BOOK REVIEW

  THE DOGS OF BEDLAM FARM - JON KATZ

Jon was yelling at his dog, Orson, one day.  He was telling him to "Lie down" getting louder and louder each time.  Carolyn, a dog trainer gave Jon Katz some advice that day.  She said, "That wasn't good dog training in there.  You're getting angry, talking too much, being too reactive.  Face it:  if you want to have a better dog, you will just have to be a better goddamned human."  Jon took this advice to heart.  He realized that Carolyn wasn't really yelling at him, she was just giving voice to a powerful idea - Dogs are blameless.  If dogs have problems, it is because we fail to correct them.  We are responsible for them.  Dogs are often what we make of them. 

In this book, Jon tells the story of how he spends an unforgettable winter on his forty-acre farm in upstate New York.  When Jon bought the farm he knew he really couldn't afford it but on the other hand, he couldn't really afford to wait either. 

Jon tells of his experiences of caring for a very ill donkey, caring for his sheep during blizzards and training a new puppy to herd sheep.  He also tells us how his dogs helped him make new friendships.   He sums it up by stating "this book is about how several dogs led me to confront my own sense of humanity and challenged me to try to be a better human being.  It's about the startling degree to which dogs can enter and alter a human life."

Jon Katz has written a heartwarming book.  His story will help people understand the bond between a dog and their owner.  If you have read and enjoyed any of Jon's earlier books, you will also like this story.  It is filled with his humor, honesty and insight on animals.  This book is highly recommended. 

REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, NANCY EATON

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