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Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,211 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
In Dog Days, Jon Katz, the squire of Bedlam Farm, allows us to live our dreams of leaving the city for the country, and shares the unpredictable adventure of farm life. The border collies, the sheep, the chickens, the cat, the ram, and one surprisingly sociable steer named Elvis all contribute to the hum (and occasional roar) of Bedlam. On timeless summer days and in punis ...more
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Villard (first published January 1st 2007)
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteWatership Down by Richard AdamsBlack Beauty by Anna SewellAnimal Farm by George OrwellWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Best Books About Animals
195th out of 1,021 books — 1,371 voters
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Books with Dogs on The Cover
142nd out of 224 books — 83 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,956)
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Jun 29, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this book an unequivocal 5 stars for the first half, but the last 1/3 to 1/2 kind of sucked, even though it was very well read. The narrative wandered which I wouldn't have minded if it hadn't been so long & repetitive. It might have been me, but after telling about a dog, the blacksmith, or a particular part of the farm for the first half of the book, why reintroduce them with the same words? I'm not likely to forget either since they've been mentioned many times already. ...more
Mar 15, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The dogs were awesome, and the pictures were great, but this guy is no James Herriott. His writing was repetitive and just not all that interesting in a lot of places. I want to read about your kick-ass dogs, not the Grunt-and-Grumble-whatever.
Eva Leger
May 06, 2010 Eva Leger rated it liked it
Recommends it for: open minded dog lovers/owners
Recommended to Eva by: Suzanna
I wasn't sure what I'd think of Dog Days because I'm kind of picky with the dog books I read. I ended up enjoying this and not picking up anythng else while I was reading this. If we had the option of half stars I'd give it a 3.5 for sure. And I'm definitely more eager to read more of his books, especially the two or three I already have stashed somewhere.
Katz isn't your average dog owner. This is the reason I recommend it to "open-minded" dog lovers and owners. I wasn't really what you'd call
Aug 11, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it
I began with 'A Dog Year' several years ago and it will always be on a short list of favorite books for me. 'Dog Days' is the continuing story of Jon Katz and his life on Bedlam Farm(with several other books in between). He continues to adjust to now a variety of animals, but with special emphasis on his dogs and their roles in his life and on the farm. He is very open about his struggles in life and how animals have played a strong role in life changes he has made. It in no way makes me have an ...more
Apr 08, 2008 Teeni rated it it was amazing
I've read 2 of Katz's other book, and it has been good reading about his growth as a human because of his animals. This book focuses less on the dogs, and more on his animals in general. The theme of the book is "do right by the animal." I read this book at a great time, after giving away my "lifetime" horse because I wasn't doing right by her. This book emphasized that my wants, wishes and dreams are not more important than those of the animal. This is a great book for animal lovers . . .
Barbara Boudreau
Mar 14, 2014 Barbara Boudreau rated it it was amazing
John Katz has a lovely way of speaking about his dogs and animals. I am an Aussie Shepherd owner, or rather, she owns me. I can see all of her attributes in his dogs, particularly Rose. I would love some day to visit his farm in New York. He seems like a really wonderful man who has found his place there on the farm, after having lived a former life in the urban setting. Good job, John Katz! I listen further. . . .

His former book, "A Good Dog" about Orson was actually kind of sad. We dog lovers
Jul 02, 2013 Kat rated it liked it
Shelves: doggies
This is a book for elderly people and the sweet old person inside all of us. It is a pretty boring book.
Jan 27, 2016 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: dogs, nonfiction, memoir
Jon Katz is an author of both fiction and nonfiction books and has become tired of the noise and daily grind of city life. He fell in love with Bedlam Farm, a small sheep farm in upstate New York very close to the Vermont border. Here he and devoted workers diligently restore the old homestead and various barns and outbuildings; and here Jon lives with his true passion, his dogs (2 border collies: Rose and Izzy, and 2 yellow labs: Clem and Pearl), and assorted other animals. John's wife, Paula, ...more
Apr 13, 2010 Forrest rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. This is the first Jon Katz book I have read. After reading this book, I will seek out books written by him. I picked out this book only as a lark, but happy I selected it. I agree with Katz philosophy about dogs - that they are animals, companions and soul-mates, but they are not human. Katz does a good job in communicating his love for his dogs, Rose, Izzy, Pearl and Clem. Each dog, two of them working dogs, have their own characteristics, personalities, and abiltie ...more
Bark's Book Nonsense
Nov 13, 2009 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I enjoyed this book so very much and am going to search out his others. The author chronicles his life as a newish care-taker of various animals including dogs, donkeys, sheep and even two cows. His rural neighbors are friendly but I guess think he's a little odd what with his penchant for taking in useless animals such as donkeys but it seems he's winning at least a few of them over as one asks him to "buy" a cow that he just can't bring to slaughter. The book is filled with love and pain and l ...more
Aug 14, 2012 Kelley rated it liked it
"currently reading" 02Aug2012 I really enjoyed reading "A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me" by this author, but was slightly put off (my own hang up)by "The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me" because I am rubbed the wrong way by "hobby agriculturalists". However, I forgot the book I was reading when I was on a trip, and I found a used copy of "Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm", and I do like his writing style and perspective, so ...more
I read this because Jon Katz, who lives a few counties away, came to my public library (standing room only!) to talk about his writing, his newest novel Rose in a Storm, writing in general, living with dogs and other animals on a farm in Upstate New York.

