The Dogs of Bedlam Farm : An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me
The Dogs of Bedlam Farm An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep Three Dogs Two Donkeys and Me Author:Jon Katz “Dogs are blameless, devoid of calculation, neither blessed nor cursed with human motives. They can’t really be held responsible for what they do. But we can.” — –from The Dogs of Bedlam Farm — — When Jon Katz adopted a border collie named Orson, his whole world changed. Gone were the two yellow Labs he wrote ... more »about in A Dog Year, as was the mountaintop cabin they loved. Katz moved into an old farmhouse on forty-two acres of pasture and woods with a menagerie: a ram named Nesbitt, fifteen ewes, a lonely donkey named Carol, a baby donkey named Fanny, and three border collies.
Training Orson was a demanding project. But a perceptive dog trainer and friend told Katz: “If you want to have a better dog, you will just have to be a better goddamned human.” It was a lesson Katz took to heart. He now sees his dogs as a reflection of his willingness to improve, as well as a critical reminder of his shortcomings. Katz shows us that dogs are often what we make them: They may have their own traits and personalities, but in the end, they are mirrors of our own lives–living, breathing testaments to our strengths and frustrations, our families and our pasts.
The Dogs of Bedlam Farm recounts a harrowing winter Katz spent on a remote, windswept hillside in upstate New York with a few life-saving friends, ugly ghosts from the past, and more livestock than any novice should attempt to manage. Heartwarming, and full of drama, insight, and hard-won wisdom, it is the story of his several dogs forced Katz to confront his sense of humanity, and how he learned the places a dog could lead him and the ways a doge could change him.
Wonderful insights into working with dogs, especially border collies, and sensible positive training tips, generally a charming journal of the first year in the country with sixteen sheep, three dogs, two donkeys, and a suburban dog writer. A great dog book in which no dog dies!
What a beautiful story! You fall in love with the dogs, the goats and even the author himself. In his efforts to train his herding dogs, Jon Katz learns more about himself than he ever imagined. Everyone should read this book.
Good book to enjoy with humor, good insights to training dogs, great insights to human nature and to resolving early childhood traumas, which we all know will never go away completely. His language leaves something to be desired at times and I'd rather be without it, but as he healed it got better. Brutally honest at times, but the reality is there for all to see. He has a wonderful wife, wonder how she puts up with him, that's true love at it's very best.
Love the dogs and will read more of his books. I'm off to do a cat book for now, but will return. I like the pace of his writing and the way he puts a story together. Not for all, but fun and to be enjoyed.
Susanna Y. (whatever-things) reviewed The Dogs of Bedlam Farm : An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me on
He has an engaging writing style, but I am not impressed with the language he uses, nor the mysticism all through his book. I would not recommend it to someone who is "in the world but not of it." I.e. a believer in Christ!