Review

A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me

by Jon Katz



A DOG YEAR by Jon Katz is more than a tale of two Labrador
Retrievers, two Border Collies, and the people with whom they share
their lives. It's a story about the intimate bond between a man and
his dogs written in an honest, straightforward style that will both
touch and break your heart.

Julius and Stanley, the two noble beasts that grace the back cover
of the book, will enchant even the stodgiest reader, while Border
Collies Homer and Devon delight with their wild antics. The
contrast between the two large white trundling labs and the small
black and white whirling dervishes sings from the pages of this
short book, which readers will undoubtedly share with friends,
family, and anyone who will listen to sections read aloud.

A DOG YEAR chronicles 12 months of Katz's life in the type of
clean, clear voice that sets this author apart from the pack. There
is no baby talk here and no "how-to" sections, though readers may
want to take notes. Stories on nearly drowning while playing catch
with Julius and Stanley in upstate New York come to mind. What
readers will find hidden --- or buried --- in chapters amid
humorous anecdotes are nuggets of wisdom from a true dog lover.
Multiple daily walks, imported dog food, piles of dog biscuits, pig
ears, and dog beds show readers how Katz dotes on his dogs. But
what touched me most was learning how the four dogs dote on
him.

Spinning a web of human emotions that range from rage to sheer joy,
Katz captures the essence of what it's like to love dogs that can
outwit and out-love their human companions. This is a book for dog
lovers and their unfortunate, dog-less counterparts. It is about
growing and changing, losing and gaining, and realizing that
enjoying every moment --- whether it's gazing at a mountaintop or
sneaking a whole roasted chicken from the fridge --- is what life
is about.

A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me
by Jon Katz

  • Publication Date: May 6, 2003
  • Genres: Nonfiction, Pets
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0812966902
  • ISBN-13: 9780812966909