In the beautiful book "Dogs: The family we choose," by Melanie Steele of Bluffton, you will find oversized photographs of more than 100 dogs and you will chuckle at the captivating variety of canine personalities.
Dog lovers, of course, will love this collection of cuteness, but even if you do not consider yourself a "dog person," be forewarned: You will be dog-smacked after you see this book.
The book is a loving tribute to dogs of every breed, size and talent. More substantially, the proceeds will benefit the advancement of research and medical care at the College of Veterinary Medicine's orthopedic group at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
Steele is the breeder of many champion Greyhounds in the U.S. over the past 20 years. Her 4-year-old GrandCru Giaconda, known as "Gia," recently won Best of Show at the 2016 National Dog Show televised on Thanksgiving Day, and in 2015 won Best of Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Steele has been nominated for the annual Winkies Achievement Award for outstanding breeder.
Included is a foreword by Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary in the George W. Bush administration and currently co-host of "The Five" on the Fox News Channel.
Perino and her husband have a Hungarian Vizsla named Jasper and love spending time at their home in Palmetto Bluff.
The photos by well-known dog photographer Holli Murphy of Nova Scotia magnificently depict man's best friend in water, field, forest and backyard in activities and expressions achievable only by these special creatures we call dogs.
The extraordinary photos are graced by the addition of thoughtful (and often funny) quotes from notable personalities, including this from Will Rogers: "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
Don't miss the "Meet the Dogs" section at the end of the book. A grid of 96 photos introduces the reader to the stars of this book and their owners, lending personal warmth to the stories told in the photographs.
The "Behind the Scenes" page provides photographic evidence of the challenges and joys in creating "Dogs: The family we choose."
If you have dog people in your family or circle of friends, this exquisite book published by Lydia Inglett Ltd. Publishing of Hilton Head Island is a slam-dunk perfect Christmas gift. You can order copies online at www.Starbooks.biz.
Glenda Harris of Bluffton is a freelance writer and editor, nature lover and aspiring novelist.