By Jon Katz
Occasionally, swap comes on 4 legs.
In his renowned and generally praised Running to the Mountain, Jon Katz wrote of the power and help he present in the large types of his yellow Labrador retrievers, Julius and Stanley. whilst the Labs have been six and 7, a breeder who’d learn his booklet 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 types. . . . occasionally, swap comes on 4 legs.” almost immediately thereafter he introduced Devon domestic. A puppy Year exhibits how a guy came across a lot approximately himself via one puppy (and then another), whose temperament appeared as diverse from his personal as day from evening. it's a tale of belief and figuring out, of existence 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
He was gone. Julius and Stanley looked a bit relieved. I yelled; he didn’t come. I patrolled along the driveway and the meadow; no sign of him. Getting that familiar, Devon-inspired, heart-thumping panic, I ran back and forth in the woods shouting his name. No answer. I called the sheriff, the local animal warden, and the nearest vet to report him missing. Then I went out looking, driving up and down the mountain, yelling out the Trooper’s window in a voice that was growing hoarse. An hour later, panicky and frazzled, I returned to the cabin to wait by the phone for news that I feared might never come.
I ran out the back door yelling, a dumb strategy. If you don’t catch dogs in the act of wrongdoing— almost at the exact moment of transgression—then scolding only confuses them. They have no idea what you’re shouting about. But a dog who’s smart enough to move slats might be smart enough, I thought, to grasp that I was angry. Could I convey to him that this was a life-and-death issue, that a dog couldn’t be loose on the busy streets of northern New Jersey and survive for long? That there was danger to others as well, to older people and kids and dog-phobic people, to drivers who might slam on their brakes and cause accidents if they saw a dog running through the neighborhood?
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.
A Dog Year_ Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me by Jon Katz