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March 02, 2014

Celebrating 'If Pets Had Thumbs Day' With 7 Classic Pet Tales

Today is a holiday. I bet you didn't know that and you are probably wondering what it is you are supposed to be celebrating and why you still have to go to work (or school) on a holiday. Well, If Pets Had Thumbs Day isn't exactly a recognized holiday, but it is one of those quirky, fun ones that you don't want to miss. We all know that our furry, feathered, and not-so-furry friends don't need opposable thumbs to win their way to our hearts -- there are multitudes of other ways in which owning pets can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Literature is full of examples of great pets and I'm sure that you've read and cried over your fair share of heartwarming animal stories. So in honor of If Pets Had Thumbs Day, here's a list of seven classic emotionally heart-wrecking animal tales:

black beauty1. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell: I've never owned a horse, but I've known plenty of people who have and apparently you can get quite attached to these big, furry creatures. Sewell's classic novel is a must-read simply because the book was meant to advocate for better treatment of horses back in the day. That's something I could definitely get behind!

call of the wild2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London: Admittedly, this is less of a book about a dog being a pet than it is about a dog getting in touch with his wild side, but Buck's devotion to John Thornton is the stuff of legend and will make you wish for your own completely devoted dog.

charlotte's web3. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White: This book is, in my opinion, one of the best children's classics out there and probably the first animal related book to ever make me cry as a child. It is a story about the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte, but the tale really takes off with Fern Arable's determination to save Wilbur's life at the beginning of the book when it's discovered that he's a runt who is possibly too small to survive. Consider my heart strings fully tugged.

the-horse-and-his-boy4. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis: This one is one of the less realistic books on this list, but a good one nonetheless. What I really love about Lewis' narrative is that the boy belongs more to the horse than the horse to the boy. Most pet owners can relate (we all know it's our cat or dog who's really the boss).

WhereRedFern35. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: This one completely tore me apart in my younger years. This story of a boy and his dogs will hit so close to home it will leave you devastated. And you'll learn a few interesting facts about raccoons along the way. Bonus!

yearling6. The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings: The Yearling is one of those books that punches me right in the feels every time I so much as think about it. Deer aren't exactly your standard pet which is what makes this such a lovely story. However, be warned, the ending will make you simultaneously glad and horrified that you read this fantastic narrative.

old yeller7. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson: We all knew this one would make an appearance on this list. Possibly one of the most tragic pet stories of all time, it's also one of the most popular. Honestly, how Gipson managed to write this book without having a complete emotional break-down is beyond me. Anyone who has had to put down their loyal furry friend will understand the chaotic feelings which go along with reading this awesome story.

What about you? What are some of your favorite animal or pet related stories? Sharing is caring so be sure to give us your thoughts! Have a very happy If Pets Had Thumbs Day and be sure to hug the favorite animal in your life. :)