38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I've read all Jon's books and loved them all. But, this one is my all time favorite. It touched my heart so deeply. Jon portrayed beautifully the connection between dogs and humans. His honesty about not always finding the right words to describe this connection was refreshing. Sometimes things just don't have an explanation. They can only be felt with the heart. Jon does this so eloquently in Izzy and Lenore. My own dog, who is in a wheelchair, does therapy work with hospital patients and assisted senior facilities. What transpires when she interacts with them is absolute love on a level most times I cannot find words for. All I know is that I witness something bigger than myself. Bravo, Jon for sharing Izzy and Lenore with hospice and nursing home residents and now sharing those beautiful stories with the world... what a gift for everyone.
~Barbara Techel, Author of Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2010
Hi. First of all, I want to say that jon katz is a good writer and I have enjoyed several of his books over the years. However, when I read this book, I kept thinking, where is Clementine (Clem), the lab who was the perfect dog in his last book? Oh, he gave her away to a couple who was hiking so she could get more exercise. Jon lives on a farm for God's sake so I think Clem got plenty of exercise. What happened to Tulip, the older lab who had orthopedic problems? Oh, he gave her to his daughter who lives in the city. He said this was for Tulip's own good because she needed medical care and a more restful life. Well..... maybe. Jon does have to travel because of book signings, etc. so yeah, I can see why he re-homed her with his daughter. Maybe his career travel made it difficult to do right by Clem, but why then did he go out and buy a new black lab pup if he did not have sufficient time for the wonderful Clem? Are you getting the picture here? I defended Jon for his decision to put down Orson who had a loose-cannon aggression problem and I still stand by my opinion that this was the responsible thing to do. However, I am no longer a Jon Katz fan because he goes through dogs like nothing. One book they are the greatest dog in the world and next book he has a new puppy which is the greatest dog in the world (there are one or two other such re-homed dogs in previous books as well). It is clear that he has some emotional problems and buys dogs to try to satisfy these emotional needs. He is a good writer but I am no longer interested in his stories.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2008
Jon's story is really about many journeys intertwined. At the center is an abandoned dog named Izzy and the discovery of his amazing gift for shepherding humans through the most difficult transitions they will ever face. Along the way, Jon experiences a journey deep into himself, to a place he's avoided for too long. Thanks to Lenore (the adorable face on the cover), Izzy, Rosie, Elvis and a few very special humans, Jon was able to cross the valley of shadows and share a story of hope, love, compassion, and understanding.
For anyone whose life has been touched by the unconditional love of a dog (or really any animal), this book will make perfect sense. I purchased it on a whim one particularly rotten morning on my way to work, and finished it the same day. Thanks to Jon, Izzy, Lenore and the others, I have new hope for my own journey...
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2008
Katz seems to have found a new voice for himself...a voice in which he can speak to the reader with more sincerity, more feeling, and to be honest an easier more flowing speech. This book reads like travel literature, moving easily from section to section, experience to experience. The dogs are once again front and center, but I felt as though their 'voices' were more distinct. I felt that this book was much easier to read and enjoy than his previous titles, although it should be noted that some of the subject matter may be a little too close to home for some. Katz approaches these moments with humor and at the same time sensitivity...dare I suggest the word grace. An excellent read for anyone interested in the power of dogs and the bond between spirits.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2008
According to Jon Katz, "This book is about small things, like getting a new dog that changes your outlook. And about big things, like having a dog lead you places you never imagined going."
Katz continues a remarkable series of books about his animals, the ones living on Bedlam Farm, in IZZY & LENORE. Life has settled into a routine on the farm, but Katz is a sucker for new challenges. He has heard tales of a beautiful purebred border collie, abandoned on a small farm and relegated to running beside fences every day. His coat filthy, tangled with burrs, and his fur mottled with his own waste, the dog has run the fence line for three years. Watching the fur ball whiz past him, Katz feels the impact of an important happening. This animal is special.
The plan is simple. Nurture the dog, feed him and ready him to be placed in a caring home. But Katz cannot restrain himself from becoming emotionally involved with Izzy. Tough to train and nearly impossible to tame, Izzy seems born with a mission. He responds to loving contact with a human and becomes "Jon's dog." Katz is keenly aware that Izzy will lead him to places he's never dreamed of going.
