Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Good Dog

I seem to be reading a lot of animal-related memoirs lately (with more in the queue). A Good Dog is a sequel to A Dog Year and The Dogs of Bedlam Farm. I read A Dog Year, but not The Dogs of Bedlam Farm, which is probably just as well, because A Good Dog recaps much of the former and I presume at least part of the latter. Jon Katz is not that compelling a writer to begin with, leaving tantalizing hints about his childhood and psyche but never delivering the juicy details, so the repetition becomes, well, repetitious. Perhaps he delivers the personal goods in one of his other books, but I'm not going to read them all to find out.

That said, A Good Dog is a decent read, one that should convince you not to get a border collie unless you plan to provide the dog with a farm and some sheep, which is what Katz does. I love my pets and some would say I go overboard when it comes to their care and comfort (I recently donated four dog beds to the local SPCA; I can't for the life of me explain how I came to have four extra dog beds when I have never owned more than one dog at a time), but I draw the line at real estate. Katz might have bought a farm anyway, but Orson provided the impetus for his move to the country.

Sometimes the right animal comes along at the right time.

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