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Dog Year

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,045 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jon Katz's "Going Home."
"Change loves me, defines and stalks me like a laser-guided smart bomb. It comes at me in all forms, suddenly and with enormous impact, from making shifts in work to having and raising a kid to buying a cabin on a distant mountaintop. Sometimes, change comes on four legs."
In his popular and widely prai
ebook, 0 pages
Published February 19th 2002 by Random House Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2002)
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Jul 10, 2007 Angela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody at all
Shelves: gaveupon

I feel cheated. Ripped off.

At the beginning of the book, Katz has two Labradors he loves. He writes rapturously of their perfect, content life together.

Then a breeder friend starts nagging him to adopt a troubled, difficult border collie.

I go through this every time I see a homeless animal. I want to adopt the rabbit on Craig's list, whose owners have realized they're not good caretakers. I want to take home the dog I saw at adoption day at the local pet store. But I don't, because
Jan 31, 2011 Walker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Enough with the bred dogs. Learn your lesson already and get a dog from a pound. Then you won't have to put them to sleep when they're much younger than most dogs because of diseases caused by overbreeding or put them to sleep because you can't control their behavioral issues. Shame on you, Jon Katz. Use your money and fame for some good.
Kara Dennison
Jan 11, 2013 Kara Dennison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after seeing the film of the same name starring Jeff Bridges. There is a great deal left out, understandably, but both were enjoyable. As a former border collie owner myself, I enjoyed the stories of Devon and Homer attempting to herd things, as well as pulling seemingly impossible stunts while their owner was away.

I'm not sure this is a book for people not completely enamored of dogs -- in particular, for border collie owners who understand and embrace their quirks. In that res
Jan 25, 2011 Ryann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and think the author has a nice, friendly writing style, but it's hard for me to get past the fact that he keeps buying bred dogs. Despite seeing his dogs lead short lives because they are bred and suffer from hereditary problems associated with overbreeding, he keeps buying bred dogs. Come on, Katz. Hit up a shelter. They'll live a lot longer, you'll be saving a life, and you'll be setting a great precedent for all your readers to follow. You're exactly the kind of person wi ...more
Carol  MacInnis
Jun 09, 2011 Carol MacInnis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jon Katz tells a wonderful story in "A Dog Year" about living with his dogs and acquiring a border collie named "Devon" who is slightly out of control. Every dog is different as are humans, but in this novel, getting to know Devon was an experience all in itself. It had me laughing, it had me crying, it had me right from page one! In times like today when life can have so many ups and downs, there is nothing like the companionship of a dog whose gives you love unconditionally. A wonderful story ...more
Jan 27, 2012 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Anyone who was a fan of Marley and Me should try one of Jon Katz's books. Katz has a series of books sharing his dog stories is hilarious, beautiful, thought-provoking, and heartbreaking ways.

The first of Katz's books that I read was A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me. Katz has two old yellow labs that have grown accustomed to a lazy way of life. A life that Katz himself has grown comfortable with. One day, however, a friend calls Katz and tells him that she found a dog that he should
Jan 21, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: doglovers
Recommended to Jennifer by: Elisabeth
Shelves: read-2010
A small slip of a book that explores a year in the life of writer, Jon Katz--a year that involves four dogs. As the year begins, Katz is living a peaceful existance in New Jersey with his two white labs, Julius and Stanley (apparently their earlier adventures are chronicled in another book). Even for labs, these two dogs are super mellow and easy-going and they and their needs fit seamlessly into Jon's writing life. After a morning walk, they sleep by his feet as he types on the computer, etc.

