The story line of Katz's latest book can be summed up very simply two dogs die and two new ones join the family but its charm comes from an intricate blend of witty anecdote and touching reflection. Katz (Geeks, Virtuous Reality) has shared his affection for years with two low-maintenance Labs, whose "chosen work was to reflect on the state of the world, lick neighborhood kids, and accompany [him] through midlife." So it is somewhat surprising that he next adopts a frenetic and demanding border collie he occasionally refers to as "Helldog." His life turned upside down; his writing schedule disrupted, he learns to center his life around a dog's needs rather than vice versa. After adopting the homeless Devon, Katz adopts his second border collie, Homer, because Oprah Winfrey urges him to. (He appears on her show for his book about his Labs, Running to the Mountain.) He's fallen in love with the breed's intelligence and curiosity. In fact, both breeds seem to touch something in his soul the Lab his centered, peaceful side; the border collie his troubled side. Over the course of the year, Katz reflects on the importance of devotion to and understanding of any animal taken into the home; ways to live peacefully with border collies; and even the problems of midlife crisis. "Once in a great while," he muses, "the right person is fortunate enough to get the right dog, to have time to take care of it, to connect with it in a profound way."
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Adult/High School-Katz's smooth, flowing writing style and engaging manner of describing the personalities of his four dogs will captivate even reluctant readers. That he unobtrusively conveys lessons about dignity, discipline, and trust along the way is a bonus. In the opening pages, the family has two golden Labrador retrievers (Julius and Stanley) of tranquil and stately demeanor who have meshed perfectly into the rhythms of the author's daily writing routine and are beloved by neighbors in their suburban NJ locale. Then, he takes in Devon, a high-strung, two-year-old Border collie "with emotional issues." Surmounting the challenges presented by this beautiful and intelligent (but willful and anxious) animal, bonding with him and restoring equilibrium, fill many an entertaining chapter as the author cajoles Devon into accepting his new owner as the alpha male in the pack. Further adjustments are necessary as illness prematurely claims the lives of both Labs, and a Border collie puppy, Homer, is introduced into the household. In final chapters, wanting to satisfy the collies' native instincts as working dogs, Katz seeks out a training opportunity for them to experience herding sheep, and is rewarded by appreciation for their aptitude and high-energy intensity on the job. Throughout the story, adventures are touching, humorous, and winsome.
Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The second Jon Katz book my husband and I read. We loved both books.Published 5 days ago by Mary G. from Stg.,CA
It was a charming book, not sentimental but realistic about a dog with emotional problems and a unique view on life! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Barbara N. Porter
Jon Katz is a great writer. I've enjoyed 3 of his books about dogs, especially Border Collies. This is a "Must Read" for herding dog owners and any dog lover. Read morePublished 5 months ago by MrBill
First book of Jon's I ever read and I've been hooked ever since!Published 9 months ago by Shari Russell
I am not much of a reader... rather, I love being outdoors in the thick of things... but I couldn't put this down! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Pati Hughes- Fudge
the book was okay. he's a great writer but sometimes it got a bit boring. if your a dog fan definitely read this bookPublished 11 months ago by Arianna's awesome ipad
Quirky author gives highlights on himself, his ownership / train'g of 2 border collies (Devon & Homer), as contrasted to his relatively serene relationship with 2 prior yellow Labs... Read morePublished 12 months ago by J.
For me so far, (and I have more current works to look forward to reading), this has been my favorite book. I think anything I've read by Jon Katz is more than worth reading. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Candid