By Jon Katz
Occasionally, switch comes on 4 legs.In his well known and commonly praised working to the Mountain, Jon Katz wrote of the energy and aid he present in the big varieties of his yellow Labrador retrievers, Julius and Stanley. while the Labs have been six and 7, a breeder who’d learn his ebook contacted Katz to claim she had a puppy that used to be intended for him—a two-year-old border collie named Devon, good bred yet high-strung and homeless. Katz already had an entire dogs complement—but, as he writes, “Change loves me. . . . It is available in all kinds. . . . occasionally, switch comes on 4 legs.” presently thereafter he introduced Devon domestic. A puppy 12 months exhibits how a guy stumbled on a lot approximately himself via one puppy (and then another), whose temperament appeared as various from his personal as day from evening. it's a tale of belief and realizing, of lifestyles and loss of life, of continuity and alter. it's by way of turns insightful, hilarious, and deeply relocating.
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Additional info for A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me
The couple obviously liked the fact that I worked at home, liked to walk, and had a fenced yard. Even more, they liked my determination to train a new dog thoroughly. So they brought four-month-old Julius up from the kennel. He was delighted to make our acquaintance, licked me and Emma repeatedly, and when I took him in my arms, he fell asleep, his body cradled upside down, his head lolling. He came home with us. A professional trainer named Ralph Fabbo—so calmly authorative that the freakiest, most out-of-control dogs would sometimes wet the floor when he appeared at their front doors—came to my house an hour each week for two months.
Issues. A part of me was drawn to the idea, but the rational part said: Stop! Danger ahead! Deanne was patient, persuasive, persistent without being pushy, a subtle line she walked with great skill. The better we got to know each other, the more effective her message. Devon, she said, was a special case in need of special handling. He was uncommonly bright, willful, and emotionally beat up. From my book, with its descriptions of Julius and Stanley and of my cabin in rural upstate New York—close to border collie nirvana—she suspected that I had a high tolerance for odd dog behavior.
Julius, for one, would never expend the kind of energy it took to get into a fight. When a kid came near, even a toddler, both dogs would sit down, tails wagging, and let the child approach, then gently lean over to give him or her a lick. In warm weather especially, it sometimes took a long time to circumnavigate our block, as both adults and children came out of their houses to say good morning, offer treats and pats, or just tag along. The FedEx man and the garbage-truck drivers were their pals.