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A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me

– tekijä: Jon Katz

Sarjat: Bedlam Farm (1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5211435,854 (3.88)40
“Change loves me, defines and stalks me like a laser-guided smart bomb. It comes at me in all forms, suddenly and with enormous impact, from making shifts in work to having and raising a kid to buying a cabin on a distant mountaintop. Sometimes, change comes on four legs.” In his popular and widely praised Running to the Mountain, Jon Katz wrote of the strength and support he found in the massive forms of his two yellow Labrador retrievers, Julius and Stanley. When the Labs were six and seven, a breeder who’d read his book contacted Katz to say she had a dog that was meant for him—a two-year-old border collie named Devon, well bred but high-strung and homeless. Katz already had a full canine complement, but instinct overruled reason, and soon thereafter he brought Devon home. A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me is the story of how Devon and Jon—and Julius and Stanley—came to terms with each other. It shows how a man discovered a lot about himself through one dog (and then another) whose temperament seemed as different from his own as day is from night. It is a story of trust and understanding, of life and death, of continuity and change. It is by turns insightful, hilarious, and deeply moving.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 14) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Jon Katz loves dogs. His two Yellow Labs are the epitome of mellow doggie good citizens.

But then a breeder calls and asks him to take a problem dog. The breeder is a fan of Katz’s writing and doggie philosophy, especially his book Running to the Mountain. She feels that Katz would be the perfect fit for a troubled Border Collie, Devon. Devon had already flunked our out of agility and obedience training and been returned several times.

And so, after initially refusing, Katz takes on the dog. This is a dog who believes it is in charge and smarter than the humans. While not a mean dog, he strongly objects to direction by humans.

Katz’s training is not so much training, as letting the dog lead and Katz gently coming to terms with it.

Katz says he learns as much about himself as the dog. His love and respect for his four dogs – they are joined by one more Border Collie – shines through. His methods are sometimes a bit bizarre; such as deciding to let the dog chase trucks safely on the other side of a fence.

It’s a story dog-lovers will appreciate, although I know I would not be up to the task of taking on this particular dog.

I did like his writing style which is both loving toward the dogs and still somewhat matter of fact. Warning: you may need Kleenex, which happens with stories of animals with life spans shorter than ours. Overall, I would read more by this author; I’ll probably start with Running to the Mountain. ( )
  streamsong | Oct 13, 2020 |
This is a reflection of the author's life with a new "rescue" dog, over the course of a year. Devon is a neurotic Border collie that Jon is determined to help transition from obedience dropout to a loving family companion. The author lays out his thoughts and actions, whether seen as right or wrong, and so shares with his audience how the relationship between him and Devon progresses. I have read other books by this author, and rank this near the top of his works. ( )
  fuzzi | Nov 18, 2019 |
The narrator annoyed me, the dog training techniques as well as how he goes about acquiring his dogs irked me. It's not that I'm against only investing in purebreds - I think there's good reasons for both mutts/shelter dogs and breeders. But this man made a number of mistakes and didn't really apologize for them. As a writer, his characterizations of the people involved in his life were one-dimensional and frustrating. And knowing the truth about what happened to the dog doesn't help his case. ( )
  LSmith862 | May 31, 2017 |
I saw the movie that was based on this book and because Jon Katz is a writer I thought I'd see what my library had and this was one of them. It was fun reading a more in-depth account of raising Devon along with his labs and then later Homer, who was not in the movie. Although I'm more of a cat person, I enjoy other people's dogs and reading about them. ( )
  eliorajoy | Sep 15, 2013 |
DISAPPOINTED!

I feel cheated. Ripped off.

At the beginning of the book, Katz has two Labradors he loves. He writes rapturously of their perfect, content life together.

Then a breeder friend starts nagging him to adopt a troubled, difficult border collie.

I go through this every time I see a homeless animal. I want to adopt the rabbit on Craig's list, whose owners have realized they're not good caretakers. I want to take home the dog I saw at adoption day at the local pet store. But I don't, because even though those animals deserve loving homes, I already have three cats, and they deserve their fair portion of my attention, and I don't have the resources for another animal right now.

Also, I believe adopting a pet is like getting married or having a child. It's in sickness and health, for richer or poorer.

Katz agrees to adopt Devon, the border collie, the first of a lot of decisions I have a hard time with.

His beloved labs get swept to the background as he fights for dominance with Devon. He makes half-hearted references to his wife's reluctance to be part of his dog life.

And then one of the labs gets sick. I've been in this position with our elderly cat, and we had him euthanized when he was too sick to enjoy life. Katz makes the decision right away, without studying treatment options. What really made me angry was that he didn't let the dog adjust to the realization that he was dying. As soon as the dog couldn't run and play *all day long*, he had him put to sleep. There were no signs the dog was in constant pain, and damn, he should have had a chance to retire a bit, adjust to life with less activity.

Soon after this, the breeder starts pestering Katz about a puppy. And Katz, though he has his doubts (and so does his wife) goes and gets the dog because Oprah Winfrey says he should. Really. He's on Oprah's show to promote another book, and during the commercial break, he mentions the puppy. Oprah says, as the cameras come back on, that he should "make himself happy" and get the dog. Fuck me. This is how he makes the decision? Lets someone with no knowledge of the situation tell him to get the dog to make *himself* happy? Ugh. I felt sick.

I did a little research on Katz before reading any more. Turns out that "A Dog Year" has a happy ending, but later Katz writes a book about his decision to put Devon to sleep because of behavioral problems.

I'm not in his shoes, I've never been in this situation with an animal. But I just don't trust his judgment. I mean, was it a good idea to encourage the dog to chase trucks, even from behind a fence? No, I can't read any more because I don't think I have anything to gain from this man's perspective. He talks about how much he loves the dogs, but it has no resonance with me. What I really want to do is find a rabbit or a guinea pig who needs something to chew on.

( )
  periwinklejane | Mar 29, 2013 |
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“Change loves me, defines and stalks me like a laser-guided smart bomb. It comes at me in all forms, suddenly and with enormous impact, from making shifts in work to having and raising a kid to buying a cabin on a distant mountaintop. Sometimes, change comes on four legs.” In his popular and widely praised Running to the Mountain, Jon Katz wrote of the strength and support he found in the massive forms of his two yellow Labrador retrievers, Julius and Stanley. When the Labs were six and seven, a breeder who’d read his book contacted Katz to say she had a dog that was meant for him—a two-year-old border collie named Devon, well bred but high-strung and homeless. Katz already had a full canine complement, but instinct overruled reason, and soon thereafter he brought Devon home. A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me is the story of how Devon and Jon—and Julius and Stanley—came to terms with each other. It shows how a man discovered a lot about himself through one dog (and then another) whose temperament seemed as different from his own as day is from night. It is a story of trust and understanding, of life and death, of continuity and change. It is by turns insightful, hilarious, and deeply moving.

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