Review: Soul of a Dog

Soul of a Dog: Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of Bedlam Farm
By Jon Katz
Villard Books
August 2009
208 pages

On Bedlam Farm, Jon Katz rules his kingdom of 3 dogs, 2 steers, a cow, 4 donkeys, 3 goats, a rooster and some hens, 2 barn cats, and a flock of 28 sheep. Reading Soul of a Dog is like taking a stroll with him through the farmyard to meet and greet some of the special ones – past and present – which have touched his heart and changed his life.

Rose is the quick and smart border collie. Through hard work and tireless energy, she has maintained order amid the chaos of so many critters. Elvis the Snickers-eating steer saved himself from the slaughterhouse. Lenore the black lab pursued a unique friendship. Meet the sweet yet stubborn donkeys, Mother the affectionate natural born killer cat, a Greek chorus of goats, and Henrietta the exceptional hen. Katz also includes the stories of two extraordinary dogs Fly and Magnus, who left their imprints as brief visitors to the farm. Even the spirit of Orson, a troubled yet much-loved border collie, materializes.

Throughout this pleasant outing Katz draws on the beliefs of great philosophers, poets, authors, and an incorrigible preacher to illuminate a variety of spiritual perspectives. As though peering through a camera lens into the animal world Katz examines the meaning of life with a focus upon memorable relationships between animals and humans.

Anyone who has ever loved a dog, or any critter, will devour Soul of a Dog in one sitting and contemplate its meaning forever. Those who have never bonded with an animal will discover what is missing from their lives. Katz explores the question of whether animals have souls with the humor and drama of a masterful storyteller. Readers will leave Bedlam Farm with a keen awareness of the key to unlock their own souls.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Peggy Tibbetts

Jon Katz’s website: Bedlam Farm

Other books by Jon Katz

Watch A Dog Year on HBO September 3

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