Nighttime Stories for Rescued Dogs

Written by Patricia Lawler Kenet, Illustrated by Santiago Germano


To all those people who resisted the cuties in the pet shop and the fancy-pants breeders and went straight to the shelter to find their one and only.


This book is not intended for children, especially those of a delicate nature. In some cases, the topics will include dirty, gross, and smelly objects and activities. 

I'll be discussing many types of inappropriate behavior, including testicle licking, poop consumption, and butt sniffing.

I'm sure you can understand why certain delicate children should avoid these stories. 

How to Read These Stories

     Read these stories only to dogs, especially rescued dogs. The stories are particularly useful when dogs are feeling low, when they have misbehaved (and require a second, third, or fourth chance), or when they seem to need your attention desperately.*

     Read in a low, soft voice, unlike the tone you use after your dog has done something bad -- like sniffing your aunt's crotch, peeing on a Persian (rug or friend), or lumbering over your body and leaving a strange scent behind. Speak convincingly. Believe every word you are saying, even if it's not true. It will be true if you know you are healing each other and bonding in that moment. Because that's how dogs live their lives: in each moment -- neither regretting the past nor fearing the future. They live for you. When your dog needs some quality time, open up this book.

     After a few sessions that begin with the question: "Do you want to hear a story?" your dog will snuggle next to you, roll onto her back, and gaze at you with expectant eyes that are filled with unconditional love. Actually, she may be hoping for some leftover veal piccata, but she will realize soon that it's time for a story. Perhaps, for a few precious moments, it won't be about trash bags, tail chasing, or ear-splitting barks; it will be about listening to your voice and knowing your heart is filled with almost as much love as your four- or three-legged friend has for you. Feel free to change a few words here and there and add details to fit your dog's interests and delights. 

Let's begin.

*Statistical studies have shown that 45 percent of dogs need attention when their caregivers are working at home on a deadline; 23 percent need attention when caregivers have settled down to watch their favorite television program or an exciting sports event, and the rest need attention at random and very inconvenient moments, including (but not limited to) napping, lovemaking, eating, entertaining, and enjoying a must-see YouTube video of a cat in a suit of armor.  


  1. Sweet Teat
  2. The Birthday Party
  3. Dogs Should Not Be Presents
  4. I Hope You Don't Remember
  5. A Bedtime Story for the Dog (by the Cat)
  6. The Ugly "Dogling"
  7. I Will Come Home Again
  8. Your Foster Brother, Benny
  9. Your Balls Are Safe
  10. Prayer


     When you were born, you probably had two or three brothers and sisters. I'm not really sure of the number, but I am sure about one thing: you were the most special of them all. After spending nine weeks squished up in your mother's belly, it was finally time for her to see how marvelous you were. Now, every puppy is special and beautiful, but you were the most special.

     Your mother knew that as soon as she laid her eyes on you. She loved the soft fringe on your triangle-shaped ears and your dark, shiny eyes. She told you that the white spots on each side of your shoulders were where your angel wings had been. 

     She loved the way you tried to walk and how you wiggled around like a blind drunk. She also loved the little squeaking sounds you made and your fresh, clean smell. She licked you and kept you warm like all the other puppies in the litter. She snuggled with the tiniest puppy and spoke softly to the fattest one. She made sure none of them wandered too far away from her. To anyone looking, it would seem that she loved all of her other puppies the same, but she loved you more. And because she loved you more, she gave you her Sweet Teat. 

     None of the other puppies got to taste it. She saved her sweet teat for you. It was located in a secret place next to her heart, and she kept it hidden until you were ready and hungry. Her sweet teat was filled with so much delicious milk. In the morning, she offered you smoky ham flavors accented with marrow and mice. In the afternoon, the flavor changed to pork and peanut butter vitamins. At night, you were always surprised with something soothing that helped you fall asleep: vanilla ice cream, carrots, and a mysterious flavor that was better than chicken... chicken vomit, perhaps?

     This mysterious flavor always gave you the best dreams. In these dreams, you were the leader of a wolf pack, the king of the animal world -- but most of all, you were safe with a belly full of Mom's Sweet Teat goodness. 

     Usually, you got to the Sweet Teat when your brothers and sisters were asleep, but if the other puppies ever tried to get a taste, your mother would gently nudge them to another teat where they got their share of nourishment and grew bigger and stronger all the same. No one knew the secret of the Sweet Teat except for you and your mother. No one was jealous or hurt. There are many reasons why you are a lucky dog and why you became the greatest dog of all time. Also, there are many reasons why you're the most special dog on this earth. But one of the first reasons was Mom's Sweet Teat. It made you strong and good and full of love and power. It was a one-time miracle. She never shared it with any baby ever again.