A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me by Jon Katz

By Jon Katz

Occasionally, swap comes on 4 legs.In his well known and greatly praised working to the Mountain, Jon Katz wrote of the power and help he present in the big different types of his yellow Labrador retrievers, Julius and Stanley. whilst the Labs have been six and 7, a breeder who’d learn his ebook contacted Katz to assert she had a puppy that was once intended for him—a two-year-old border collie named Devon, good bred yet high-strung and homeless. Katz already had an entire dogs complement—but, as he writes, “Change loves me. . . . It is available in all types. . . . occasionally, switch comes on 4 legs.” presently thereafter he introduced Devon domestic. A puppy yr indicates how a guy came upon a lot approximately himself via one puppy (and then another), whose temperament appeared as various from his personal as day from evening. it's a tale of belief and figuring out, of existence and dying, of continuity and alter. it's by means of turns insightful, hilarious, and deeply relocating.

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The better we got to know each other, the more effective her message. Devon, she said, was a special case in need of special handling. He was uncommonly bright, willful, and emotionally beat up. From my book, with its descriptions of Julius and Stanley and of my cabin in rural upstate New York—close to border collie nirvana—she suspected that I had a high tolerance for odd dog behavior. And Devon was, well, odd. After a few weeks of this back-and-forth, she put him on a plane and shipped him from Lubbock, Texas, eastward to his new life.

Stanley will swim out, under these conditions, to fetch his retriever toy. I cheer him on. Julius watches. They are incomparably regal, though. The casual observer might think that they were merely resting between missions. Some passersby remark that my dogs must be superbly trained to sit on the beach like that despite all the temptations, to resist leaping into the water. Thanks, I say. Yes, they are very disciplined. Well, they have other gifts. Kids come over to meet them, pat them, climb all over their furry bodies.

John Steinbeck once wrote that it was the nature of humans as they grew older to complain about change, especially change for the better. I have never really had that particular problem. 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. One Welcome to Newark Airport He was a two-year-old border collie of Australian lineage, well-bred but high-strung, and in big trouble.

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