Long beset with periods of depression, Katz discovers Izzy's ability to lift his dark moods, a constant and consistent companion beside him. When a nearby neighbor requests that Izzy visit her dying mother, Katz enters a realm of service he had not visualized was possible --- a social but compassionate purpose. The simple act of spending time with a dying woman to brighten her day stimulates Katz. Izzy's gift is soon opened to others who face death, as he and his owner become hospice volunteers.
The chapters that follow chronicle Izzy's remarkable ability to minister to those in terrible physical circumstances. Katz travels outside himself, guided by Izzy, to aid these families, relieving his own depression. Engaging photographs throughout the book endear the reader to the renegade orphan turned healer.
But IZZY & LENORE is a story about two dogs, the second being Lenore, the black lab puppy Katz described as "...a creature of light and laughter. Lenore could come...in the midst of a terrible time, and make me smile..." Alert, playful and curious, Lenore follows Katz like a black shadow, a loving companion woven into his daily routines. Not a good hospice candidate, Lenore nevertheless finds merit by simply being herself. Katz allows her to emerge into a sense of worth unlike Izzy's, but with loving character. Perhaps she, too, will develop the qualities desired for hospice work.
Topping more than 15 previous books, most of which describe life on Bedlam Farm, IZZY & LENORE is Katz's jewel. Hope is the point word to describe this delightful story. The two dogs work in tandem, each in their own manner, to bring their owner new direction and peace. Katz emerges from his physical and emotional troubles with renewed vigor. His loving characterizations of both pets reveal the depth with which both have entered his life.
--- Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2008
izzy and lenore are very special. I have read all of jon katz's books and loved them all. jon is a big softy but he also can make the hard decisions about what is best for the animals. having his dogs become hospice dogs had truly changed all their lives for the better. they have just the right temperment for this work. I follow their bedlam farm website also, and jon posts great pics every day of all the animals. you can't help but love them. enjoy the book!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
He is my favorite author....involves his audience right away, makes the reader feel like extended family...has excellent balanced perspective., and captures the essence of his animals, and for those that share that love of animals, he gives us an extended animal family as well.
And Yes, I have his other books about dogs also - his writing style is the same with each...
When one of his books comes out, I purchase it, never disappointed.
(He also has a website, by the way, also excellent)
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2008
My dog Zeus, a Curly Coated Retriever worked as a therapy dog for 6 years, at both a residential hospice and a long term nursing home, bringing love and joy to those who had little to look forward to. I was his driver, the one on the other end of the leash. It was Zeus the patients waited to see, shared their secrets with, whose black curls they cried into, who licked their tears away, and who offered his unconditional love.
Reading this book, I was transported back to that time. I laughed. I cried, and continually nodded remembering our interactions with patients, their families and staff. Like Izzy, Zeus loved all the attention, and was a gentle, intuitive healing presence. And like Jon, I too grew spiritually, and had parts of myself healed I didn't even know were broken.
The writing is wonderful and personal, and drew me in from the start.
I didn't want the book to end. I hope Jon and Izzy and Lenore continue to do hospice work for a long time to come.
Read it...you won't be disappointed.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2009
[ [ASIN:1400066301 Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me]] I have read all of Jon Katz's dog books and I have to say that this book was disappointing. There was something about his writing in this book that made me feel like he had to explain himself about the labs he'd given away or the border collie(s) he'd rehomed in the past and how ., in order to feel good again , he needed another puppy(after rescuing Izzy, who frankly seems like a dream dog. Can't imagine topping that one!). I wish I had money enough to re-make my life and buy a farmhouse and surround myself with animals to ease my discontent with my current life. I did not enjoy this book and I know this to be true because I put it down more than I spent time reading it. I think I'm done with Jon Katz.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The bond between human and animal, and the amazing account of Izzy's ability to adapt to each situation, were clearly and lovingly illustrated in this book. The case studies of the individual patients were sensitive and genuine, and often brought tears to my eyes. Mr Katz was also very straightforward about his own problems, and that in itself could be helpful to some of his readers. I adore Border Collies, have owned (or been owned by) a total of 4 so far over the last 30 years, and Izzy was such a great example of the breed, and what can be done with a sensitive, intelligent dog. This was a lovely, touching book, and I was sorry when I got to the last page.