The Weird and Wonderful Dogs of the Texas Book Festival #txbookfest

Photo credit: T.M. Franklin
Austin, Texas is a city with a wonderfully weird vibe. The residents take pride in their quirky culture, which probably makes it the best city in Texas in which to hold a book festival.

I attended this year with my publisher, TWCS, but as great as it was to meet with readers and autograph books, I think I had even more fun meeting all of the dogs brought by the festival-goers.

I kept snapping pictures of all the canines I encountered. My fellow authors even started calling me over whenever a dog came in sight that I might have missed.

I  made a comment to Sandi Layne about this delightful furry parade, and she said, "You should do a blog post about it."

Why, yes. Yes I should.

I met this superhero and his tutu-clad companion on the first day. SuperDog had beautiful blue eyes. And possibly x-ray vision. He didn't say. But I can tell you that no supervillains attacked the festival, so thank you SuperDog, wherever you are.

This handsome fellow is Toothless, named after the dragon. He had a tag with a picture of his namesake on his collar.

I encountered this little guy as he was making a run for it.

Fortunately, he was quickly stopped in his tracks when he happened to encounter a discarded crust of pizza on the pavement, and his human was able to scoop him up before we had to summon SuperDog for a rescue.

These two were riding in style, one in a Coach bag and the other in a coach.

This bulldog barked whenever she felt her human was lingering too long at a table of books. Too much to see to dally!

This gentle giant is a Bernese mountain dog. The photo doesn't really capture his massive size, but when I knelt down, his head was on level with mine, and I'm pretty sure he weighed more than I do. He was with the border collie on the right, representing the Austin Dog Alliance, a charity that provides therapy dogs and training classes. The border collie seemed absolutely stoked to be there, the kind of enthusiasm that makes you smile just to see it.

Divine Canines is another dog charity that was represented at the festival. They provide free therapy dog services to help autistic children, veterans with PTSD, and do hospital visits. That was the most chill Labrador I have ever seen.

Some dogs were excited to meet a new friend.

Others were more interested in the crumbs around the food trucks.

I got a lot of kisses.

I saw dozens of different breeds.

Dogs in pairs and trios ...

I even saw a dog and giraffe duo.

All of the wonderful dogs I met over the festival weekend gave me dozens of smiles.

I met one last dog on my way home. The TSA dog was kind enough to pose with Sam, though he had to be convinced not to chew on him.

Thank you, Austin, for another great year at the Texas Book Festival, and for bringing all of your awesome dogs with you! I'm sure I'm not the only one whose day was brightened by them.


  1. Great post! :) I LOVE Bernese Mountain Dogs!

    1. He was so SWEET, but oh so very, very huge! He had a very calm presence, so you could see why he'd be great with therapy, but oh, boy... I can't imagine living with him. He'd want to cuddle while you were reading, and try to sit on your lap and crush you like a bug.


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