My favorite book of a relationship between a person and animal is Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.
This is a non fiction book based on the true story of how a undersized and underestimated race horse with crooked legs became a legend, and in the process healed the heart and broken spirit of Johnny "Red" Pollard, a man once abandoned by his family in times of great poverty. Red becomes Seabiscuit's jockey when Charles Howard, Seabiscuit's owner realises that horse and man have very similar tempraments - they're both rebelious, unruly and always ready for a fight. If you haven't seen the movie version of it yet, do so! It's incredibly touching, and one of my all time favorites. Starring Tobey Maquire and Jeff Bridges.
Some other really great books about humans and their animal friends that you might consider reading:
Marley & Me: Life and love with the world's worst dog by John Grogan
Marley & Me - The Book
Marley & Me - The Movie
My friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
I also highly recommend the movie Flicka - based on the novel but replaces the pratagonist with a young girl instead of a boy.
From Baghdad with love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava by Jay Kopelman with Melinda Roth
From Baghdad, with love
Animals are amazing, and they are the inspiration of so many great stories. If you're in the market for a new pet, please consider adoption! I know taking a newborn puppy home is an amazing feeling, but there are so many abandoned animals who need new homes and lots of love. PLEASE! Visit your nearest shelter and adopt a pet who will give you just as much love and joy as a newborn.
Here are links to adoption sites for South Africa's Wetnose: