By Jon Katz
Occasionally, switch comes on 4 legs.
In his renowned and generally praised Running to the Mountain, Jon Katz wrote of the energy and aid he present in the large types of his yellow Labrador retrievers, Julius and Stanley. while the Labs have been six and 7, a breeder who’d learn his e-book contacted Katz to assert she had a puppy that was once intended for him—a two-year-old border collie named Devon, good bred yet high-strung and homeless. Katz already had an entire 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 indicates how a guy found a lot approximately himself via one puppy (and then another), whose temperament appeared as varied from his personal as day from evening. it's a tale of belief and realizing, of lifestyles and loss of life, of continuity and alter. it really is by means of turns insightful, hilarious, and deeply relocating.
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Extra info for A Dog Year_ Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me
There was scarcely room in the cramped cabin for one more dog bed, but otherwise Devon seemed to fit right in. As a concession to his peculiar tastes, however, I found space in the vast local school playground where he could burn off some energy by tearing off after trucks, as usual, with a fence between them and him. Then came the morning that I had to make a run to the county dump. I left Devon outside with the Labs, who often sat keeping an eye on the mountain while I ran short errands. Knowing that everything with Devon became a chess match, and that he would without question cause trouble over this, I left the dogs, gave several elaborate “stay” commands complete with hand signals, and drove down the driveway.
Stanley was coughing up water. I had a duffel bag in the car—I had packed it for the drive home to New Jersey after our walk—and put on dry clothes and used my spare underwear to dry the dogs. I piled all the muddy, soggy garments on the floor of the Trooper, emptied the water and crud out of my hiking boots, let the dogs in the back, and took off, driving in my socks. How could I possibly explain this to a cop, or a friend, or anybody? Would I confess that I’d thrown a ball into a flooded river to amuse my Labrador, then jumped in and nearly drowned trying to pull him out?
I just said I’d fallen. She didn’t buy it; I refused to elaborate. She had her secrets, I had mine. Even before that, during our first summer weeks on the mountain, our little trio shared plenty of misadventures. We got caught outside in crackling thunderstorms. Our mountain road was sealed off during a forest fire and we spent much of one night huddled by the roadside below, waiting for the all clear. One gorgeous afternoon, I went for a long walk with the boys along a supposedly abandoned railroad track.
A Dog Year_ Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me by Jon Katz