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A Good Dog: The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life | [Jon Katz]

A Good Dog: The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life

From the very beginning, Orson was a misfit. Like all border collies, he needed to work. But since there weren't any sheep available for herding in the New Jersey suburbs, Orson instead tried to corral school buses, garbages trucks, and skateboarding kids. So Katz pulled up stakes and moved to a farm in upstate New York. There, Orson improved dramatically - until the day he started nipping people. The nips soon turned to bites, forcing Katz to face an incredibly painful decision.
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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author and popular talk-show personality Jon Katz has been hailed as the heir to legendary British writer and animal lover James Herriot. In this poignant and deeply personal memoir, Katz shares the story of Orson, the border collie who was his "lifetime dog".

From the very beginning, Orson was a misfit. Like all border collies, he needed to work. But since there weren't any sheep available for herding in the New Jersey suburbs, Orson instead tried to corral school buses, garbage trucks, and skateboarding kids. So Katz pulled up stakes and moved to a farm in upstate New York. There, Orson improved dramatically - until the day he started nipping people. The nips soon turned to bites, forcing Katz to face an incredibly painful decision.

Whether or not you are a dog enthusiast, this emotional audiobook will have you laughing, scratching your head in astonishment, and possibly even shedding a few tears.

Pet shop: explore our list of titles about dogs, cats, and other pets.

©2006 Jon Katz; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"A lovely memoir." (Booklist)
"[Katz's] subtle, evocative descriptions...vividly capture the fascinating, enigmatic lives of animals." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (160 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Leslie-Ann Oshawa, ON, Canada 01-23-13
    Leslie-Ann Oshawa, ON, Canada 01-23-13 Member Since 2012

    I am the girlfriend to a wonderful man, the mom to two sweet doggie boys and two overly cautious girl cats, the Manager, Operations and Knowledge Support Services at CAMH, a blogger, a reader, a business owner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a neice, a cousin, a twitter lady for The Puppy Rescue Mission... AND VERY TIRED! LOL!!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A man and a dog who just Loved Each Other too Much"
    Where does A Good Dog rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's right up there. Writing about the hardest moment of your life is difficult but well Jon Katz did it superbly! I am going to read all of his books now...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Good Dog?

    When he just let Orson go.


    Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

    Jon


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It did make me cry. It made me laugh, it made me cringe, it made me imagine...


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gayla mettler adkins richland, wa United States 08-18-07
    gayla mettler adkins richland, wa United States 08-18-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intensely Valuable and Real"

    It is undeniably apparent that Mr. Katz needed to write this book. His account of the border collie persona is right-on. Never has ths reader been moved so deeply by any book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Rodger Gantt 01-23-07 Listener Since 2004
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    "The Lifetime Dog"

    Those of us who have "owned" several dogs over our lifetimes usually have a favorite. The author, Jon Katz, refers to this as our "lifetime dog". Mine was Amica who always wanted to be with me, watched my every move and even snoozed next to the couch where I napped. For Katz it was Orson, a border collie totally dedicated to him but with problems.

    The book, "A Good Dog: The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life" was written by both Katz and Orson. Orson provided the experiences which Katz, a professional journalist, gave narrative. Orson did not take well to the strict training and shepherding competition before he entered Katz's life.

    Orson gives Katz a reason to leave suburbia and buy Bedlam Farm in upstate New York. Katz acquires donkeys, sheep and other animals with which he and Orson can interact. But Orson prefers Katz, which is okay until the dog nips and then bites other people. Katz has Orson treated by a veterinarian, a holistic vet and even an animal shaman, but with little lasting result. Katz has to make a decision.

    This book will have very special meaning for anyone who has or had a lifetime dog.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle Newport Beach, CA, United States 03-09-11
    Gayle Newport Beach, CA, United States 03-09-11

    GG

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    "too sad"

    This is the first of a series of books highly recommended by Jon Katz. I loved the book, but for the first one about his life and the dogs...............this is very sad-be prepared. (it didn't help that by beloved dog Hobbes just died)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Ocean Shores, WA, United States 11-06-10
    Jill Ocean Shores, WA, United States 11-06-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Great book!"

    This is a well wriiten, well narrated book that had me sitting in the car longer than need be to hear more. At one time, I had to pull over to keep from driving with tears in my eyes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Hanover, PA, USA 01-29-07
    Julie Hanover, PA, USA 01-29-07
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    "Not for everyone..."

    I couldn't finish this book...it just wasn't holding my attention. I do love dogs and was looking forward to this read, but I couldn't get into it...I hate to use the word "boring", but it really was....

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Orting, WA, United States 02-11-13
    Amazon Customer Orting, WA, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2012

    I love stories about dogs!

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    "Very easy to listen to"
    What disappointed you about A Good Dog?

    That it ended :-)


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Looking for something with a series about dogs


    How could the performance have been better?

    Not much. Great narrator, great story line.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Good Dog?

    I can't think of any


    Any additional comments?

    I've read/heard quite a few and really enjoyed this narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stanley Meridian, ID, United States 03-17-12
    Stanley Meridian, ID, United States 03-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Eternal Friendship"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Good Dog to be better than the print version?

    They would be equal.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Good Dog?

    The choice to move to the farm in New York in order to stay together.


    What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

    His timing and interpretation of the reading.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Now and forever.


    Any additional comments?

    The book allows others to perhaps better understand the needs of both humans and animals to interact in a manner that reveals the interconnectivity of life, regardless of whose life it may be. This book contains great joy and sadness, surprise and wonder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Tucson, AZ, USA 11-06-09
    Nancy Tucson, AZ, USA 11-06-09
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    "It broken my heart and made me smile"

    As a life long pet owner,I know the highs and lows of sharing the lives of our extended familys that are shorter than our own. Animals give us the greatest of highs and the lowest of lows.Jon Katz teaches us how both of these enrich us. This is a great tribute to how powerful a man and an animal relationship can be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemary Kramme 08-17-08 Listener Since 2005
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    "Just Love Dogs"

    You will enjoy the ups and downs of Orson. Great dedication to duty. Loved it!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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