Jan 31, 2008 Nate83 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nate Thomas
A Dog Year

The book is called a dog year and its about the author named Jon Katz he is an author and he sometimes writes all day and then he adopts this dog named Devon. Devon is a border collie and he gets into trouble, and he is afraid of people leaving him. Jon lives in New York and Devon likes to have exercise and he can’t because he doesn’t have the space and so he tries to run away every chance he gets. When he runs away he tries to herd the car because he’s a sheep d
Oct 11, 2009 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I liked this book and the story of Katz's four dogs. I've got to say I don't totally agree with the training tactics used in the book; but it's supposed to be viewed as more of a light-hearted story than a training book. I did fall in love with each of the dogs, however I had a hard time liking the author. For example, I didn't like the way he would refer to his wife - it always came across like she was a bitch. I also understood the frustrations he experienced with his dogs but didn't ...more
Dec 24, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-other
An excellent little book about a year in the life of an author and his four dogs (two of which are rescues). Poignant (at times) and funny (at other times), the author really captures the love he has for these animals and the love they have for him. This book strengthened my own love for dogs. I look forward to reading other nonfiction "dog' books by Mr. Katz.
Sean Halpin
On average this book was good but not spectacular. An a easy read, I found myself sometimes enthralled in the story and other times checking how many more pages were in the chapter in hopes that the story would move on faster. Despite the enthralling parts I could never quite get past the authors impulsive decision to take on more dogs at the urging of a manipulative breeder several states away. He was so cavalier about inviting his new dog with him on a cross country trip to Minnesota while he ...more
Jun 18, 2009 Kwirebaugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love Jon Katz! This book was sooooooo good! I laughed out loud, cried aloud (even sobbed). I felt like I was right there with him through his trials and tribualations with his beloved boys ( the labs and border collies).
This book is incredible for dog lovers! and apparently it is going to be made into a movie according to the cover. Believe me, i will be first in line to watch it!!!!!
I have read "the Dogs of Bedlam Farm" and am now about to start 'A Good Dog". I have no doubt i will
Apr 10, 2014 Leigh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The narrator annoyed me, the dog training techniques as well as how he goes about acquiring his dogs irked me. It's not that I'm against only investing in purebreds - I think there's good reasons for both mutts/shelter dogs and breeders. But this man made a number of mistakes and didn't really apologize for them. As a writer, his characterizations of the people involved in his life were one-dimensional and frustrating. And knowing the truth about what happened to the dog doesn't help his case.
Jan 14, 2015 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I did. But, there were a few things that kept me from loving this book. There are "dog lovers", who buy a dog when they seek to have the companionship of one, and there are dog lovers, who adopt a dog from a shelter, etc. I'm from the latter group and the former group, while still dog lovers of a sort, bothers me. There's a snobbery in buying a dog while so many thousands of incredible dogs die in shelters each year. Jon Katz couldn't hit this book entirely home for me ...more
Feb 07, 2016 Peggy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
We had a border collie for a year (an SPCA rescue) and ultimately had to find him a new home. So I was drawn to the story of Katz's struggle with Devon, a border collie from this stubborn, smart, beautiful and amazing breed. Devon would wag his tail and I would remember the joy and pride of my dog responding to my commands, catching frisbees in mid-air, or turning heads because of his gorgeous looks. I'd read Katz describe Devon chasing (and nearly being killed by) a school bus and would relive ...more
Apr 10, 2008 June rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I cried when his old dog died. Very sweet story of this guy and his dogs. The author has two sweet, obedient, bonded Labs that he adores and who adore him. He then takes on another dog, who is of a very different temperament. I like how Katz is honest about some of the mistakes he made with the new dog, and how he felt about him. It's not all sweet feelings here. Enjoyable book for folks who like animals.
Jan 08, 2008 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book for my husband after our beloved cairn terrier passed away at 13 years of age and it brought tears and healing to him. I read it after him and was also deeply affected by its kindhearted and very real struggle with grief and a new, difficult dog. After reading this, we went to the SPCA and got another dog - this completed the cycle on so many levels.
Charlotte Betts
Feb 24, 2016 Charlotte Betts rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I thought I would love this book. I didn't. I thought I would identify with the author having had a puppy myself and knowing the trials and tribulations of having a puppy can be. I didn't.
I thought his choices were reckless and his two original dogs suffered because of it
I did sob in places but had no love for this book.
Jul 07, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved all of Jon Katz's books. He had a really great style of writing, and made his life sound like the greatest life in the world. He's a great storyteller. His books are sad, funny, exciting... they have everything. Perfect book for animal lovers about the life of a bunch of dogs and their owners on a farm.
Oct 27, 2008 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breaks my heart every time. The first time I read this book, I had to hide in a stall in the Denver airport for the last 30 pages or so because I was crying so hard. Beautiful and true and not maudlin like many books addressing the same themes.
Nov 26, 2008 Summer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We have three dogs. Two of which are boarder collies. One of which was adopted later at the age of two. This book really hit home on all aspects. Boarder Collies are extremely challening but very loving and affectionate.
Apr 12, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really touching story. Any animal lover would enjoy this book. Jon Katz does a great job of revealing his faults, curiosities and his joys where his dogs are concerned.
Corgi Mom
Mar 06, 2016 Corgi Mom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book even though the author didn't have a clue as to how to handle a high strung border collie after living with mild-tempered labs. This man really shouldn't have taken on this dog with his limited knowledge of a herding breed dog. His mistakes were numerous. But the story itself is very interesting and overall, I liked the book very much. Since I have three Welsh Corgis, who are also herding breed dogs, I could easily see how the author was unprepared for the intensity of t ...more
Jul 08, 2016 Lupurk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Libro leggero e scorrevole, adatto per questi giorni. Ho letto qualche commento prima di iniziarlo ed effettivamente mi trovo d'accordo: Jon, un bel canile no? Tutti cani di razza che poi hanno mille problemi e spesso muoiono prima del tempo. A parte questo, bella la storia del rapporto con Devon e come pian piano questo si rafforzi. Nonostante leggendo la trama mi sentissi al sicuro dalle lacrime, che spesso accompagnano i libri sugli animali, qualcuna l'ho versata lo stesso. Nel comp ...more
May 17, 2015 J.T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canine
Do not make the mistake of thinking this book is a training guide or how-to book for dog owners. Mr. Katz is, by nature, a story teller, and in this compact book, he weaves together observations and anecdotes during the course of a dog year, a year he pretty much devoted to his four dogs, a pair of aging labs and a pair of young border collies.

