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The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story Paperback – September 30, 2014
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Praise for The Second-Chance Dog
“No one speaks the language of a dog like best-selling author Jon Katz. His latest heartwarming memoir about finding love after struggling through a broken relationship . . . gives testament to how dogs can make us better human beings.”—The Free Lance–Star
“[An] intimate story of falling in love with a woman and her extremely protective pet dog . . . Bittersweet in its telling, Katz reminds readers of the importance of human and animal connections.”—Kirkus Reviews
“In this heartwarming story of love and redemption . . . dogs and humans alike get second chances at life, love, and growth. . . . This moving work is recommended for readers who want a true-life love story, for dog lovers seeking a book with a happy ending (the dog doesn’t die!), for seniors who think that receiving a Medicare card means that love is out of the question, and for dog trainers who want to learn more about Katz’s philosophy of dog training.”—Library Journal
“The story [Katz] tells gives hope that no animal is beyond help, as long as enough love and patience are thrown in.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
Praise for Jon Katz
“With wisdom and grace, Katz unlocks the canine soul and the complicated wonders that lie within and offers powerful insights to anyone who has ever struggled with, and loved, a troubled animal.”—John Grogan, author of Marley & Me
“Katz’s world—of animals and humans and their combined generosity of spirit—is a place you’re glad you’ve been.”—The Boston Globe
“From Toto to Marley, our canine friends are a sure bet in the literary biz. But no one seems to speak their language like Jon Katz.”—San Antonio Express-News
“Katz proves himself a Thoreau for modern times as he ponders the relationships between man and animals, humanity and nature.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“I toss a lifetime award of three liver snaps to Jon Katz.”—Maureen Corrigan, National Public Radio’s Fresh Air
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Jon Katz has written twenty-five books, including works of nonfiction, novels, short stories, and books for children; he is also a photographer. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Rolling Stone, and the AKC Gazette, and has worked for CBS News, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives on Bedlam Farm, in upstate New York, with his wife, the artist Maria Wulf, and their dogs, donkeys, barn cats, sheep, and chickens.
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Top Customer Reviews
While some have criticized that this book is not enough about the dog, Frieda, I disagree. It is Frieda who makes this story what it is. It may have likely not been as powerful a love story as it played out, if not for Frieda.
Not only does Jon open up about his many struggles,he also shares Maria's. For both of them to open up in this honest way isn't an easy thing to do and I found it very brave.
Two of my favorite things about the book:
The list that Jon made to honor and show Maria how much he loves her (I plan to make a copy of this to refer to often).
How he writes from Frieda's point of view and what it may have been like for her when she lived in the Adirondack's surviving on her own.
I certainly don't want to give the ending away, but The Christmas Miracle chapter had my throat tightening and tears spilling down my cheeks with complete joy. It is magical.
This one continues the saga of Katz on a farm, but with new background characters. He's trying to rebuild his life after a divorce and talks at length about how miserably lonely he is. There's a maturity to Katz's voice; that of an older, less confident man facing major life changes.
This book is less about the dog Frieda, the Second Chance Dog, than it is about Jon starting life anew with a new partner and her dog. Frieda is part German shepherd/Rottweiler with a very high hunting drive. She doesn't like other dogs or live stock. She has to be separated from the other dogs while on the farm. The book starts out slowly. He learns to adopt to his new life and them, just as the dog learns to adopt to her new surroundings with him. And then there is a dog fight between her dog and his dog. Things start to make sense to Katz.
Frieda taught Jon to be more tolerant and to be very patient. Jon Katz had believed in his earlier books that dogs must live with humans; dangerous dogs had to be destroyed. In an earlier book, "A Good Dog," Katz described how he had a veterinarian friend come to his farm to euthanize (kill, really) one of his own border collies, Orson, that he couldn't train himself because the dog had bitten one of the farm's visitors. I kept thinking this book would come to the same end. Gladly, this book doesn't end this way and Katz learns through his new partner and dog that tolerance, patience and dedication to retraining can mend broken hearts and behavior.
The writing is solidly Katz. It's fluid. Katz is a great writer. I see this book as redemption on Katz' part to make amends with his past. If you like good dog stories where people play the major roles rather than the dog(s), this is a nice book to cuddle up with. This is not Katz' best work, but it is good work.