennifer Skiff
A collection of personal stories capturing moments in which people learnt something profound about life from an experience with a dog, leading to spiritual enlightenment. Jennifer has been a lifelong advocate for animal rescue and welfare, and a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. She is the Patron for the Dogs Refuge home of WA, a wonderful organisation who I have the pleasure of photographing for, and divides her time between Australia and the USA, where she also works with the Humane Society USA. She is a champion for animals and her book will touch your heart.
Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words by John W Pilley Jr. and Hilary Hinzmann.
Border Collie Chaser knows the names of more than a thousand toys and understands sentences. A marvel to dog lovers and scientists, he has changed the way we think about the intelligence of animals. This book shows what a dedicated, interested owner and a smart dog can achieve together. It’s inspiring and incredible.
Red Dog By Louis de Bernieres
Grab your hankies and settle into the life story of a well-known kelpie/cattle mix dog who travelled around the Pilbara in WA. Touching, poignant, and iconically Australian, ‘Red Dog’ was released as a movie in 2011 and was a smash hit with audiences all over the world.