By Jon Katz
Occasionally, swap comes on 4 legs.
In his renowned and extensively praised Running to the Mountain, Jon Katz wrote of the energy and aid he present in the large kinds of his yellow Labrador retrievers, Julius and Stanley. whilst the Labs have been six and 7, a breeder who’d learn his ebook contacted Katz to assert 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 a whole dogs complement—but, as he writes, “Change loves me. . . . It is available in all kinds. . . . occasionally, swap comes on 4 legs.” presently thereafter he introduced Devon domestic. A puppy Year exhibits how a guy chanced 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 figuring out, of lifestyles and dying, of continuity and alter. it truly is through turns insightful, hilarious, and deeply relocating.
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Additional info for A Dog Year_ Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me
He didn’t. And at that moment, I was beyond empathy. I threw the metal pooper-scooper at him, intending it to clang loudly on the sidewalk in front of him, but it skidded and hit him squarely in the shoulder, causing him to start. I threw the choke chain at him, too. I was screaming, cursing. This was no training technique, it was pure rage, a nearly unprecedented eruption from a veteran wuss. I lurched onto the sidewalk, tripping over the curb and falling onto my knees. He was still standing there, watching me.
Fuck you,” I said as I hammered. ” Devon cocked his head whenever I spoke directly to him. Just natural dog behavior for this breed, I knew, but I had the sometimes creepy certainty that he was listening carefully. I also took note of the fact that I was babbling to a dog. Later that day, I returned from walking Julius and Stanley and found Devon waiting for me on the front lawn. He had, I later saw, learned to open the porch screen door with his left paw. It dawned on me slowly that Devon and I had entered upon an epic and intensely personal conflict, a contest of wills and wile made all the more interesting by the fact that only one of the principals understood just how brutal and protracted it was going to be.
There could be give-and-take on many of the issues we faced, but not on running into the street after cars and trucks. Otherwise, I’d have to call Deanne and send him back, or visit one of those border collie Web sites I’d been haunting to locate somebody with a pasture and a few sheep. Beyond that, we had to establish an understanding. We could be great pals (he could already tell I would spoil him rotten) but ours wasn’t an egalitarian relationship. As a Boomer parent in a childcentric town, I’d spent years watching people struggle to say no to their kids and their dogs.