A Good Dog by Jon Katz
The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jon Katz's Going Home.

“People who love dogs often talk about a ‘lifetime’ dog. I’d heard the phrase a dozen times before I came to recognize its significance. Lifetime dogs are dogs we love in especially powerful, sometimes inexplicable ways.”–Jon Katz

In this gripping and deeply touching book, bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his lifetime dog, Orson: a beautiful border collie–intense, smart, crazy, and unforgettable.

From the moment Katz and Orson meet, when the dog springs from his traveling crate at Newark airport and panics the baggage claim area, their relationship is deep, stormy, and loving. At two years old, Katz’s new companion is a great herder of school buses, a scholar of refrigerators, but a dud at herding sheep. Everything Katz attempts– obedience training, herding instruction, a new name, acupuncture, herb and alternative therapies–helps a little but not enough, and not for long. “Like all border collies and many dogs,” Katz writes, “he needed work. I didn’t realize for some time I was the work Orson would find.”
While Katz is trying to help his dog, Orson is helping him, shepherding him toward a new life on a two-hundred-year-old hillside farm in upstate New York. There, aided by good neighbors and a tolerant wife, hip-deep in sheep, chickens, donkeys, and more dogs, the man and his canine companion explore meadows, woods, and even stars, wade through snow, bask by a roaring wood stove, and struggle to keep faith with each other. There, with deep love, each embraces his unfolding destiny.

A Good Dog is a book to savor. Just as Orson was the author’ s lifetime dog, his story is a lifetime treasure–poignant, timeless, and powerful.

About Jon Katz

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Jon Katz has written twenty-five books, including works of nonfiction, novels, short stories, and books for children; he is also a photographer. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Rolling Stone, and the AKC Gazette and has worked for CBS News, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives on Bedlam Farm, in upstate New York, with his wife, the artist Maria Wulf, and their dogs, donkeys, barn cats, sheep, and chickens.
Published November 28, 2006 by Villard. 258 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help. Non-fiction

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thus, Devon became “Orson.” Realizing that the dog would never adapt to suburban New Jersey, Katz pulled up stakes and relocated to a farm in upstate New York.

Jul 15 2006 | Read Full Review of A Good Dog: The Story of Orso...

Kirkus Reviews

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Katz concludes the canine love story he began in A Dog Year (2002).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of A Good Dog: The Story of Orso...

BC Books

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After winning one participant’s ribbon in a beginners herding competition, Katz packed up his dogs and moved to a farm in upstate New York to give himself and Orson the peace they both needed: “…on our own farm Orson could … have all the space even a demented border collie could want.” Orson was...

Oct 27 2007 | Read Full Review of A Good Dog: The Story of Orso...

Book Reporter

A GOOD DOG details Jon Katz's relationship with a dog who intersects with Katz at a significant time in both their lives.

Jun 26 2007 | Read Full Review of A Good Dog: The Story of Orso...

USA Today

A Good Dog is the story of pre-eminent dog writer Jon Katz's lifetime dog, Orson.The terribly troubled, terribly handsome Orson is actually Devon, the border collie Katz wrote about in his 2002 book, A Dog Year.

Oct 12 2006 | Read Full Review of A Good Dog: The Story of Orso...


If you are an animal lover, you will not have dry eyes when you finish reading this book.

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