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

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Villard Books, 2006 - Pets - 224 pages
16 Reviews
“People who love dogs often talk about a ‘lifetime’ dog. I’d heard the phrase a dozen times before I came to recognize its significance. Lifetime dogs are dogs we love in especially powerful, sometimes inexplicable ways.”–Jon Katz

In this gripping and deeply touching book, bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his lifetime dog, Orson: a beautiful border collie–intense, smart, crazy, and unforgettable.

From the moment Katz and Orson meet, when the dog springs from his traveling crate at Newark airport and panics the baggage claim area, their relationship is deep, stormy, and loving. At two years old, Katz’s new companion is a great herder of school buses, a scholar of refrigerators, but a dud at herding sheep. Everything Katz attempts– obedience training, herding instruction, a new name, acupuncture, herb and alternative therapies–helps a little but not enough, and not for long. “Like all border collies and many dogs,” Katz writes, “he needed work. I didn’t realize for some time I was the work Orson would find.”
While Katz is trying to help his dog, Orson is helping him, shepherding him toward a new life on a two-hundred-year-old hillside farm in upstate New York. There, aided by good neighbors and a tolerant wife, hip-deep in sheep, chickens, donkeys, and more dogs, the man and his canine companion explore meadows, woods, and even stars, wade through snow, bask by a roaring wood stove, and struggle to keep faith with each other. There, with deep love, each embraces his unfolding destiny.

A Good Dogis a book to savor. Just as Orson was the author’s lifetime dog, his story is a lifetime treasure–poignant, timeless, and powerful.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tayitude - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this book for the most part - literally until the last couple of chapters. John Katz is a likeable guy for the most part and a good writer, even if he's a skeptical, cantankerous old fart ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - donitaremy1 - LibraryThing

Made me cry. Anyone who has ever had a border collie, especially a "haunted," "troubled" border collie could completely relate to this book. We, too, had to make the difficult choice to euthanize our ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
15
Section 3
39
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Jonathan Katz initially worked as a reporter and editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, and later as executive producer of the CBS Morning News. Jon Katz is now a media critic, a journalist, and the author of several books covering a vast repertoire of topics. Katz has written several novels as well as non-fiction works which cover topics ranging from geek culture to his relationship with dogs. His titles include The Story of Rose, Dancing Dogs, A Good Dog, and Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm.

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