The striking differences in the dispositions of the labs and Devon, a troubled border collie he adopts sight unseen constitute much of the book's premise.
Dec 31, 2014 Em rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essay-collection
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent book and a good warning to those who want a border collie for a pet. Unless you have a lot of time and energy DO NOT GET ONE. Plus they are not always good with kids and have many issues as the book shows. I also know this to be true, because I have one, and she has been a problem dog for 7 years but I keep working with her, but some things you just can't change.

For examples:

1. Some border collies have fear aggression. Mine does. She has hit me in the face with her nose a f
Apr 21, 2013 Corinne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A dog year” by Jon Katz tells the story of a man that takes in a new dog that turns out to be quite the handful. The book is a memoir about the struggles of dog owning. Katz shows numerous accounts of frustrations and times where he wanted to give up on training his new collie named Devon. He tells of how crazy his life had gotten since he got her, but also how it changed him and his views on dog ownership for the better.

The setting is somewhere near Newark New Jersey, around the 00’s. The main
Victoria Shaffer
“A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me” by Jon Katz shows the never ending bond between a dog and their owner. This memoir demonstrates the many changes can happen in a man’s life during just a single year, whether it is in his own personal life of his dogs. Katz tells about the many journeys that he pushes through to find the peace inside of his house again.

“A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me” is set in a suburban New Jersey town in the early 2000’s where most people in the ne
Davyd Gosselin
May 28, 2013 Davyd Gosselin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is for anyone who loves dogs. It is also a cautionary tale for those who want to own a Border Collie. Katz's story follows his adoption of a troubled Border Collie that arrives by crate from Texas.

We get the expected glowing accounts of his Labrador dogs and their reactions to the Devon, a dysfunctional dog with a retaliatory attitude toward any slight from Katz. The book is funny in parts, sad in others, but mostly it is a instruction manual for dealing with troubled dogs.

I found Katz'
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Interested in knowing... 4 29 Dec 21, 2011 10:09AM  
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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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“The relationship between a dog and a human is always complicated. The two know each other in a way nobody else quite understands, a connection shrouded in personal history, temperament, experience, instinct, and love.” 7 likes
“I am lucky in marriage and in dogs.” 1 likes
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