I live in Upstate, some of my friends live on farms, but I do not. And I've never had a dog. I don't want to live on a farm, thank you! I'm more of a cat person. (Please don't hurt me, all you dog lovers!) I like a lot of what he had to say and
Dec 29, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Dog Days is a book about Jon's life on Bedlam Farm, the farm he owned (until recently) outside of Saratoga Springs (which is north of Albany, which is north of New York City...). It's a quiet, unassuming, and green part of the state for any of you who may have driven through. It's the kind of place you would expect to find farms tucked into the hills, even if one of those farms has an overly affectionate cow, multiple overprotective donkeys, sheep, a rooster with a rather hysterical harem of hen ...more
Angela Gaskell
Apr 14, 2011 Angela Gaskell rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2009 Gemma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs, non-fiction
Another wonderful installment of Katz's life on a small farm in West Hebron, NY.

I picked up my first Katz book entirely on a whim. I saw a border collie on the cover, scan read the blurb, and threw it onto a huge pile of library books I was collecting. Once I started reading, I was hooked, and I've been eagerly tracking down his books ever since.

In this installment, we're reminded of the animal cast at his farm, and introduced to new faces. Katz continues to write with an honesty and introspect
May 19, 2008 Sfdreams rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dog lovers, animal lovers, jon katz fans
Shelves: reviewed
I have been a fan of Jon Katz for many years. I REALLY enjoyed his suburban dectective series--I wish he still wrote mysteries. But his nonfiction dog books give me a glimpse into his life. And it almost makes me want to have my own small farm. (But I know I am too lazy to all the work it takes to keep a farm going, and would need lots of $$$ to hire others to do it for me!)

I read this book in two days, then gave it to my 85 year old father, who read it in about the same time frame.

This book in
Apr 09, 2009 Cjusti rated it really liked it
Shelves: critters, audio
This book gives the individual who has an aspirations of becoming a farmer or wanting to have a ranch a hard reality check. Farmers and ranchers who raise animals as a means of making a living, have to make some very hard decisions and they make them matter-of-factly and swiftly. Jon like most city folks wants to treat every critter as if they were a pet. He comes to find out that it is one thing to go to great lengths to care for a dog, no matter the medical costs, but an entirely different sto ...more
May 16, 2012 Janell rated it really liked it
I enjoyed getting lost in the loveable chaos of Bedlam Farm. There's so much going on around the place, it seems a new adventure is always right around the corner. Although the title is "Dog Days" and there is plenty of focus on the dogs in this story, the peripheral characters - donkeys, sheep, and a steer named Elvis - also provide plenty of entertainment.

