The New Work of Dogs by Jon Katz
Tending to Life, Love, and Family

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Synopsis

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

“Sometimes human-dog relationships are simple, unrelated to the emotional lives and histories of either species. But often people acquire and love dogs with little awareness that they might have complex and revealing reasons for choosing the dog or pet they choose, loving it the way they do.”

Writing about his own dogs in A Dog Year, Jon Katz became immersed in a larger community of dog lovers and came to realize that in an increasingly fragmented and disconnected society, dogs are often treated not as pets, but as family members and human surrogates.

The New Work of Dogs profiles a dozen such relationships in a New Jersey town, like the story of Harry, a Welsh corgi who provides sustaining emotional strength for a woman battling terminal breast cancer; Cherokee, companion of a man who has few human friends and doesn’t know how to talk to his own family; the Divorced Dogs Club, whose funny, acerbic, and sometimes angry women turn to their dogs to help them rebuild their lives; and Betty Jean, the frantic founder of a tiny rescue group that has saved five hundred dogs from abuse or abandonment in recent years.

Drawn from hundreds of interviews and conversations with dog owners and lovers, breeders, veterinarians, rescuers, trainers, behaviorists, and psychiatrists, The New Work of Dogs combines compelling personal narratives with a penetrating look at human/animal attachment, and questions whether this relationship shift is an entirely positive phenomenon for both species. Katz offers us a portrait of a community, and by extension a country, that is turning to its pets for emotional support and stability—a difficult job that more and more dogs are expected to do every day. The New Work of Dogs is a provocative and moving exploration of the evolving role dogs play in a changing and uncertain world.
 

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 May 6, 2003 by Villard. 266 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The New Work of Dogs

Publishers Weekly

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Katz, a novelist and nonfiction author (A Dog Year; Geeks), here explores the bond between dogs and their owners. Focusing on 12 people-dog relationships in Montclair, N.J., and drawing on current res

May 01 2003 | Read Full Review of The New Work of Dogs: Tending...

Publishers Weekly

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Katz, a novelist and nonfiction author (A Dog Year; Geeks), here explores the bond between dogs and their owners. Focusing on 12 people-dog relationships in Montclair, N.J., and drawing on current res

May 01 2003 | Read Full Review of The New Work of Dogs: Tending...

Star Tribune

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In his latest book, "The New Work of Dogs," Jon Katz examines the ways in which Americans are asking their canine comrades to fill deep emotional and social needs.

May 17 2003 | Read Full Review of The New Work of Dogs: Tending...

Book Reporter

Dog lovers who enjoyed A DOG YEAR and RUNNING TO THE MOUNTAIN are.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The New Work of Dogs: Tending...

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