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A Dog Year: Rescuing Devon, the Most…
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A Dog Year: Rescuing Devon, the Most Troublesome Dog in the World (edition 2008)

by Jon Katz

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4881231,627 (3.86)31
Member:aynar
Title:A Dog Year: Rescuing Devon, the Most Troublesome Dog in the World
Authors:Jon Katz
Info:Ebury Press (2008), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**1/2
Tags:None

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

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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 |
Selfish, self-centered man...it's all about him, it's not really about the dogs at all. If it were, Julius and Stanley would have been allowed to live a happier existence without the ridiculous stress brought into their world. ( )
  fbswss | Aug 6, 2012 |
For a guy named Katz, he sure knows how to write a story about dogs. It is touching, sentimental, funny, sad, instructional, cautionary and inspiring. A sure-fire hit with those who love canines. A definite recommend for anybody considering pet adoption, especially if they are thinking about a border collie. ( )
  dele2451 | Jun 2, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812966902, Paperback)

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, as he writes, “Change loves me. . . . It comes in all forms. . . . Sometimes, change comes on four legs.” Shortly thereafter he brought Devon home. A Dog Year shows how a man discovered much about himself through one dog (and then another), whose temperament seemed as different from his own as day 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Author's entertaining accounts of his experiences with dogs, especially Border collies.

(summary from another edition)

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