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The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story by Jon…
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The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story

by Jon Katz

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Although this book was interesting, it was almost more about the author and his problems/challenges than it was about the dog. That he would even consider taking on the training of this dog, which most people (even dog many trainers) would have given up on, says a lot about his objective and commitment. I did think, though, that someone who himself is not in control should be taking on another project which would entail getting another being under control. It seemed like a particularly bad fit. However, he persevered in everything and eventually was able to get everything he wanted: his finances under control, marry the woman he loved, and train Frieda to an acceptable level. . ( )
  whymaggiemay | Nov 6, 2017 |
Review: The Second Chance by Jon Katz.

I didn’t care much about this book. I didn’t care for the Author, his writing skills, or his attitude towards animals. I guess he has written many books on dogs but the dog, Frieda in this story was not a show dog, a well-breed dog, and she was not obedient. Frieda was a mixed-breed, a rottweiler-shepherd, who was savagely raised as a guard dog.

However, the book wasn’t about a dog, it was misleading. It was mostly about an older man (Author) of sixty-one-years old with all kinds of emotional infractions he brought on to himself. He meets his neighbor Maria, a women in her forty’s who I thought was some kind of prude spinster, but found out she was married. At the time they met they were both at the end of their marriages, so they slowly became friends. In the meantime Mr. Katz’s seemed like he was going through a crisis of love-sick hormones. They kept their friendship going on until after their divorces and then their puppy love affair began. They both lived on a farm and Mr. Katz had an assortment of animals; three dogs, chickens, donkeys, cats, and sheep. Maria only had Frieda who she adopted from a shelter. Frieda was at the shelter for almost a year and nobody wanted her and she was about to be put to sleep so Maria, who is kindhearted but a little eccentric thought she could control Frieda.

The reason I didn’t care for the book is because the story was mostly written about Mr. Katz and Maria and it wasn’t anything to get excited about just a bunch of repetitious whining, anxiety issues, that was boring to read over and over. I also didn’t like the comments, innuendos, and opinions Mr. Katz wrote against animals and society. His attitude and behavior was not at the top of my list either.

Frieda had a story to tell but the author’s love life, problems, and anxiety issue took three fourths of the book to tell. Frieda was born in a breeder’s unsanitary kennel to be trained as a guard dog. The home she had as a guard dog was a run-down mechanics garage. Being fenced in an open small area all day long then allowed out to guard the garage and cars against thieves. She was fed twice a day, whatever they could scrounge up, and Frieda was mistreated with rocks, sticks, and human abuse all day while waiting to be a guard dog at night. The owner wanted her mean and able to protect his property. One day Frieda got away but came back a few days later and after some time the owner could tell she was pregnant and took her far away to a mountain range and dropped her off in the wilderness to fend on her own. One day she got spotted scrounging areas for food by a college campus and it took the authorities a year to catch her. It was a sad life Frieda had and more to her story but the author gave the reader just enough tab-bits to keep them reading about his depressing life. I’m rating it a two star but not for the book but for Frieda….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A late review from an Early Reviewer. Katz has written many touching autobiographical books about himself, and his relationships with a series of dogs and other animals. This book partly describes his encounter with a dog that had grown up in bad circumstances and been feral, before finally being adopted by a kind hearted lady who happens to be Katz's love interest. His attention to the dog is clearly self interest, and in this very self-indulgent tale it is clear that the "second chance dog" is really Katz. To me it seems ironic that this talented writer displays such an incredible level of immaturity and selfishness in his human relationships even while his observations on animals and their intelligence, loyalty, and adaptability are striking. His lack of loyalty in his own relationship was evident, and his brief and callous comments on his prior marriage and family while he flirts with and marries a much younger woman are frankly disappointing. As typical, the quality of the writing was excellent, but I have no desire to read further books by this author. ( )
  BarbN | Sep 16, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was disappointed in this book. While easy enough to read and enjoyable most of the time, I was expecting a book about a dog. What I got was a book most about his relationship with Maria and various personal issues and stories. Less than half the book was about the dog, Freida. And then I didn't like his attitude about dog training. To paraphrase, "Nothing written about dogs or talked about dogs by professional trainers matters. All that matter is what I think and feel." Nor his attitude about pets in general, "They are not family, they are animals." Lastly, he repeated himself, mostly when describing Maria. I rated it as high as I did because he is a solid writer and the book was engaging. I did find it difficult to put down for much of it. ( )
  Morphidae | May 31, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I've read a lot of Jon Katz's books and enjoyed every single one. As a dog lover, I've always enjoyed his way of sharing the heart centered lives of his canine companions.

With that in mind, I really liked getting to know more about Jon's heart and his struggles in this book. As someone who has had anxiety attacks, I really appreciated how honest Jon was in sharing his struggles with them. I think it's important for people to share the way he has. It takes anxiety and depression out of the dark and allows others to know they are not alone.

I loved how Jon took the time to find Frieda's story from her beginnings at a backyard breeder in the Appalachians to her suffering as a neglected guard dog. This book made me cry so much and I loved it. I loved how Jon Katz did not give up on love, did not give up on Frieda and ultimately did not give up on himself. Thank you for sharing your powerful and loving story Jon Katz! ( )
  paolasp | Feb 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345531175, Hardcover)

From New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz comes a wise, uplifting, and poignant memoir of finding love against all odds, and the power of second chances for both people and dogs.
 
“I had no idea that Frieda would enter my life and alter it in the most profound way, but that’s one of the beautiful things about animals. They change you, and you almost never see it coming.”
 
In 2007, a few years after purchasing Bedlam Farm in upstate New York, Jon Katz met Maria Wulf, a quiet, sensitive artist hoping to rekindle her creative spark. Jon, like her, was introspective yet restless, a writer struggling to find his purpose. He felt a connection with her immediately, but a formidable obstacle stood in the way: Maria’s dog, Frieda.
 
A rottweiler-shepherd mix who had been abandoned by her previous owner in the Adirondacks, where she lived in the wild for several years, Frieda was ferociously protective and barely tamed. She roared and charged at almost anyone who came near. But to Maria, Frieda was sweet and loyal, her beloved guard dog and devoted friend. And so Jon quickly realized that to win over Maria, he’d have to gain Frieda’s affection as well.
 
While he and Maria grew closer, Jon was having a tougher time charming Frieda to his side. Even after many days spent on Bedlam Farm, Frieda still lunged at the other animals, ran off into the woods, and would not let Jon come near her, even to hook on her leash. Yet armed with a singular determination, unlimited patience, and five hundred dollars’ worth of beef jerky, Jon refused to give up on Frieda—or on his chance with Maria.
 
Written with stunning emotional clarity and full of warm yet practical wisdom, The Second-Chance Dog is a testament to how animals can make us better people, and how it’s never too late to find love.
 
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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:05 -0400)

Relates the author's relationship with a quiet, sensitive artist named Maria Wulf and his campaign to win over Maria's fiercely protective dog, Frieda, a Rottweiler-shepherd mix who resisted all efforts to tame her.

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