The best books about the healing power of animals and the human-animal bond

Who am I?

It all began at a very young age when I aspired to be Jane Goodall and save the lives of animals. Since then, her wisdom, courage, and activism have guided me throughout my life. Through my childhood, I nursed fledglings with eyedroppers, adopted turtles left on the curbside, and became an advocate for “Save our Seals”. In college, I immersed myself in the study of animal behavior. I explored the behavior of Red Kangaroos, "Megalia Rufas" in captivity, exploring ways in which zoos could improve their facilities to respect the needs of the animals. These experiences set the landscape for my work as a holistic psychotherapist with the healing power of dogs.


I wrote...

Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives

By Jane Miller,

Book cover of Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives

What is my book about?

The role that service dogs can play in the lives of people with invisible disabilities has started to receive national media attention in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and on Oprah. Service dogs have been assisting the blind, the hearing impaired, those in wheelchairs, and with other disabilities for decades. More recently, they’ve helped many veterans returning from combat to overcome the effects of PTSD and return to more fulfilling lives.

We are proud to say that Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives is the first book to profile the power that these extraordinary dogs have to transform lives. This groundbreaking book provides a window into the new world of Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSDs), and how they can offer a second chance at life to some of society’s most vulnerable people.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall

Jane Miller Why did I love this book?

Jane Goodall inspired me on the journey of my life’s work and passion. This book is a beautiful tribute to her groundbreaking work and life. I was honored to have been asked to be a contributor to this book, join me in celebrating her life and power to heal so many lives. 

By Dale Peterson (editor), Marc Bekoff (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Jane Effect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In her nearly 60-year career as a groundbreaking primatologist and a passionate conservationist, Jane Goodall has touched the hearts of millions of people. The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall is a collection of testimonies by her friends and colleagues honoring her as a scientific pioneer, an inspiring teacher, a devoted friend, and an engaging spirit whose complex personality tends to break down usual categories. Jane Goodall is the celebrity who transcends celebrity. The distinguished scientist who's open to nonscientific ways of seeing and thinking. The human who has lived among non-humans. She is a thoughtful adult with depth and sobriety…


Book cover of Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live

Jane Miller Why did I love this book?

This book had a huge impact on my life into exploring so many different healing modalities filled with love and compassion for animals we share our lives with. He eloquently explores the healing power of the human-animal bond with deeply personal stories. He changed my life and will impact your connection to the animals that you share your days with. 

By Allen M. Schoen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kindred Spirits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Treating animals just as any healer would treat human beings, Allen Schoen has become one of America’s most celebrated veterinarians. Kindred Spirits shares the transformative power of his remarkable methods, explores how alternative healing is revolutionizing his profession, and, in the tradition of James Herriot, shares heartwarming stories of animals and their caretakers who have deeply enriched each other’s lives. Through moving scenes–such as an ailing German shepherd who fights to stay alive so he can assist and comfort his ailing human companion–Schoen details the ways in which the human-animal bond can provide a wellspring of love and support, and…


Book cover of On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals

Jane Miller Why did I love this book?

This book had a huge impact on me many years ago when I started training Psychiatric Service Dogs. Turid opened my eyes to a complex understanding of how dogs communicate with us through subtle and not-so-subtle body language. I recommend this book highly to all of my friends that have dogs and my clients. You will learn to identify when your dog is stressed, how to recognize it, and then take appropriate action to help decrease and alleviate the dog’s stress. 

By Turid Rugaas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On Talking Terms with Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Yawning, lip-licking, sneezing, even scratching are just a few of the 30-plus signals that dogs use to communicate with one another.

With On Talking Terms With Dogs you can learn to recognize these signals and use them yourself to interact with your dog.

Norwegian dog trainer and behaviorist Turid Rugaas has made it her life work to study canine social interaction. She coined the phrase calming signals to describe the social skills, sometimes referred to as body language, that dogs use to avoid conflict, invite play, and communicate a wide range of information to other dogs and also humans.

Every…


Book cover of Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs

Jane Miller Why did I love this book?

I read this book many years ago and it still lives within me. A beautifully written book that will touch your heart deeply. She takes you on a journey that deepens your relationships with animals. She helps us understand the minds of our dogs with humor, intelligence, and more.

By Suzanne Clothier,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bones Would Rain from the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Akin to Monty Roberts's The Man Who Listens to Horses and going light-years beyond The Hidden Life of Dogs, this extraordinary book takes a radical new direction in understanding our life with canines and offers us astonishing new lessons about our pets. From changing the misbehaviors and habits that upset us, to seeing the world from their unique and natural perspective, to finding a deep connection with another being, Bones Would Rain from the Sky will help you receive an incomparable gift: a profound, lifelong relationship with the dog you love.


Book cover of Training Levels: Steps to Success, Vol. 2

Jane Miller Why did I love this book?

She is remarkable at breaking down easy ways to train your dogs with such ease and compassion. If you follow these steps you will have a very healthy, happy, well-trained dog. Volumes 1 and 2 are two of the best books to learn how to communicate and teach your dog everything they will ever need to know.

By Sue Ailsby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Training Levels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


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Radio Free Olympia

By Jeffrey Dunn,

Book cover of Radio Free Olympia

Jeffrey Dunn Author Of Radio Free Olympia

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’ve always been a child of the woods. I preferred to leave my home and wade a creek or explore a hillside. Nothing compared to the sight of a black snake or the feel of a mud puppy. School was a torture until an English teacher introduced me to Richard Brautigan and then read my first serious story to the class. Since then, this dyslexic nature lover has become a dream fisher and history miner with a Ph.D. in English Literature and Cultural Studies. Retired from forty-one years of teaching, I now write and publish cultural fiction.

Jeffrey's book list on where imagination and nature run free

What is my book about?

Embark on a riveting journey into Washington State’s untamed Olympic Peninsula, where the threads of folklore legends and historical icons are woven into a complex ecological tapestry.

Follow the enigmatic Petr as he fearlessly employs his pirate radio transmitter to broadcast the forgotten and untamed voices that echo through the wilderness. Venture deeper and encounter Baie, the founder of Wildsisters, a cranberry-infused roadhouse that offers solace to lost and wayward women. When a newborn is kidnapped, Baie and her community must unite to recover what has been stolen. Yet, their quest for justice extends beyond the realm of human characters—it must also be served for the fragile flora, the diverse fauna, and the very essence of the natural world.

Radio Free Olympia

By Jeffrey Dunn,

What is this book about?

Unleash the Power of the Wilderness in Radio Free Olympia


Discover the captivating allure of Washington's untamed Olympic Peninsula in Radio Free Olympia, an extraordinary literary masterpiece that immerses readers in a mesmerizing realm of visionaries, folklore legends, and historical icons. With an enchanting blend of magical realism and cultural fiction, the brilliant wordsmith Jeffrey Dunn artfully intertwines multiple narratives, crafting an intricate ecological tapestry that resonates deeply within the soul.


Embark on a riveting journey alongside the enigmatic Petr, a foundling whose path leads him deep into the heart of the majestic mountain rainforest. Armed with nothing but a…


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