By Jon Katz
Occasionally, swap comes on 4 legs.In his renowned and commonly praised operating to the Mountain, Jon Katz wrote of the energy and help he present in the large different types of his yellow Labrador retrievers, Julius and Stanley. while the Labs have been six and 7, a breeder who’d learn his ebook contacted Katz to claim she had a puppy that was once intended for him—a two-year-old border collie named Devon, good bred yet high-strung and homeless. Katz already had a whole canines complement—but, as he writes, “Change loves me. . . . It is available in all varieties. . . . occasionally, switch comes on 4 legs.” almost immediately thereafter he introduced Devon domestic. A puppy 12 months exhibits how a guy found a lot approximately himself via one puppy (and then another), whose temperament appeared as varied from his personal as day from evening. it's a tale of belief and realizing, of lifestyles and demise, of continuity and alter. it's by means of turns insightful, hilarious, and deeply relocating.
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Extra info for A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me
Did I believe in training? Neutering? The couple obviously liked the fact that I worked at home, liked to walk, and had a fenced yard. Even more, they liked my determination to train a new dog thoroughly. So they brought four-month-old Julius up from the kennel. He was delighted to make our acquaintance, licked me and Emma repeatedly, and when I took him in my arms, he fell asleep, his body cradled upside down, his head lolling. He came home with us. A professional trainer named Ralph Fabbo—so calmly authorative that the freakiest, most out-of-control dogs would sometimes wet the floor when he appeared at their front doors—came to my house an hour each week for two months.
But this breeder, who kept a fierce eye on her dogs even after they’d left her kennels, had been e-mailing me for a while. She’d read a book of mine called Running to the Mountain, which featured Julius and Stanley, not only as coverdogs but as major characters. She called me up; before long we were spending hours on the phone. Deanne wasn’t pushing me, she kept saying, but she believed this dog belonged with me. She meant to make it happen. I’d been fascinated by border collies for years, poring over books like The Versatile Border Collie by Janet Larson, browsing Web sites where owners post stories of their dogs’ weird behavior, exchanging tentative e-mails with breeders.
My mother, shrieking in fury, headed him off at the kitchen doorway and Sam led her on a desperate chase around the table, dragging the meat with him, leaving a trail of gravy and grease along her new carpet. I don’t know how long this would have gone on—we were all too astonished by Sam’s daring act to move, and my sister and I were silently rooting for him anyway—but my big brother finally knocked his chair over to block Sam’s route and tackled him. Even as he went down and was hauled off in a din of curses, whacks, and recriminations, Sam was gobbling as much of the entrée as he could.
A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me by Jon Katz