For anyone who has ever had a special relationship with a dog, Jon Katz is a treat. He gives us a deeper understanding of man's best friend, and aptly describes a life centered around dogs. Until one has lived with a dog and interacted with them 24/7 (as I have) can they begin to understand the intensity with which a dog can and will bond to a human being, and how that bond changes the human in question. Dogs have been bred over centuries to be the working companions of humans with little regard to the consequences. With a deep understanding of the needs of the breeds he loves, Katz honors every dog who crosses his path with the right sort of life, even if he is not the right person with the right situation for the dog. The reader who loves dogs will enjoy this book.
If there is one criticism I have of Katz, it is this: He backs away from expressing his love of the canine in favor of describing his knowledge and skills with discipline and training. This leaves the reader wondering if his admiration for his "pack" is truly love or if it is actually clinical interest, fodder for his writing. Katz often seems like the aloof man with the cookies who is available for the odd ride in the pickup or vet visit.
That said, if you are after amusing tales of farm animals from someone both confused and bemused by his relationship to sheep, cows and donkeys, and of course dogs, add this one to your reading list.
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