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Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm by Jon…

Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm

by Jon Katz

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Jon Ronson
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
Jon Katz is an author of both fiction and nonfiction books and has become tired of the noise and daily grind of city life. He fell in love with Bedlam Farm, a small sheep farm in upstate New York very close to the Vermont border. Here he and devoted workers diligently restore the old homestead and various barns and outbuildings; and here Jon lives with his true passion, his dogs (2 border collies: Rose and Izzy, and 2 yellow labs: Clem and Pearl), and assorted other animals. John's wife, Paula, still lives in New Jersey as she is a teacher and journalist but travels to the farm as often as possible.

Fortunately Jon states at the beginning of the book that no dogs will die in the following pages; thank goodness for that because I hate to sob through an entire book. However, there are other animals to contend with but only one goes to Farm Heaven early in the book. The stories of Jon's relationships with his dogs are wonderful. The farm also houses 4 donkeys, a cat, many sheep, chickens and a rooster, and a huge cow named Elvis that is unaware it is so large but loves people and will lick them just as a dog would. It is not a perfect life as there are animal injuries and sicknesses to deal with, the cost of feeding such a large zoo and the everyday problems of farm life. But I loved the book and the message of human-animal bonds. And I particularly like that a book about dogs was written by Katz.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
I enjoyed neither his prose nor his persona. ( )
  marti.booker | Dec 2, 2013 |
wonderful reflective stories about life on a farm in upstate New Hampshire. ( )
  Nancy.Mosholder | Nov 30, 2009 |
Chronic pain issues aside, this guy is living a life many of us dream about but just can't swing. Animal lovers are sure to have their heartstrings pulled overtime by this sentimental book and many (me included) will soon find themselves staring wistfully at ads for larges tracts of fixer-upper rural land hoping to follow his lead. After finding out that Mr Katz has put out several other books of this kind, I can't believe his place isn't positively overrun with dog lovers hoping to catch a peek. I certainly admire the author's nerve to turn his life upside down to pursue his dream. It's a very endearing story and the accompanying photos were most welcome, but the actual writing seemed just a little...hmmm...lackadaisical to me so I took the rating down just a little. Even so, it's a nice, casual read about an eclectic group of animals and their people and definitely an enjoyable read. ( )
  dele2451 | Aug 28, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140006404X, Hardcover)

In Dog Days, Jon Katz, the squire of Bedlam Farm, allows us to live our dreams of leaving the city for the country, and shares the unpredictable adventure of farm life. The border collies, the sheep, the chickens, the cat, the ram, and one surprisingly sociable steer named Elvis all contribute to the hum (and occasional roar) of Bedlam. On timeless summer days and in punishing winter storms, Katz continues his meditation on what animals can selflessly teach us–and what we in turn owe to them. With good neighbors, a beautiful landscape, and tales of true love thrown in, Dog Days gives us not only marvelous animal stories but a rich portrait of the harmonious world that is Bedlam Farm.

Praise for Dog Days:

“Anyone who has ever loved an animal, who owns a farm or even dreams of it, will read Dog Days with appreciation and a cathartic lump in his or her throat.”
–The Washington Post

“Katz proves himself a Thoreau for modern times as he ponders the relationships between man and animals, humanity and nature, and the particularly smelly qualities of manure.”
–Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Katz constructs the perfect blend between self-revelation and his subtle brand of humor.”
–The Star-Ledger

“City-dweller-turned-farmer Katz . . . returns with further adventures from his animal-filled upstate New York sheep farm. Charming.”

“The perfect summer book . . . You will not be disappointed.”
–The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A new twist on the American dream.”
–The Christian Science Monitor

“Thoroughly enchanting.”
–The Dallas Morning News

From the Trade Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The squire of Bedlam Farm shares the unpredictable adventure of farm life. From little Jesus, the newborn donkey who becomes the farm mascot, to the sociable steer Elvis and his enormous sweetheart Luna, the creatures at Bedlam Farm find new ways to challenge Katz. Riding herd on the place is Rose, the workaholic border collie. Not even Rupert the ram can intimidate her. The sheep, the chickens and the cat all contribute to the hum (and occasional roar) of the place. So do the vet, the carpenter, and the animals' tender-hearted nursemaid. In spite of the aches and pains brought on by his demanding lifestyle and days when Bedlam Farm truly lives up to its name, the author is sustained in all he does by his wife, Paula. Through summer days and winter storms, he meditates on what animals can selflessly teach us.--From publisher description.… (more)

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