About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - Rose in a Storm by Jon Katz

Teaser Tuesday is described by its host Miz B over at Should be Reading as a "weekly bookish meme" open to any reader who wants to play along. If, like me, you're always curious about what people are reading or on the lookout for the next great read, then this may be your meme. If you want to play, just click on Miz B's link above for the very simple rules. (photo credit: Rose in the Garden, Jon Katz)

I have met so many wonderful dogs through Jon Katz's writing about his experiences in living with these amazing creatures both in the suburbs and on Bedlam Farm in upstate New York. There's Stanley and Julius his zen-like yellow labs who retreated with him to the mountains when he was deciding to leave the corporate world of New York City. There's Devan (re-named Orson) a young border collie who taught Katz to change in order to help a deeply troubled animal. And there is Rose, his resident working girl border collie whose sole mission is to help Katz the city slicker run a hard scrabble farm. In this week's Teaser Tuesday, Rose is the star.

Rose in a Storm
by Jon Katz

"Rose felt the storm coming, smelled snow and heavy air. She remembered other storms, the snow and wind and killing cold. She felt a flash of deep alarm run through her like a bolt of lightening. The hair on her back and neck came up. Sam called for her, but she waited a moment longer before following him inside." p. 12

Book Description: This is Katz's first go at writing fiction with a dog as the central character. Rose is a hard working border collie on a farm in upstate New York. She is the farm owner Sam's partner and sole companion since his wife Katie left the farm. It is lambing season on the farm so Rose has her work cut out for her herding the animals and protecting them from wild predators like coyotes and fox. And then the area is hit with an epic snow storm. Will Rose be able to help Sam and the other farm animals survive the storm? And, if she does, at what cost?

Over the years I've read all of Katz's books that tell the stories of the individual dogs with whom he has shared his life and work. First there were the yellow labs and then after he moved to Bedlam Farm there were border collies and more labs. At first Katz concentrated on what he learned about dogs and the farm. In later books he explored some of the common issues and questions that dog owners must work through:

--Is it right to buy a purebred dog when there are so many animals needing rescue?
-- What is the best way to train a dog?
-- Should people keep a dog even though they are not compatible--is it more humane to re-home?
--Do people expect too much from a dog ?

--Do dogs have a soul?
--How do dogs help us be better human beings?

If you love dogs and stories of people and dogs living together with all the up and downs in these relationships, I highly recommend Jon Katz's writing.


Novroz said...

Nice teaser...and wow he had written so many dog's book. I wish there is a turtle book out there

Mine is here

fiction-books said...

Hi Faye,

Thanks for stopping by my site, it's always good to meet someone new, that's a big part of the fun of blogging for me.

I checked out Jon's 'Bedlam Farm' blog, which is amazing, although books with animals as the central characters are not really 'my thing'.

I did however recognize the name Jon Katz, then realised that I know it from the association he once had with writing mystery/crime books, which is one of my main genres.

Doesn't mean to say that I am adverse to trying something new, so I have made a note of the title and author, to maybe revisit one day.


Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, this does sound unique...I haven't read a story with the dog as a main character for a really long time, but it could be a treasure....

Thanks for visiting my blog.

laurie said...

i love jon katz's nonfiction. this book left me a little cold. but it's very authentic.

Georgia Girls said...

Love the cover! We had two dogs on our small ranch--both border collies. Great dogs. I didn't know there was an author that wrote more particularly about dogs. Thanks! My teaser is up--and I'm lovin' it!

kaye said...

Sounds good :) Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

Cousin M said...

Sounds like a book I'll want to read, as "I'm for dogs",as the Pedigree commercials say.

Our book group just finished "The Art of Racing in the Rain", narrated by the dog who stands by his master through all his tribulations & eventual triumph. I liked it because the dog wants to come back as a man in his next life, funny because I always say I want to come back as a dog, as long as I can live in a family like ours - dog nuts.

Also, have you read "The Plague Dogs" by Richard Adams ( wrote Watership Down)? It's an old book & I only remember that it's about two dogs who escape from a testing facility where animals are infected with all sorts of nasty things. The story is told by the dogs, and I do remember that I liked it.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Sounds like one we might like!


Book Bird Dog said...

Nice to find a writer so much in love with dogs. Always heart warming to read about their positive relationship with us their owners.

Pamela said...

that was a good teaser.

Tell me right now if the book will make me sad -

Faye said...

Pamela--there were times when my heart clinched up reading this one. In your present reality "A Dog Year" might be a better choice for you--35 lb. border collie brings 200lb. man to his knees and steals his balogna sandwich out of the fridge to boot!

Janice said...

Faye, you simply must get a PageKeeper bookmark. Here is the link to the site with a video that shows you how it works. I have ordered multiples--I don't care what they cost. You never lose your place even when you fall asleep reading. I have used them for years. Got my first one at Hawley-Cooke.

Janice said...

Well, DUH! Forgot to include the link: http://www.pagekeeper.com/