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A Dog Year: Rescuing Devon, The Most Troublesome Dog in the World - Jon Katz
A Dog Year: Rescuing Devon, The Most Troublesome Dog in the World is a paperback book written by Jon Katz. I bought this book in September 2010 in WH Smiths at East Midlands airport. I bought it for two reasons, the first reason being I had forgotten the book I had intended to take away with me and the second reason was that after reading another of Jon Katz titles I was keen to read some more of his work.
Jon Katz is a writer from New Jersey, he has written quite a few books portraying the stories and events from his real life experiences and his life on Bedlam Farm with his family and dogs.
A Dog Year is from a time before Jon moved to Bedlam Farm and is still living in New Jersey with his family and two Labradors.
This book follows the story of Devon, a Border Collie puppy who is wild and totally untrained. The book begins with a bit of background history about Jon and his family life in New Jersey and continues to tell how Jon and Devon met. The story of Devon does take a while to get going and for Devon to actually come onto the scene, but this is done in a really good way that still keeps your attention as you are reading about how Jon came to own or rather be owned by Devon and why he wanted to have such an untrained and demanding dog in his what seems rather calm life.
Jon first heard of Devon on an internet site where he had been talking to a dog breeder/rescuer. Devon had been returned to her as his owners no longer wanted him as he failed to meet their expectations in competitive obedience. Now, anyone who knows a little bit about Border Collies will tell you how loyal they are and how companionship is a large part of owning one. They are a highly intelligent breed who love to work and can get bored very easily. When Devon first comes to Jon he is sent by plane and Jon goes to the airport to collect him, it is this hilarious scene of chaos in the airport terminal that sets the scene for the rest of the book and gives you your first taste of everything Jon has and will endure for the love of his dogs. Devon is a very wild and but also in some ways very nervous dog, branded a failure and unwanted by his previous owners he craves love and affection and hates to be left alone. The story of Jon's life with Devon follows this wild dogs hilarious but sometimes dangerous antics and through his writing Katz shows just how far he will go to gain trust, respect and love from Devon.
Throughout the book Katz not only tells the tale of Devon, but also of his other dogs, the labradors Julius and Stanley. By doing this Katz has made his book more appealing and easy to relate to with the laid back attitude of the labs comparing to the chaotic school bus-chasing Devon.
I found this book to be a very captivating read, I found it hard to put down and found myself deliberately making time to read it rather than my usual style of reading when I have time to. I had read one of Jon Katz books previously, 'Saving Izzy' and although I can say I really enjoyed both of the books, my personal preference is 'Saving Izzy' as I found the antics of Jon's life on Bedlam Farm with his dogs to be both entertaining and interesting, but A Dog Year with Devon is just as interesting and entertaining but in city setting.
The book is based entirely on real events and experiences of Jon's life with Devon. The book contains both very funny moments as well as some more serious moments. Katz doesn't shy away from reality when it comes to telling the his stories of Devon. He makes some very good points about the fun and comical side of Devon's personality as well as the more serious side of the issues both he and Devon have had to overcome or compromise on and the sacrifices he has had to make along the way to be able to give Devon a stable life. I think this is great as I would personally rather read a realistic truth than a 'sugar coated' and unbelievable tale.
A Dog Year: Rescuing Devon, The Most Troublesome Dog in the World was first published in 2008 and is printed by Ebury Press. I bought my copy of A Dog Year in WH Smiths at East Midlands Airport for £6.99. It is currently available on Amazon for around £5 but I'm sure you will find a copy on eBay for less. I would defiantly recommend A Dog Year, it is a really enjoyable read and a must have read for any dog lovers as you can really relate to everything Jon Katz goes through with his dogs.
A highly recommended and enjoyable read.
Thanks for reading! :)