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A Dog Year: Rescuing Devon, the Most Troublesome Dog in the World
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A Dog Year: Rescuing Devon, the Most Troublesome Dog in the World

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,423 Ratings  ·  284 Reviews
Jon and his wife live in a New Jersey suburb with two perfectly behaved Labradors. Then into the mix comes Devon, who creates havoc from the moment he arrives at the airport, when it takes Jon, two baggage handlers and three police officers to track him down after he escapes.

Jon learns the hard way how to encourage Devon to behave. But amongst the difficulties of their fir
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 3rd 2008 by Ebury Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Jul 10, 2007 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
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
If you are thinking of getting a border collie for your child or for someone else, never buy one unless it is going to a herding dog or do agility training, and make sure that you have talked with many border collie owners. When we got our dog Mocha we had planned on living on a farm in Oklahoma, but we only have an acre or so.

I grew up with border collie/Aussie mixes, I never had problems with any of them. They were my pals, we went to the river together, we walked the hills in Paso Robles and
Jan 31, 2011 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 09, 2013 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 14, 2011 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 07, 2011 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
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
Dec 18, 2014 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.
Charlotte Betts
Feb 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
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.
Lidiya P
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
'Devon' - I really enjoyed reading it, I could picture every scene in detail. It had upside down emotions, but I liked how it ended in a happy way.
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A Dog Year 1 1 Oct 27, 2017 08:17AM  
Interested in knowing... 4 30 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...
“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.” 9 likes
“I am lucky in marriage and in dogs.” 1 likes
More quotes…