As someone who is quick to anthropomorphize animals, I found it interesting that the author does not. Despite being surrounded by such inte
Jan 12, 2015 J.T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: canine
While Jon Katz is controversial in some circles for non-professional dog management, his Bedlam Farm memoirs are captivating and gritty. They detail the activities of the farm's dogs, donkeys, sheep, cat, steer, chickens--and the man himself, who gets by with lots of support from more country-wise locals.
Jon Katz writes dog stories from the heart. His anecdotes of life with multiple animals at Bedlam Farm, in upstate New York, fill the reader with warmth. The reality at Bedlam Farm is that much
Aug 14, 2011 Michelle rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2011 Graham rated it liked it

This is an interesting book, and I would say not for all dog-lovers. Jon Katz runs Bedlam Farm as a hobby, albeit a hard one, especially for someone not in the best physical health (Katz suffers from spinal problems). He's written a series of books (none of which I've yet read), but one gets the sense that he's on a continuing journey to find his place on the farm.Anyone who like me (and many pet-owners) can't help giving human-characteristics to animals, may be slightly irritated by the author'

Jan 23, 2015 Sherrie rated it it was amazing
This book like all the others I've read from Jon Katz it is all about his farm, Bedlam Farm, and the animals that live there. Rose and Izzy, the Border Collies that take care of the sheep and most of the other animals. Pearl and Clementine, are Labs. While Jon takes you on a daily tour of his farm and animals, he also fills in all the gaps about his friends and family. Wonderful book! If you haven't read any of Jon Katz's books, you should, they are great books for animal lovers.
Mar 26, 2016 Mindy rated it liked it
This is a collection of everyday events in the life of Jon Katz and his animal collection. His animals include 4 dogs, a donkey, chickens, and cows. With his normal humor, Jon relays various events throuhgout the course of a year at his farm. There is no real cohesiveness to the book; it is not a "story," but rather just a random collection of events and thoughts. Easy & quick read.
Feb 21, 2010 Helen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Jon Katz fans, memoir
Jon Katz seems to have moved away from his original purpose of writing books about the challenges of raising dogs. Although there are some chapters in this book about his beloved dogs (Rose, Izzy, Pearl, Clementine), much of the book is about the trials and tribulations of becoming a farm owner. His menagerie grows to include several donkeys, a rooster, cows and of course, sheep. The book reads like a series of memoirs - with chapters focusing on one or more of the animals or people in his world ...more
Oct 21, 2014 Jayne rated it it was ok
It had some interesting parts but I found it redundant. Seemed like it could have been edited down by about 1/3. Probably like everybody, I wanted to lean more about how he messed up with his previous dog because it seemed like there could be a practical lesson in that.
Aug 25, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
I loved reading dog stories when I was a kid, mostly the collie stories from Sunnybank. Jon Katz does a great job of relating the life of his dogs on his farm. Good to relax with over a cup of tea, with some deep thoughts to keep you coming back to over time.
May 26, 2014 Suzanne rated it liked it
Author Jon Katz, fulfilled his dreams by leaving life in the big city to run a small farm in upstate New York. He calls the place Bedlam, and it’s filled with sheep, donkeys, chickens, cows, a cat and several dogs.

In Dog Days, Katz tells the story of his farm and his animals and the connections he has to them. It is well told and charming. You can’t help but yearn longingly for a place of your own and a special dog that become your “lifetime dog.” But Katz doesn’t sugar-coat life on a farm. It’s
Mar 23, 2016 Cpuryear rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Some chapters dragged a bit with philosophising, but overall I love to read about his farm and his relationships with his animals.
Deborah Darsie
Apr 20, 2016 Deborah Darsie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-nf, read-dog
Wonderful stories helping the reader get to know the different animals as individual animals - rather than just the donkeys, the lab, the (former) bull etc.

I felt so much compassion for the journey toward a decision Mr. Katz needed to make for the welfare of his lovely youngish Lab, Clementine.

I realized I used to live near the area Bedlam Farm is located...many ears ago!

Every one of his named animals are shared with the reader - so many insights into quirks of 'personality'...relationships wit
Feb 24, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
"In Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm", Jon Katz shares his stories of living on a farm in Vermont with dogs, sheep, donkeys, chickens, a couple of cows and various other animals. Motivated to move north to give his beloved border collie a place to herd sheep, Katz began to take in animals and adapt to life on a farm. Each chapter is a stand-alone story in which we learn more about the animals on his farm, his neighbors and fellow farmers, and mostly Jon Katz. Katz has written a number of bo ...more
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Jon Katz is an author, photographer, and children's book writer. He lives on Bedlam Farm with his wife, the artist Maria Wulf, his four dogs, Rose, Izzy, Lenore and Frieda, two donkeys, Lulu and Fanny, and two barn cats. His next book, "Rose In A Storm" will be published by Random House on October 5.
He is working on a collection of short stories and a book on animal grieving.
More about Jon Katz...

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