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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

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Gayle
  • Newport Beach, CA, United States
  • 03-09-11

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)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

  • Overall
  • Jill
  • Ocean Shores, WA, United States
  • 11-06-10

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Tucson, AZ, USA
  • 11-06-09

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Heartbreaking

You fall in love with Orson the dog and his antics. If you love dogs you will love this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not Just For Dog Lovers

Awesome read!!! This book will appeal to all, whether dog ppl or not... Poignant, heartwarming, and thoughtful characters and plot make this rich and vibrant in all ways... There's some good humor, especially from Chance, and the mirroring of human and canine events is subtly and skillfullly done... Warning... You'll need hankies, but spoiler alert - it's a great ending and the good dog pulls through... Definitely worth a credit and you're welcome;)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Just Love Dogs

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful