Recommended reading: Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs by Gene Weingarten

When we started working on the September cover stories about pets we thought it was a cute idea. Obviously, people love their animals and no one with a heart can help ooo-ing and aww-ing over portraits of sweet furry faces. It was around the time we started working on this that I attended the Mayborn Nonfiction Writer’s Conference at which Gene Weingarten, both a humorist and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, was a speaker.

In the gift shop at the conference were several books by featured guests. I picked up Weingarten’s “Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs”, showcasing the photography of Michael S. Williamson, and within minutes had tears in my eyes.

I think the book, which I shared with our photographers, inspired a deeper level of appreciation for our animal subjects, revealed in this month’s photos. The animals in the September stories are not just cute faces; they are best friends, siblings, comforters, healers, laugh-givers and life enhancers!

Here you can see some photos from the book. And I also recommend Weingarten’s tear-jerking essay about his own old dog, Harry.

“They can be eccentric, slow afoot, even grouchy. But dogs live out their final days,” writes Weingarten, “with a humility and grace we all could learn from …” more here.